Mixed response to Home Office plans from Charity Finance Directors’ Group

3rd December 2003

The Charity Finance Directors’ Group (CFDG) today gave a mixed response to Home Office proposals for new regulations on how charities undertake public collections.

Replying to a Home Office consultation, CFDG welcomed the Government’s proposal that street and face-to-face collections should come under a modernised and comprehensive system of regulations. They endorsed plans for local authorities to have the power to refuse charities permission to undertake face-to-face collections where such collections would cause ‘public nuisance’ or where the area targeted did not have enough ‘capacity’ to sustain the collecting.

They warned however, that the planned ‘Lead Local Authority’ system, with local authorities assuming the Charity Commission’s current role in determining charities’ general suitable to collect, was unworkable.

Instead, CFDG urged that the Charity Commission should decide which charities were eligible, ensuring greater consistency and transparency.

Francis Ingham, CFDG’s Policy and Campaigns Manger, said: “The charitable sector warmly welcomes Government plans to modernise how collections are regulated. It is right that face-to-office collections should be regulated effectively - that’s manifestly in the interests both of the sector itself and of the giving public.

However, the plan for a ‘Lead Local Authority’ system is simply unworkable. It would be inconsistent and cost both charities and local authorities substantial amounts of time and money. A far better option is to let the Charity Commission decide whether individual charities should be allowed to undertake collections: that’s the course we’ll be urging on the Government.”

 

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