Consideration was given to the report presented by Alan Pogorzelec, Licensing Manager, which detailed how the licensing of house to house collections, whilst governed by national legislation, provided for local discretion. It was considered that a clear and transparent policy would assist applicants’ understanding of the process and facilitate consistent decision making by the Council.
All applications for House to House Collection Permits were considered by the Council’s Licensing Board and this report sought their views in readiness for a further report to the Cabinet Member for Waste, Roads and Community Safety seeking approval to consult on the draft policy prior to implementation.
It was noted also that any applicant aggrieved by a decision by the Council may only appeal to the Secretary of Stage within twenty-one days of being given the notice of the decision.
Background and general information regarding to house to house collections was highlighted.
It was important to note, however, that many local and national charitable organisations relied upon the funding that was allocated to them as a result of house to house collections and, therefore, the policy must strike the correct balance between ensuring that permits were only granted in appropriate circumstances and providing proportionate application criteria that did not introduce unnecessary barriers to for legitimate and well-meaning individuals and/or organisations.
Following consideration of this policy by the Licensing Board, any comments or suggestions would be incorporated into the policy and a report prepared for consideration by the Cabinet Member for Waste, Roads and Community Safety. There would then be a period of public consultation prior to the introduction of the policy (subject to the agreement of the Council’s Executive).
The Board in considering the current Policy took account of the regulatory framework for house to house collections, the application process, granting and refusal of house to house collection permits and the consideration of financial information.
The Board welcomed the opportunity to comment on the House to House Collection Policy and raised a number of queries. These related to:-
· Consistency of decision making.
· Percentage of allocated amount to the collection beneficiary.
· Appeals process.
· Reduced numbers of face to face collections.
· Identification of permit holders.
· Collections from business premises for charitable purposes.
· Need to ensure process was clear.
· Addressing concerns of the Board for consistency.
· Capacity of the Licensing Team to cope with demand and the potential to charge for administration costs.
· Risk of unlawful collections and enforcement activity.
The Board, in asking a number of questions, were happy for the draft House to House Collections Policy to be updated and forwarded to the Cabinet Member in due course. However, in doing so asked for the following to be incorporated:-
· A clause to remove an application from collecting organisations should they fail to provide the necessary information.
· That in order to be consistent the amount allocated to the collection beneficiary should be no less than or exceed 80% of the total amount collected.
Resolved:- That the draft House to House Collections Policy with the comments above be forwarded to the Cabinet Member for Waste, Roads and Community Safety seeking approval to consult on the draft policy prior to implementation.