THE DISTRICT council is clamping down on the number of chuggers operating in Bromsgrove town centre.
From April, only five of the charity collectors, who ask residents to set up direct debits for various causes, will be able to operate on the High Street and only then on Mondays and Wednesdays.
The restriction will be brought in using measures drawn up by the Public Fundraising Regulatory Association (PFRA).
If the agreement is not adhered to, the chuggers could face being excluded temporarily or permanently.
Unlike street cash collections, ‘chugging’ is not subject to statutory regulation and the new moves are aimed at striking a balance between the fund-raisers’ interests, retailers, shoppers and other visitors to the town.
Coun Rita Dent, the council’s portfolio holder for the Town Centre and Regulatory Services, welcomed the move and said: “While the council recognises the importance of this type of fund-raising for charities we also want to make sure people can visit the town centre without the fear they will be constantly approached to make donations.”
Steve Service, outreach officer at the PFRA said the organisation was delighted to be working with the council, adding: “The duty of charities to seek a sustainable form of income should not put the public under undue pressure to donate.
“This agreement will ensure the right balance is struck in the interests of local people.”
And the move was welcomed on our Facebook page with plenty of likes and comments.
James O’Horton said: “About time too. These people are not philanthropists, they get paid handsomely for signing people up to part with their hard earned money and that is why they can be so aggressive and persistent.”
Rob Ward questioned why it had taken so long, Claire Byfield described them as ‘relentless’ and Rebecca Wixey added: “Great news. Now if they could just do something about the low flying pigeons I’d be really happy.”
Complaints of breaches of the agreement can be made to the PFRA directly by calling 0207 401 8452 or to Worcestershire Regulatory Services (WRS) on 01905 822799. WRS will pass all complaints on to the PFRA to be responded to. The site management agreement can be viewed on the PFRA website www.pfra.org.uk.