'Chuggers' in Gloucester could face stricter rules

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The number of days professional fundraisers can work in part of Gloucester is likely to be cut.

It follows complaints to the city council claiming some of the collectors are being too pushy and intrusive.

A spokeswoman for the Conservative-run administration said in the area around The Cross it was possible to be stopped four times in quick succession.

So-called chuggers - "charity muggers" - ask for bank details so people can make direct debit contributions.

At present anyone wanting to make a cash collection has to apply to the council for a permit.

'Collect more money'

The local authority can use the permit system to regulate the number of collectors out at any time.

"If too many different charities want to collect at the same time we can offer them advice on perhaps choosing a different time or location and this may help them collect more money in the long run," the council spokeswoman said.

"But the professional fundraisers don't have to give us any notice they intend to visit the city, how many people are going to arrive and where they are going to set up.

"We're looking into stopping them operating within four shops' width of The Cross and perhaps alternating what streets they can operate on and on what days.

"At present the city council is in talks with the Public Fundraising Regulatory Association (PFRA) to get them to draw up a code of conduct between the council and the various charities," she added.

The PFRA is the charity-led membership body which self-regulates all forms of direct debit "face-to-face" fundraising.

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