Problem charity collectors risk ban if ‘peace talks’ fail in Hove

Charity collectors may be moved out of a busy shopping street in Hove if they pester people too much.

Council chiefs may even use a by-law to ban them if talks fail to improve relations between the chuggers – or charity muggers – and shoppers and traders in George Street, Hove.

The problem was raised at a Brighton and Hove City Council meeting by Conservative member Andrew Wealls.

The Central Hove councillor told the council’s Neighbourhoods, Inclusion, Communities and Equalities Committee that it was “a big problem” and caused “a tremendous amount of distress”.

Councillor Wealls won the support of colleagues for tougher measures when he addressed the committee at Hove Town Hall yesterday (Monday 3 December).

Traders shared their concerns with him and fellow ward councillor Clare Moonan, a Labour member.

They said that the charity workers approaching people in the street were putting people off coming to the area and upsetting vulnerable people.

Councillor Wealls said: “When it was first brought to my attention, I didn’t realise it was that big a problem. Now I understand what a big problem it is.

“I have spoken to many of the traders and the charity shops where they have volunteers from vulnerable groups.

“Part of the challenge is the interaction with the volunteers, as the charities are essentially mugging them to donate to charity, causing a tremendous amount of distress.

“A lot of the time people do not have the confidence to not engage with a charity mugger.

“We walk past, but there are people who do not have that confidence. It is a problem many of us do not recognise.”

Councillor Wealls said that restricting charities to a smaller one-metre to two-metre area with a stand would help to resolve the problem.

Councillor Moonan agreed and said: “I have spoken to traders about how distressing it is.

“I regularly go up there and do get approached by chuggers. One is enough then you get a second and a third.

“Hopefully we have a solution to this problem.”

The committee agreed unanimously to negotiate a new agreement with the Institute of Fundraising, the professional membership body for charitable fundraising.

The institute works with councils to create site management agreements that set controls on when and where fundraising can take place

Its members are expected to stick to the agreements and are subject to spot checks.

Conservative councillor Ann Norman said that if the talks failed then the committee should consider bringing in a by-law for George Street – or a “public space protection order” which would give police the power to order chuggers to leave.

Her suggestion was also backed by the committee.

  1. Marcus Reply

    Ban them. George st is already the grim bit of hove. Awful area. Charity shops and pissed people. Grim.

  2. Wealls Reply

    I regularly get approached by puggers – political muggers. They knock on my door telling me I should vote for them, they appear all over the media, trying to take credit for anything good and blaming others for all ills. Not everyone has the confidence to ignore these Conmen and women, preying on the vulnerable with trite phrases and promises.

    Part of the challenge is the interaction with ordinary people, as the politicians are essentially mugging them to pay for whatever ill conceived scheme they come up with next, causing a tremendous amount of distress.

    We need to restrict their influence and not allow them to operate outside a small area. they certainly shouldn’t be able to interfere in the lvies of hard working people.

    We need some kind of overseeing body to ensure that they stick to their promises.

  3. Justin Reply

    We need some democratic means to sack politicians who fail to represent their constituents (which is all of them).

    I’d vote for anyone who succeeded in exposing, and then ending, the 300 year money-as-debt SCAM that impoverishes entire countries.

    Unfortunately, I fear such a person would not live for very long, which probably explains why none dare tackle the subject.

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