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Council pledges to monitor crackdown on street collectors
PATROLLING council staff will make sure a crackdown on Worcester’s chuggers is properly enforced – with bosses pledging to ensure shoppers get less hassle.
Worcester City Council’s licensing committee has unanimously backed a part-ban on the controversial face-to-face street collectors. During a debate at the Guildhall in Worcester, politicians said it was vital the new rule changes were enforced.
As your Worcester News revealed on Tuesday, chuggers will be banned on weekends and will only be allowed to operate on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. Only four collectors can be in Worcester at any one time and they will be restricted to certain parts of the High Street or the area between Argos and M&S in the Shambles.
Councillor Alan Amos said: “For me, the deal isn’t good enough. The ordinary shopper still has to get past potentially four of these people, but I appreciate it’s probably the best we can get.
“The issue now is all about enforcement. It’s about how we monitor it to make sure they stick to it.
“We need reports back to this committee on a regular basis. If complaints are made, we need to deal with them properly.”
During the debate, licensing chiefs said a system would be in place where the location and behaviour of chuggers was monitored regularly. Members of the public are also being encouraged to call the Worcestershire Hub if they step out of line.
All the details will be sent back to the Public Fund-raising Regulatory Association (PFRA), which represents charities sending out the chuggers.
Niall McMenamin, senior licensing officer, said: “We will have to monitor it. There will probably be more complaints coming in as a result of the publicity this generates.”
Councillor Roger Knight, cabinet member for cleaner and greener, said: “It’s all about compliance but I believe the outcome we’ve got is a good one.”
Councillor Paul Denham, chairman of the licensing committee, said: “I feel happy we have ended up with an agreement which is one of the best in the country.”
He also said it was largely due to cross-party working, citing efforts from Tory councillor Jabba Riaz, who raised the issue last year.
The crackdown only applies to face-to-face collectors trying to entice people to sign up via direct debit. It does not apply to other charity collectors with tins.