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Tin collection row over charity based in Hong Kong
A ROW has erupted over which tin-rattling charity collectors are allowed to be in Worcester’s streets.
The city council has just granted 10 charities permission to have staff or volunteers standing around in the city rattling tins.
This year’s list includes a Hong Kong-based charity called the Animals Asia Foundation, which promotes protection of wild species of animals.
Councillor Alan Amos, speaking during a meeting of the licensing committee, said: “This charity is not based in Worcester, it’s not based in this country or even in this continent, it’s based in Hong Kong.
“Do we really want to be allowing any charity from anywhere in the world permission to come here? I know nothing about this charity and see no reason why we should accept it.”
Every year the city hands up to 35 charities the right to have tin rattlers in the city, meaning there is still room for another 25 to apply.
The debate divided the committee.
Coun Roger Knight said: “I think Alan’s right, it is not a question of morality here, more a question of geography – I don’t know much about this charity and see no reason to include it.”
But others argued it was not the role of politicians to be scrutinising the different charities, but officers.
Coun Paul Denham, chairman of the licensing committee, said: “This is a registered, legitimate charity that has been vetted by our officers – people will either give money to them or not, depending on their view.”
Coun Jo Hodges said: “We’ve got a policy in place, if a charity matches that policy it should be accepted, it’s not for us to put our own prejudices on it.”
Others said it was wrong to assume people in the city would not be interested in donating overseas. Coun Chris Cawthorne said: “It’s not up to us to draw a moral line over this – I also think some people may want to give money to animals in Asia.”
A vote to have the Animals Asia Foundation deleted was lost, meaning all 10 now have permission.
l Animals Asia Foundation was founded by Jill Robinson in 1998. It is devoted to the welfare of wild and urban animals in Asia and the conservation of endangered species.
The charity’s headquarters are in Hong Kong and it has offices in Australia, China, Germany, Italy, the UK and USA, as well as Moon Bear Rescue Centres in China and Vietnam. It employs about 270 staff worldwide.
The charity’s three flagship programmes are End Bear Farming, Cat and Dog Welfare and Action against Cruelty.
THE TEN APPROVED CHARITIES
Animals Asia Foundation
St Richard’s Hospice
Royal British Legion
Marie Curie Cancer Care
Macmillan Cancer Support
Queen Elizabeth Medical Centre
RSPCA Worcester and Mid-Worcestershire
British Polio Fellowship