Promoters of charitable street collections due to take place in the Three Rivers District area must have been granted a street collection permit by the Council. Collections will include both standard collections, where volunteers collect cash donations in sealed containers, and sales of goods for charitable purposes.
It is often assumed that collections can be held in shop doorways or car parks and that they do not need a street collection licence because they are being held on 'privately owned land'. This is not true, as the legislation does not mention the ownership of the land or treat collections on 'privately owned land' as exempt from the licensing regulations. When a shop doorway or car park is open for trading it is a 'public place' because the public has access at that time.
Three Rivers District Council has made Regulations under the Police, Factories, etc (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1916, to regulate charitable collections of this type.
We aim to ensure that only one group is collecting in any area on any day, to ensure that charities get the maximum benefit from their collections.
To check if a particular area is available on a certain date prior to making your application, please contact us using the details at the bottom of this page. It is vital that applications for permits are made as early as possible, to ensure that your preferred day is secured.
On receipt of an application, we will review and consider the details given. We may refuse an application on any of the following grounds:
- the collection would not comply with our regulations for street collections,
- any proposed payments appear to the council to be excessive,
- collections have already been permitted in the locations applied for on or around the times requested,
- the charity has carried out an excessive number of collections in the area recently (so as to ensure that as many charities as possible are able to hold collections),
- the applicant is not a fit and proper person, by virtue of previous convictions for fraud or dishonesty offences,
- during previous collections, the applicant failed to ensure that the collection complied with the regulations, or
- the applicant has neglected or refused to provide all relevant information in connection with the application.
We will aim to process all applications within 28 days of receipt. Tacit consent will apply to this application type, meaning that you will be able to act as though your application is granted if you have not heard from us after 28 days.
Apply for a permit
You can apply for a permit and supply a return online on the GOV.UK website:
- Apply for a street collection permit (external website)
- Supply a return for a street collection (external website)
When applying for a permit:
- Submit your application at least 28 days before the intended day of collection
- Please give at least three alternative dates spread throughout the year if possible (Saturdays are generally oversubscribed)
If an application is granted, we will issue a permit allowing the collection to take place. The permit will specify the date, times and location of the permitted collection, and you must not collect monies outside of these times, or at any other location.
All collections must be carried out in accordance with the regulations made by us.
The Regulations include the following requirements:
- All collectors must be authorised in writing by the promoter to take part in the collection
- Collectors must be at least 16 years old
- Every collector must carry a sealed, numbered container for donations, clearly marked with the charity's name
- Collectors must not harass or annoy any person
- Collectors must remain stationary, and each collector (or pair of collectors) must be at least 25 metres away from other collectors
- Collections may not take place in the roadway (unless specifically authorised in connection with a procession)
- Collectors cannot be paid
After the collection
After your collection has taken place, you must:
- Make a return to us within one month stating the amount collected and expenses deducted. This must be signed by a chartered or certified accountant.
- Include a separate list of the collectors, together with the amount collected in each tin
- Publish a prescribed notice in a local newspaper
You will be refused a licence in future if you do not submit a return statement.
If you have a complaint about the way a street collection has been carried out, we would advise that in the first instance you contact the collection's organiser (or beneficiary charity). The best way to do this is by sending a letter or email. You can also contact the Fundraising Standards Board if you don't think the charity dealt with your complaint fully.
If you believe that an unlicensed collection may have taken place, or if a collection has been carried out in breach of our regulations, please contact us with the details, and we will investigate further.
If you have concerns about whether a charity is genuine or operating in accordance with charities law, please contact the Charity Commission.
For more information on street collections, please phone us on 01923 776611, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.