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Councils' online diaries of charitable collection licences
(plus brief comments on their licensing pages)

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See also these related web pages :

,,Putting their diaries of collection licences on their websites is the single, most effective thing that councils can do to reduce the problem of misleading/bogus collections - so that charities raise more money.  It's extremely cost-effective.

Introduction - registers (dead entries, live entries) - and diaries of collections

Map of the UK [w200]
England & Wales in dark red

In practice, virtually every council in England and Wales keeps a 'register' (list) of charitable collection licences.  These days, they're almost always in electronic format (eg a spreadsheet or Word file).  Most councils keep them for many years - eg 10 years or more.  For more on this, see our "Registers of licences" page (link above).

Most entries in these registers are "dead" - in other words, the collection period has finished.

However, at any one time, roughly 5-10% of the entries in registers are "live" licences.  With these, either :

  • the collection period has started - but it hasn't yet finished =current collections, or
  • the collection period hasn't started yet =future collections

Calendar

Most councils keep a diary of these "live" licences - so they know which collections haven't started yet, or are in progress.  Also, councils are required to get 'returns' from each collector - soon after a collection is finished.  'Returns' are financial reports - they give the income, expenditure and net proceeds.  Having a diary helps the officers to ensure they get the returns.

Some councils (too few) have realised that it's helpful to everyone if they make the diary (or a summary of it) public - for example by putting it on their website.  Below, we've compiled an annotated list of some of these councils (we'll add more later).

We praise ALL the councils listed below for taking the trouble to add diaries of licences to their websites (and then updating them).  Any comments, suggestions or criticisms we make are meant to be helpful and constructive.

Regarding licensing, we only deal with house-to-house collections - it's our specialism.  However, we appreciate that most council licensing officers have to be generalists ("jack-of-all-trades") - knowing about a large number of licensing regimes (50 or so) - such as taxis, alcohol and entertainment (as well as charitable collections).  No one could expect licensing officers to be an expert in every field.

Finding council's diaries:  A good way of doing this is to search Google for charities which do collections, commercial collectors and applicants, such as :

  • Charities: Cancer Relief UK, Little Treasures Children's Trust, Tree of Hope
  • Commercial collectors: Audosta, Clothes Aid, Intersecond Ltd/Azzara/Do Not Delay
  • The names of the people applying on behalf of these organisations

Why councils' online collection diaries are crucial
- helping to raise more money for genuine charities
- reducing fraudulent collections

The key aim of licensing charitable collections is to ensure that only "genuine", good-value collections take place.  This is done by requiring charities/collectors to go through the licensing process - to scrutinise them (approving some collectors, refusing others).  Collectors which don't have licences can be stopped and (where appropriate) prosecuted.

However, how do people know which collections have a licence?  OK, in theory, you can phone your council's licensing department to find out.  But you can only do this during working hours (eg Mon-Fri 9am-5pm), and it's impractical for council staff to dictate the whole diary to you (word-for-word) over the phone.

Laptop computer

The solution is for each council to upload their diary of collections to their website.  Then anyone can look at it online, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week - instantly, free of charge.  Virtually all councils keep an electronic diary of collections for their own use.  So the cost of putting it on the Internet (and updating it) is minimal.  Indeed it can save the council money - as they don't have to use staff time answering routine phone calls from people asking for details of current licensed collections.

Putting their collection diaries on their websites is the single, most effective thing that councils can do to reduce the problem of misleading/bogus collections.- so that genuine charities raise more money  It's extremely cost-effective.

Precedents.  Numerous licensing regimes already have registers and/or diaries on the Net - such as alcohol/entertainment, gaming, Environment Agency waste permits, planning applications (see the Registers page and the Licensing regimes page).
Why not do the same with charitable collections?  The information in the collection registers and diaries is public information - it's not private or confidential.

Unfortunately, many councils don't put their diaries of collection licences on their website.
We'd like to see it recommended by central government or made compulsory.  It would be very cost-effective.  Our rough estimate is that for every £1 spent on it by local councils, over £100 extra would be raised by genuine charities - as it would greatly increase the scrutiny of collections, reducing fraud.

