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Measures to protect visitors from being harassed by street collectors reviewed

Monday, August 12th, 2019 9:33am

By Simon Humphreys & Kerry Ashdown

Charities are being limited to two street collections a week in Uttoxeter town centre as part of rules aiming to protect residents and visitors from being harassed.

During street collections fundraisers will have to position themselves at least a metre away from shop frontages and kerbs – and at least three metres away from fellow collectors and street traders, Big Issue sellers, buskers and market researchers – as part of measures to create an “adequate comfort zone” for people who do not want to take part, a policy presented to East Staffordshire Borough Council said.

They are also limited to two areas of the borough; Uttoxeter’s High Street between Market Place and Smithfield Road and Market Place between Bridge Street and High Street.

In recent years a number of Staffordshire councils have introduced measures to limit the number of days per week that paid charity fundraisers can operate in town centres.

East Staffordshire Borough Council first introduced its Charitable Collections Policy in 2016, which regulates both street and house to house collections. Charities wishing to carry out street or house to house collections must be licensed by the authority to do so

The council’s Charitable Collections Policy has recently been reviewed but few changes have been made. The format has been amended to improve information flow and there has been an updated agreement with the Institute of Fundraising relating to direct debit collections.

A report to East Staffordshire Borough Council Licensing Committee said: “It is recognised that collections play an important role in the work carried out by charities and are necessary to enable charitable works to be carried out.

“It is also necessary to ensure that collections are carried out in a way that does not cause a nuisance or interference with the freedoms of those that live, visit or work within the borough.

“The aims of the policy are to safeguard the interests of both donors and beneficiaries, facilitate collections by bona fide institutions and to ensure that good standards are met, prevent unlicensed collections from taking place and prevent nuisance and harassment to residents, businesses and visitors to the district.”

The meeting was told that each charity can carry out three collections a year in the borough.

Committee members agreed for the updated policy to go out for a two week consultation before it is brought back to a September meeting for approval and adoption.

 

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