Clampdown on chuggers in Cheltenham town centre
Charity street collectors in Cheltenham are to be regulated under new guidelines.
Cheltenham Borough Council has made an arrangement with the Public Fundraising Regulatory Association (PFRA) to limit on the numbers, frequency and locations of face to face charity collectors operating in the town.
The collectors are known as "Chuggers" - meaning charity 'muggers' or charity 'huggers' depending on your viewpoint.
The agreement will see only one charity operating on either a Tuesday, Thursday or Friday and fundraisers will be limited to just one section of the High Street with a maximum of four collectors.
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Collectors will also be bound by a code of conduct covering the methods they use to carry out collections.
Phil Cooper, licensing officer, said: “Face to face fundraisers have until now only had an informal arrangement in Cheltenham. It is hoped that the new agreement will strike a balance between the needs of charities to fundraise and the wishes of the members of public who want to go about their business without being inconvenienced.”
Councillor Peter Jeffries, Cabinet Member for Housing and Safety, welcomed the agreement, adding: “Until now the Council has not had the powers to regulate street direct debit collections. This agreement with the PFRA should help to formalise the process, making it easier for collections to be arranged and for complaints to be dealt with to everybody’s satisfaction.”
Dr Toby Ganley, head of policy at Public Fundraising Regulatory Association (PFRA), commented: “We are delighted that we have struck this agreement with Cheltenham Borough Council, which will ensure that charities can continue to fundraise in Cheltenham for good causes. But nobody need feel guilty about not stopping to talk to a fundraiser. If you don’t want to stop, please just say ‘no thanks’ and the fundraiser will not take the conversation any further.”
All face to face fundraising collections covered by the agreement will be arranged beforehand through the PFRA. The PFRA will also deal with complaints and queries from the public relating to these collections. The PFRA can be contacted on 020 7401 8452
The new agreement comes into force on September 17