Wakefield Council introduces new system to manage city centre fundraising

Date: 10/10/2016
Ref: PR 8371

A new system to regulate fundraising in the city centre has been introduced by Wakefield Council.

Many charities make a vital contribution by providing valuable support to the most vulnerable people in communities.

In Wakefield concerns have been raised about how some face-to-face fundraisers in the city centre approach shoppers. Most fundraisers ask people for support in a polite way but concerns have been raised that a minority are not courteous and have upset some shoppers.

The Council has now decided to bring in a code of conduct, for charities which are requesting banking account details. Under the new rules the city centre will be split into two zones with no more than three fundraisers within each zone. Fundraising will be permitted between 9am -7pm, unless otherwise specified.

The Council is also working in conjunction with fundraising's national regulatory body, to help people to make a formal complaint if they are unhappy about how they have been spoken to by a face-to-face fundraiser.

Cllr David Dagger, Wakefield Council's Cabinet Member for Corporate Services, said: "Our priority is to ensure that that everyone who visits our city centre feels comfortable and has a good experience when out shopping or meeting friends.

"Most fundraisers are great ambassadors for their charities and they do a great job. But there are concerns that a minority can over-step the mark and have upset people.

"We decided to introduce this new code of conduct after we received feedback from the police, local business and the public. I hope this new system will give shoppers confidence that if they are unhappy steps will be taken to address the issue."

Under the new system complaints about face-to-face fundraisers can be emailed to the Council at marketshq@wakefield.gov.uk The complaints will be passed on to the Public Fundraising Regulatory Association, which regulates charities and under its rules has the power to investigate and issue penalties.

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