Birmingham & Black Country

Birmingham 'chuggers' to be cut by 70% in trial

Image caption The council is to slash the number of charity fundraisers in the city centre at any one time

The number of street-based charity fundraisers or "chuggers" in Birmingham will be cut by 70% during a three-month trial.

At present, up to 42 fundraisers can work across the city centre at a time but the city council will reduce it to 12 from mid-June to September.

A report revealed "high levels of annoyance" from people being "constantly approached" resulted in them avoiding parts of the city.

New limits were agreed on Thursday.

Councillors and regulators agreed to the three-month trial, which will be reviewed.

Latest on "chugger" decision, plus more Birmingham stories

Currently, up to six chuggers can work across one of seven zones in the city centre at any one time - totalling 42.

Image caption Fundraising will be banned on New Street on Wednesdays and Saturdays during the trial

By comparison, Manchester has four zones with a maximum of five permits, so there are never more than fundraisers 20 in operation at a time.

The maximum number permitted in Liverpool is 10 and Sheffield 14.

Birmingham's 'chugger zones'

  • New Street - divided into two zones
  • Cherry Street/Union Street
  • Colmore Row
  • High Street
  • Broad Street
  • Corporation Street
  • Bull Street - relief site when another zone is unavailable

How many chuggers are permitted in your area?

The Public Fundraising Regulatory Association (PFRA) works with councils to manage street and door step fundraising - setting rules on how, when and where they can work.

The PFRA's plan will reduce the number of chuggers allowed in Birmingham to four a day across three patches - with just two areas on a Wednesday.

Face-to-face fundraising will be banned on New Street on Wednesdays and Saturdays.

And Broad Street and Victoria Square will be out of bounds.

Image caption The new limits will be policed by the Public Fundraising Regulatory Association

Chris Neville, the council's head of licensing, hopes a further reduction in chuggers will eventually be agreed.

Chief executive Peter Hills-Jones said: "We welcome the decision which will lead to a significant reduction in fundraising numbers for Birmingham."

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