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Charitable collections

Applicants are strongly urged to complete online applications as the default position.  Many Council staff are working from home and post is not being opened as frequently, therefore applications posted to us may not be received or considered promptly. Should you be making a representation to an application please email this to us.  The licensing team can be contacted at licensing@spelthorne.gov.uk.

Street Collections

Street collections which involve collecting money or selling goods in any street or public place for the benefit of charitable or other purposes require a permit issued by the Council. Failure to have permit for such a collection is an offence.

Many organisations like using street collections and the Council endeavours to manage this demand to ensure the days available are allocated in a reasonable way. The Council has adopted a Icon for pdf policy which can be downloaded [194.3KB].

While a street collections permit is required for collecting money on the streets, direct debits are not considered to be money in law: they are 'promises of money' at a later date. Direct debit collections on the street do not therefore require any licence or permit.

House-to-House Collections

Face-to-face fundraising carried out door-to-door by visiting householders is required to be licensed as house-to-house collections cover the collection of 'money or other property'. In these circumstances, a House-to-house collections  licence is required.

Other types of face-to-face fundraising for direct debits (such as that done at festivals or in the workplace) do not require any form of licence - just the permission of the site owner. And, at the moment, neither does 'prospecting' - a type of 'two-step' face-to-face activity where a campaigner will collect names on the street for a follow-up telephone call a week or two later.

Many organisations like using street collections and the Council endeavours to manage this demand to ensure the days available are allocated in a reasonable way.

Street and house-to-house collection criteria

The Council will not:

  • usually permit more than one collection per year by an individual or organisation
  • issue permits to an individual or organisation, which fails to provide adequate information to enable them to consider their application properly, this includes any information that might lawfully be requested by the Council in addition to that given on the application form
  • issue permits to an individual or organisation whose aims do not appear to be charitable or of a closely allied nature
  • issue permits to an individual or organisation whose collectors are paid more than it considers being 'reasonable expenses'
  • normally issue a further permit to an individual or organisation that has cancelled a street or house-to-house collection in Spelthorne at short notice (less than one week), or on more than one occasion in the last three years
  • normally issue permits to an individual or organisation that has held an unlawful street or house-to-house collection within this area, or that of another local authority
  • normally issue permits to an individual or organisation who has broken the Street/House to House Collection Regulations set by this Council, or those of other local authorities within the last five years, or where it is reasonably suspected that the individual or organisation might do so
  • normally issue a permit to an individual or organisation that has previously submitted a returns form for a collection that has taken place in the borough showing that no money was received

The Council will:

  • take into account information or advice supplied by the Police or other relevant bodies in deciding whether to grant a permit
  • will take into account any decision by another local authority to refuse permission for the individual or organisation in question to hold a street or house-to-house collection, and the reasons for it

Please note, we no longer issue collector badges.

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