The long-awaited Charities Bill was published on 21 December. The promise of tighter control over the activities of so-called ‘Chuggers’ or face-to-face fundraisers has moved a step closer. However, some may argue that the new regulations are no better than the current voluntary code.
Fundraising operators have been able to avoid applying for licences on the grounds that they don’t collect cash even though the wording of the law refers to ‘money’ not ‘cash’. Instead they are governed by a voluntary code of practice.
The new ruling appears to be again based on ‘voluntary’ regulations. Charities will be required to apply for public collection certificates. They will also have to prove that their fundraisers are ‘fit and proper persons’.
Home Office Minister, Fiona MacTaggart said that if operators failed to adopt the voluntary proposals the regulations could be made into a statutory regime at a later date.
City centre manager, Soozie Campbell commented on the proposals, “We have waited a long time for this bill but it doesn’t seem to me that we are very much further on. We already have a situation where operators are signed up to a voluntary code of practice. They have signed the agreement and they wear the badge. But the people on the street consistently fail to adopt the recommended practice.”
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