It is illegal to hold street collections such as collecting money or selling articles for charity or other purposes, in a public place, without obtaining a Street Collection Licence from the council first. If such collections are contained within private property (for example, shop doorsteps or car parks etc) this licence is not applicable.
Street Collection Licences are under Section five of the Police, Factories, etc (Miscellaneous Provisions Act 1916), as amended by the Local Government Act 1972 and Schedule 29 of that Act.
The council has a set policy for dealing with street collection applications. All applications for street collections in a given year must be submitted to the council by 30 November the previous year. Permits are then granted according to:
- Previous permissions
In exceptional circumstances, such as a local or national tragedy, applications may be submitted to the head of the council's neighbourhood and environmental service. They may also be submitted to the chair of the licensing committee.
House to house collections
House to House Collections Act 1939
It is illegal to undertake a "house-to-house" collection without a licence from the council. Nor should a collector bother any person to the extent of annoying them. And they shouldn't remain in, or at the door of any house after being asked to leave. The promoter of a collection must furnish an account of the collection in the form given by the council.
Door to door collection of money and/or goods must have permission from one of the following:
Home Office - Large national charities collecting nation-wide may be granted an exemption order. It is recommended that they notify the council when collecting in a specific area. But they are under no obligation to do so.
Police - People can apply to the police for a certificate of exemption to carry out very small collections for local charities. The police notify the council of any exemption certificates they issue.
Council - All other collections need a permit from the council. For example, a collection from pub to pub would need a permit. The council can only refuse permits on specific grounds. The person authorised to hold the collection must issue all collectors with identification badges and authority to collect.
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