You can help . . .

Yellow triangle

. . . firstly, by checking whether your council's licensing department has an online diary of collection licences on their website.

Secondly, if your council hasn't put their diary of charitable collections on their website, diplomatically try to persuade them to add an online diary :

  • Refer them to this page on our website.
  • Give examples of councils which have done it already.
  • Explain that genuine charities will benefit from it.

If your council is reluctant, contact your local elected councillors, your MP, the media and local charities.  Let us know how you get on.  Contact us.

Statistics:  On this page (at Oct 2012) we've given details of around 30 councils with diaries of collections.  Our rough estimate is that around 80 (?) councils have diaries.  This represents around 25% of the 300 or so councils in England and Wales which are licensing authorities (see the Statistics page).  We'd like to see the figure at 100% - and we're confident that bona fide charities want this figure too.

Respected charities which will gain from this include :

Barnardo's charity logo   British Heart Foundation logo   Oxfam logo   Cancer Research UK logo
 

General comments on the diaries of collection licences below

Files and file formats used

Files - summary
  1. HTML web page - filename suffix (extension):  .htm .html .shtml .php .asp, .cfm etc
  2. Adobe Reader PDF file (Acrobat) - .pdf suffix
  3. Microsoft Word file - .doc suffix (and .docx - see note below)
  4. Microsoft Excel spreadsheet - .xls suffix (rare)
  5. Search software.  Example: Broadland District Council (Norfolk)
  6. Proprietary licensing software - eg :
    • CAPS.  Example: Southampton Council
    • LalPac.  Examples: Bury Council, St Edmundsbury Borough Council (Suffolk)
Files - details

1. HTML web page format:  This has unique advantages :

  • It's generic (not proprietary).
  • It's instantly viewable by your web browser (it doesn't need any add-ons and doesn't need to open in a new browser window).

Examples of web page diaries:  Guildford Council, Metropolitan Police.

Adobe PDF icon

2. Adobe Reader PDF files:  Most users have Adobe Reader software (it's free).
It's a universal 'output' format - using information produced by any editing software - eg Word or Excel.

3. Word files:  All the diaries we've seen use .doc format - except a couple that use .docx (".docx" isn't a good idea as you need Microsoft Office 2007 or later to read the file.)

4. Excel spreadsheet files:  If you haven't got spreadsheet software on your computer, you can download reader software (a viewer) for free from Microsoft.
Alternatively, install the "Open Office" suite (free).
Examples of diaries using Excel:  Doncaster Council, Northamptonshire Licensing Partnership

We haven't encountered any diaries using the following formats :
- ASCII text / .rtf / image / database

Some councils give all the collections in one file.  Others have several files (eg one per month).

Other issues

Structure:  free text or a table (ie rows and columns).  A table is preferable.

Calendar

Period:  This varies from 3 months to one year.

Period into the future:  This varies below from 4 weeks to one year.
Alas, some councils below are using a calendar year.  This means you get up to 12 months of future collections listed at the beginning of the year - but by December you can only see one month ahead.  They need to switch to a 'rolling forward' diary system - eg the current calendar year AND the following year.  We know of one council (not listed below) which has diary entries (bookings) for collections going three years into the future.

Coverage - house-to-house vs street:

  • Some have only house-to-house collection diaries on their website (our main interest).
  • Some have only street collection diaries.
  • Some have both house-to-house and street collection diaries :
    • Most of these are in separate lists.
    • With a few councils, they've put them together in one list (eg Selby Council).

