Release Date: 03 October 2012
Last year Stroud District Council received dozens of complaints about the number of direct debit charity fundraisers in Stroud. Often referred to as 'chuggers' the collectors stop people in the street and ask them to sign up to a direct debit agreement as a way of raising money for charities.
Earlier this year the council trialled a scheme which allowed only one charity a week to canvass in the street for direct debit agreements. Cash collections were not affected. Its Licensing and Regulation Committee noted that there had been no further complaints during that period and therefore agreed that the regulation of these fundraisers should continue in this way.
Councillor June Cordwell, executive member for community services for Stroud District Council, said:
'Charities obviously need to raise money for the excellent work they do, however the issue of so called 'chuggers' over recent years has become a national problem causing shoppers and retailers a great deal of annoyance. By limiting direct debit canvassers to just one charity a week we hope to ensure that our town centres are inviting and pleasant for shoppers.'
The committee was also concerned about the increasing number of charities which use organisations to cold call at residents' homes to canvass for direct debit sign-ups, and the increasing number of house-to-house clothing collections. Consequently the number of permits for house-to-house charity collections will now be limited. Previously, annual permits were issued, but from now on they will only last for three months and only four organisations at a time will have them. Similarly, permits for cold calling charity direct debit sign-ups will be limited to two organisations each quarter.
Anyone wanting to collect for a charity in the street or by going house-to-house should contact Stroud District Council's licensing team on 01453 754440.