Council approves scheme to regulate 'chuggers' in Cheltenham

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A scheme to regulate the number of professional fundraisers in Cheltenham has been approved by the council.

Cabinet members agreed to limit the number of "chuggers" in the town to four, following complaints to the authority.

It also agreed to restrict fundraising activities to three days a week and limit them to a specific area.

Councillor Peter Jefferies said the scheme would be "up for a review after six months".

Currently the council is "unable to restrict face to face fundraisers" from visiting the town, according to the authority.

But by drawing up a Site Management Agreement (SMA) with the Public Fundraising Regulatory Association (PFRA), it can "manage access, location, times and numbers".

'Only one charity'

On Tuesday night, cabinet members agreed recommendations to allow "only one charity" a day and four fundraisers to collect on the "High Street, between Pittville Street and Winchcombe Street".

"There was some concerns about the number of charity fundraisers operating under these Site Management Agreements," said Mr Jefferies.

"Effectively it's quite a small area of the High Street they're operating in and the perception is there's quite a lot of them in a small space so it was resolved to reduce them to four.

"But the scheme is up for a review after six months - so if there isn't any impact of that or any other issues arising then we'll look at it again then."

A spokeswoman for Cheltenham Borough Council said the agreement "will be signed and sent to the PFRA and will take about eight weeks before it comes in to force".

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

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