Data included in the diaries

  • Who / when / where:  Virtually all of the diaries give :
    • who = name of the charity
    • when = dates from/to
    • where = location/geographical area (within the council's boundary)
  • House-to-house or street collection?:  Almost all diaries include this information.
  • Type of collection (money vs clothes):  Only a commendable few break down the house-to-house category - eg into money, direct debits, goods/clothing/textiles.  Yet this aspect of the diaries is crucial.
    Examples: Bedford Borough Council, Forest of Dean Council, Wigan Council.
  • Some helpfully give the names of both the charity and the commercial collector.
    This too is crucial (especially with clothing collections).
  • Plus icon Minus iconReturns:  Alas, only a few give 'returns' information
    =the sum of money raised, expenses deducted and net proceeds (=profit).  Examples: Guildford Council, Runnymede Council.
  • NEOsNational Exemption Orders (NEOs):
    • Many of the diaries still refer to the Home Office.
      However, responsibility for exemptions was transferred to the Cabinet Office (in 2006).  So, references to the Home Office are confusing - it would be helpful if the councils amended their websites accordingly.
    • Similarly, many councils still refer to "Home Office Exemptions" (HOEs).
      They should be calling them National Exemption Orders (NEOs) instead.
    • There's an official 'master' List of the Exemption Orders on the GOV.UK website.  Unfortunately, only a few council websites have included a link to it.
      See our page on National Exemption Orders for a web link to the official List.
      • Some council websites don't mention the Exemption List at all.
      • Some councils have a copy of the List on their website (which may be out-of-date).
      • Some suggest you phone the council to find who's on the List (an inefficient idea).

QA

Quality of data

  • Some of the diaries have been carefully compiled and proof-read.
  • Others could be fine-tuned - for instance inconsistencies such as charity-then-collector for some entries, but collector-then-charity for other entries.
  • Finally, there are one or two which are far from perfect - giving the council a poor image.
    However, half a loaf is better than none . . .

Often, it's not really the fault of the officers compiling the diary - they haven't had specialist training in databases or presentation of information.  Also, sometimes (alas) it's delegated to inexperienced, junior staff.  And in one case, we discovered that the (well-meaning) compiler was dyslexic.

Quality of data - some hints and tips (and an offer of expert help) . . .

  • One golden rule is, when you enter data in a list or table, don't do it in isolation.  In other words, check other entries to make sure you're being consistent.  For example, if a charity is exempt, choose a self-evident phrase or abbreviation - and then stick with it - whether it's "exempt", "Exemption Order", "NEO" or whatever.
    Be totally consistent with UPPER/lower case, spelling, punctuation and spacing.
     
    This matters all the more nowadays because of using computers to search for/find information.  Humans can adjust for minor inconsistencies, but computers tend to look for exact matches.  Example: ClothesAid vs Clothes Aid.
     
    With spelling etc, use the standard/accepted version.
    For instance it's Macmillan charity (not MacMillan).
  • If things are meant to be in a particular order (eg A-Z or by date or number), keep checking to ensure they're kept in perfect order.
    With 2 or more words, decide whether to use letter-by-letter or word-by-word sorting.
  • Don't re-invent the wheel - look at other councils' efforts and see how they've done it.
    "Imitation is a form of flattery".  This saves taxpayers' money.
  • If things aren't clear, feel free to add explanatory notes to help people who aren't familiar with your system - including a key to any abbreviations you've used.
  • Get in the habit of proof-reading your own work.
    Pretend someone else has done it and try to 'tear it to pieces'.
  • In some cases, it helps to use a spell-checker (but don't rely on it for all errors).
  • Get the spelling right for licence versus licensing - in other words when to put a letter "c" in it and when to put an "s" in it.  See the Myths and misunderstandings page for guidance.
  • Use the words licence and permit correctly (never let it be said we're pedantic) :
    • charitable house-to-house collections have licences
    • charitable street collections have permits
  • Don't take criticism "personally" - so long as it's well-intended, constructive and fair.
    Welcome it; see it as useful feedback.  No-one gets everything right all the time.
  • Test your efforts on colleagues, and then on people from outside - eg colleagues in other departments or friends/relatives.  A "fresh pair of eyes" can spot errors and ambiguities quickly which might take you hours to notice.
  • . . . And if it helps, send it to our good-natured information expert in CharityBags - who will scrutinise it and give you suggestions in strict confidence.  Contact us

Councils' web pages on licensing

As well as commenting on councils' diaries of collections, with some entries below we've made comments about their web pages dealing with licensing of collections.

