Don't miss a story sign up to Exmouth Journal's FREE daily newsletter CLICK HERE

Mayor’s anger over ‘charity muggers’

08:54 18 August 2014

Chugger

Chugger

Archant

‘Intimidating’ charity fundraisers, urging residents to part with their bank details, should be licensed or leave town, says the mayor.

Charity street collectors – sometimes known as ‘charity muggers (chuggers)’ - are a regular feature of the Magnolia Centre.

And many shoppers have been seen avoiding the town centre instead of ‘running the gauntlet’, writes David Beasley.

But unlike ‘passive’ charity bucket collections, they do not need an East Devon District Council licence - so there is no way to control how many and where they are.

Now, following concerns by the public to the police and a report by Charity Aid, which says it is the most ‘damaging’ form of fundraising, Mayor Bill Nash is calling for them to be locally regulated.

He said: “I’m very protective of Exmouth’s citizens. They are a very generous lot, always giving to charity. I support collections using sealed buckets. What I don’t support are charities that don’t need a licence.

“On the street, it can be quite intimidating. Before you know it, you have signed up to a bank mandate.”

Licences, he said, would mean EDDC could say when and where the collectors operate. “It should apply to all charity collections,” said Mr Nash. “We must be able to exercise some kind of control.”

Ian MacQueen, the chairman of Exmouth’s Chamber of Trade, said people could be put off shopping.

“I am all for charities fundraising,” he said. “But their method is more like a business marketing exercise, and when people are being pestered, that is a different matter.

“There is a difference between charity supporters standing passively with a bucket and people being accosted on the street.”

The ‘chuggers’ code of conduct, issued by the Charity Commission, says they should not ‘pressurise or harass’ or use ‘manipulative techniques’.

Some councils, like Runnymede and Hartlepool, have banned them. Others, like Winchester, limit them to a day a month, while Bedford and East Cambridgeshire issue permits.

Peter Quinn, chairman of Charity Aid, said that 90 per cent of people were against the practice. Many charities hired firms to fundraise for them, taking over £100million a year from donations.

He said: “They’ve brought words like intimidation and hard sell into what used to be a noble calling. Volunteer groups are unanimous in opposing it.”

An EDDC spokesman said, because the collectors did not need a licence, the council had no direct influence over their activities.

He added: “We do ask charities to inform us when they are planning to operate in a town or shopping centre so we can ensure that only one charity operates at a time and that their activities do not clash with licensed flag days.”

Any complaints, he said, should be directed to the charity, the Charity Commission or the Public Fundraising Regulatory Authority (PFRA).

● What do you think? Should charity collections like this be banned or does the practice provide a much-needed service? Email exmouth.letters@archant.co.uk

1 comment

  • If you are accosted just say no thank you in a frim and polit manner

    Report this comment

    Nightwalker

    Tuesday, August 19, 2014

The views expressed in the above comments do not necessarily reflect the views of this site

Other News Stories

Sarka Andersonova (left) of Carousel Childcare in Budleigh with some of the children. Ref exb 20-16TI 1155. Picture: Terry Ife

Budleigh Salterton parents face a race against time to save the town’s early years child care provider from leaving the town.

Read more
The annual Race for Life challenge at Westpoint

The organisers of a Race for Life event held in Exeter at the weekend have hailed the annual challenge a success.

Read more
Yesterday, 12:30
Bassetts Farm School

Youngsters at four primary schools in Exmouth have had a donation of footballs from a town club.

Read more
Yesterday, 06:30

Fairy magic caught the imagination of youngsters as they searched around a trail for miniature doors hidden around Phear Park.

Read more
Saturday, July 23, 2016

District council bosses have made a U-turn on a decision to not replace a seat at a Budleigh Salterton bus shelter.

Read more
Friday, July 22, 2016
Branscombe primary school children were among other local school's who scooped a prize in the school's garden competition presented by Lady Cave and organised by Sidmouth Rotary. Ref shb 28-16SH 2067. Picture: Simon Horn.

Branscombe Primary School pupils are among the winners of a gardening competition.

Read more
Friday, July 22, 2016
Dinosaurs in Manor Gardens. Ref exe 29-16TI 4617. Picture: Terry Ife

Exmouth’s dinosaur invasion is spreading fast, with the prehistoric creatures now popping up at the Manor Gardens and on the seafront.

Read more
Friday, July 22, 2016
Cyclists from CDE raised £4,000 for FORCE

A group of cyclists from Clinton Devon Estates (CDE)have raised more than £4,000 for FORCE cancer charity, writes Daniel Wilkins.

Read more
Friday, July 22, 2016
car driving fast into forest.

Exmouth’s chairman of the Chamber of Commerce has followed business leaders in calling for Devon County Council to go ahead with proposals to expand the A303 at Monkton, near Honiton.

Read more
Friday, July 22, 2016

Conservatives have achieved a double success at by-elections held in Littleham on Thursday.

Read more

Local Weather

Partly Cloudy

Partly Cloudy

max temp: 21°C

min temp: 12°C

Most Read News

Great British Life

Great British Life

Useful Links

Advertise in the Paper
Submit a Story
Subscriptions Order
Competitions
Photo Orders
Family notices
iwitness24
Google Plus
Facebook
Twitter
Reader Travel

Family Notices 24

Read Online

Image
Read the Exmouth Journal e-edition E-edition

Newsletter Sign Up

Local business directory

Exmouth's trusted business finder

HOT JOBS

Show Job Lists


Find planning applications