'Chuggers' face major clampdown

By Rob George Thursday 21 February 2013 Updated: 22/02 08:44

CHARITY collectors will be banned from Worcester city centre at weekends after councillors gave the green light to a new agreement on Wednesday (February 20).

The deal between Worcester City Council and the Public Fundraising Regulatory Association (PFRA) will only apply to those collectors who take people's direct debit details - so-called 'chuggers'.

Collectors will only be allowed in three locations - on the Shambles from M&S to Argos, on the High Street from HMV to WHSmith and from the old Waterstones shop to the Elgar statue.

Under the terms of the agreement, 'chuggers' will only be allowed to collect from 10am to 5pm on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays and only four will be allowed in the city at any one time.

Licensing committee chairman, Coun Paul Denham (Lab, Rainbow Hill) said: "I understand the Government approves of these sort of agreements and we are the 58th local authority to enter into a partnership with the PFRA.

"So it seems to me this arrangement is the best way forward at the moment.

"I feel very happy that we have come up with an agreement which I believe is one of the best in the country."

Coun Lucy Hodgson (Cons, Warndon Parish South) said: "I welcome this because I have been pestered on a number of occasions when I walk up the High Street.

"There has been a notable difference in the way they approach people recently so I think the voluntary code has worked."

But Coun Alan Amos said he felt the agreement did not go far enough and called for a report back on the situation once the agreement had been signed.

"The difficulty is it's still really not good enough because if you look at the report shoppers could still face having to get past four fund-raisers in close proximity to each other," he said.

"I appreciate it's the best we could get but the issue now is the implementation and enforcement of this agreement."

The deal is expected to be signed within the next week and will come into force by the end of April.

It will also be reviewed after the first three months.

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