A COUNCILLOR will don a huge inflatable dinosaur costume at Southend’s election count in a bid to raise cash for charity. 

Matt Dent, Labour councillor responsible for the Kursaal ward, agreed to wear the costume to Thursday night’s count after being challenged by a Tory councillor during a council meeting. 

The costume is blown up and reaches at least 6ft tall when worn, and will provide a light-hearted bit of fun as parties bid to take control of Southend Council. 

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Mr Dent will be wearing the costume to raise money for the Southend charity, St Vincent’s Centre.

St Vincent’s Centre, in Short Street, Southend, provide meals and support for the homeless as well as any vulnerable person within the community.

Mr Dent said: “I am never shy about doing something that makes me look like an idiot, especially for a good cause.

“I am more than happy to take on the challenge.

“It does get very warm in there, so I am not convinced I can wear it for the whole evening, but I will be going for the challenge and trying my best.

“St Vincent’s is a charity that is very active locally, and they do a lot of help vulnerable people across Southend, including the homeless and also people who struggle to get by every day.

“It is a really good cause, and I am looking forward to the challenge.”

Conservative councillor Kevin Buck decided to challenge Matt to wearing it for the election night in which he would then make a donation to the mayor’s charity.

Mr Dent has already raised £170. The Conservative Southend Council group have also already donated £100, but have pledged to double it if he wears it “all night long”.

Councillor Kevin Buck added: “Matt wore it as a light-hearting thing for the Superbowl a few months ago.

“So, in a moment of jest, I said, I would donate to the mayor’s charity, if he wears it to the count.

“It is all a bit of fun to raise money for charity, and hopefully will raise a few hundreds of pounds.

“Politics is politics, but some of us do still get on with each other too.”

Neither Mr Dent or Mr Buck are up for election at this round of local elections. 

To donate, visit https://www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/dinosaur-election-madness