New rules for charity collectors in Calderdale

New rules for charity collectors in Calderdale

On-street charity collectors in Calderdale will have stricter guidelines to follow.

Calderdale Council has worked with the Public Fundraising Regulatory Association (PFRA) an organisation that regulates all forms of direct debit ‘face-to-face fundraising’ to produce a Site Management Agreement, setting out days and times when these fundraisers can operate.

Direct-debit charity collectors work in towns and cities across the country, encouraging people to sign up to give a monthly payment to a charity, ensuring a regular stream of income for the cause.

On-street fundraising is a important source of income for charities, but many people find the approach of these collectors overbearing, and a number of residents and businesses have complained to Calderdale Council about the issue.

The Site Management Agreement has been set up to try to address these concerns, setting out a clear code of conduct for fundraisers, with any breach resulting in a financial penalty for the charity.

The new guidelines, which come into place on Monday 29 April 2013, are as follows:

Halifax town centre In the pedestrian area of Southgate, between Albion Street and Old Market Street, a maximum of four charity fundraisers are allowed at any one time, and only on four days in a week.

Brighouse In Commercial Street, between Briggate and Bradford Road, there will be no more than four charity fundraisers, and only on two days in a week.

Hebden Bridge In St George’s Square, a maximum of four charity fundraisers are allowed, on two days a week.

In addition to these restrictions, fundraising is only allowed between 9.00am and 7.00pm, with only one charity to be present on each day, and with no collectors the week before Christmas. It also states that collectors cannot follow a person for more than three steps, or bring the charity into disrepute in any way.

Calderdale Council’s Cabinet Member for Communities, Cllr Pauline Nash, said:

“It’s important that there are now stricter guidelines in place for charities to follow. The agreement will benefit those who were concerned about the current methods of fundraising, and also reassure charities that they are being fairly represented in the community.

“This will create a better balance between charities being able to raise funds, and people not feeling pressured to donate.”

Dr Toby Ganley, Head of Policy at PFRA, said:

“People have a right to decline to give to a charity but a charity has a duty to ask them to support its cause, and this is what the new agreement with Calderdale Council protects.

“Any time a fundraiser breaks the agreement or the best practice code, such as straying outside their zone or not taking no for an answer, the Council can come straight to the PFRA and we’ll put it right.”

More information about the Site Management Agreement can be found at link)|External linkor contact 020 7401 8452.

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