Move to tighten door to door collections

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PEOPLE are being asked for their views over plans to tighten the rules on door to door charity collectors in Whitby and district.

House-to-house collections usually involve the collection of either money or items directly from a person’s property and are often considered an important source of funds for many charities.

But in recent years there has been an increase in the number of illegal or bogus house-to-house collectors, which Scarborough Borough Council’s licensing department is eager to stop.

Of particular concern is the rise in the number of collectors, who can give the impression they are collecting clothing or other goods for charity.

Licensing manager, Una Faithfull, said: “We believe that tighter control of collecting is vital – it will give residents confidence that their donations are being directed to an appropriate charity, safeguarding their interests and those of the beneficiary.

“We can also continue to support collections by bona fide charitable institutions, while ensuring good standards are being met.”

The council’s licensing officers have now drawn up a draft policy which they will consult on between 1 January and 24 February, with members of the public invited to make representations before the council considers it further.

As part of the policy, the Licensing Authority is proposing that charities should be registered with the Charity Commission or those collecting for good causes, or locally based within the borough.

It also says only one organisation should be allowed to collect in one area on any given day, with organisations limited to a maximum of four collections a year.

The Licensing Authority says following reasonable deductions, the whole profits must be given to charity or good cause, with a financial return forwarded to the authority within a month of the collection taking place.

The draft policy will be available online at www.scarborough.gov.uk/consultation from 1 January or from Licensing Services by calling (01723) 232323 or emailing licensing.services@scarborough.gov.uk.