You may not be aware that it is illegal to collect money or to sell articles for the benefit of charitable or other good causes, in a street or public place in the Derbyshire Dales, without first obtaining a street collection permit from the District Council. Street collections are sometimes known as ‘bucket’ collections. It is also illegal for a charity to arrange a house-to-house collection of items (usually unwanted clothes and bric-a-brac) without either a House-to-House Collection Licence, or an exemption order from the Cabinet Office from the need to obtain a licence.
A Street Collection Permit allows a Collector to raise money for charities etc. and should not be confused with street trading. Street trading is where someone is running a business selling goods or services on the highway, such as a mobile catering unit operating in the street at food fairs, Christmas markets, village fetes, etc.. In these circumstances a street trading consent would be required from the District Council if the location was covered by the Council’s Street Trading Order.
House-to-House collections are regulated by the House to House Collections Act 1939. This Act requires the promoter to obtain a licence from the Council before a collection can be carried out. The Council must grant a licence on application unless one of the grounds set out in the Act for refusing the licence apply.
On average we issue around 100 Street Collection Permits every year and approximately 15 House-to-House Collection Licences. These are granted to Collectors acting for national or local charities and other good causes, subject to compliance with the Regulations adopted by the District Council. The District Council does not have powers to charge for the issue of either a Street Collection permit or House-to-House Collection licence, so the cost of administering the scheme cannot be recovered from application fees as is the case with many other types of licence.
Understandably, last year nearly all of the 98 Street and House-to-House Collections planned to take place in 2020 were cancelled as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The District Council is not legally required to have a formal Policy in place for dealing with these permits and licences, but we see the merit in formalising an informal practice that has been operating successfully for a number of years, and it will ensure that the permits and licences continue to be granted fairly and consistently.
In January 2020 the Council's Licensing and Appeals Committee approved a draft Charity Collections Policy document so that a formal consultation exercise could be carried out.
We are currently consulting with:
- all permit and licence holders who have held charity collections over the last 2-3 years;
- the relevant statutory authorities (including the Police, Trading Standards, DCC Highways),;
- the District Council's Policy, Legal and Community Safety teams.
- the District Council's Elected Members, Town and Parish Councils/Meetings, and members of the Public.
We are particularly interested in hearing from people living, working or visiting the larger towns, where sometimes during the Summer there can be a collection for a different charity or good cause on several days of every week, weather permitting.
The consultation process in respect of the Draft Policy document started on Monday 4th January and will expire on Thursday 25th March 2021.
Any responses received by that date will be analysed and a report will be submitted to the next meeting of the Licensing and Appeals Committee, which is currently scheduled to take place on Thursday 15th April 2021. The Committee will consider a revised draft Policy, taking account of any comments received during the consultation.
If you wish to make any comments on the draft Policy please email them to firstname.lastname@example.org
or post them to: Eileen Tierney, Licensing Manager, Regulatory Services, Derbyshire Dales District Council, Town Hall, Matlock, Derbyshire, DE4 3NN.