No to “chugger” bye-laws & yes to voluntary agreements - Government
Local Government Minister Brandon Lewis today (25 June 2014) declined a request from Birmingham City Council to regulate all face-to-face fundraising in the city through a local byelaw.
The Minister said instead “…local authorities should work with the voluntary sector to agree precisely how and where high street fundraising should be conducted and that “…‘chugging’ techniques are deeply unpleasant but there are still many people who welcome the chance to donate to respectful fundraisers, therefore legal clampdowns should only be used as a last resort.”
A growing number of Councils are signing agreements with the Public Fundraising Regulatory Association (PFRA) to regulate “chuggers” on their behalf and research carried out by the Local Government Association has shown local agreements are working as the number of complaints has fallen in three-quarters of areas they are in operation.
In relation to the Ministers decision, the PFRA's Chief Executive, Sally de la Bedoyere said:
“We have a track record of success with over 90 councils when it comes to effectively managing street fundraising. The Government has recognised and endorsed this approach through their decision today and as ever we are ready to assist Birmingham City Council. We are hopeful that over the coming months we can work together in partnership to find a balanced and sensible solution.”