Their web pages are well-meaning.  However, with some councils' pages, there's room for improvement :

  • It would help if they :
    • mentioned the laws concerned - the 1939 Act, the 1916 Act, Regulations etc
    • added links to the legislation (referring to the www.legislation.gov.uk   website, not the superseded sites such as www.opsi.gov.uk).
  • With house-to-house (H2H) collections, it would help if they referred to licence (not permit).
  • Cabinet Office logo [w390]With H2H exemptions, references to the Home Office should say Cabinet Office.
  • Home Office Exemption (HOE) should say National Exemption Order (NEO) instead.
  • Some pages are designed only for the organisations/businesses making applications for permits/licences.
    It would help if they added a section aimed at the public on bogus/illegal collections - what they are, how to spot them and how to take action to get them stopped.  For example, see :
  • It would help if they gave links to useful, relevant websites and organisations, such as :
    • the Cabinet Office, Charity Commission, Institute of Fundraising (IoF), Fundraising Standards Board (FRSB), Public Fundraising Regulatory Association (PFRA), Charity Retail Association (CRA, eg for details of local charity shops), Action Fraud, Scambusters, the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA, adjudications on misleading collection leaflets) . . . and (if we dare say it) CharityBags.
       
      Action Fraud logo 144x80      Charity Commission logo 190x110      ASA logo 104x57      
       
      Cabinet Office logo 390x80  Charity Retail Association logo 478x81
       
  • There are too many errors on some websites.  For example :
    • At Oct 2012, one council's website has a nice photograph of a filled house-to-house clothing collection bag - but it's on the wrong page.  It's at the top of their licensing page on street collections (it should have been on their page on house-to-house collections).  So, anyone looking at the street collections page is misled into thinking that clothing collections are licensed as street collections.
    • Another council has a section on National Exemption Orders for house-to-house collections.  This has a well-meaning link to the Charity Commission document CC23 on Exempt charities.  However, this document deals with a different type of exemption altogether (exemption from the need to register as a charity).
    • Several councils' websites say that H2H National Exemption Orders (NEOs) are issued by the Charity Commission - this is incorrect.
    • In relation to street collections, some sites refer (in error) to the Charities Act 1992 (rather than to the 'Police, Factories, etc ... Act 1916').

List of the councils' diaries of collections which we've compiled below (A-Z) - a summary table

COUNCIL COUNTY
Ashford Borough Council
- see our Councils' registers of licences page
Kent
Bassetlaw District Council NEW Nottinghamshire
Bedford Borough Council Bedfordshire
Blackpool Council Lancashire
Brentwood Borough Council Essex
Broadland District Council Updated Norfolk
Bury Council
- see our Councils' registers of licences page
Greater Manchester (NW England)
Castle Point Borough Council Essex
Corby Borough Council
- see Northants Licensing Partnership
Northamptonshire
Daventry District Council
- see Northants Licensing Partnership
Northamptonshire
Doncaster Council South Yorkshire
East Northamptonshire Council (ENC)
- see Northants Licensing Partnership
Northamptonshire
Eastbourne Borough Council East Sussex
Elmbridge Borough Council Surrey
Erewash Borough Council NEW Derbyshire
Exeter City Council
- see our page on the Council's licensing register
Devon
Forest of Dean District Council NEW Gloucestershire
Guildford Borough Council NEW Surrey
Harrogate Borough Council
- see entry immediately below this table
North Yorkshire
Kettering Borough Council
- see Northants Licensing Partnership
Northamptonshire
Mid Devon District Council Devon
Milton Keynes Council Buckinghamshire
New Forest District Council NEW Hampshire
North Norfolk District Council Norfolk
Northamptonshire Licensing Partnership
(a consortium of 5 districts/boroughs) NEW
Northamptonshire
Portsmouth City Council (PCC)
- see our Councils' registers of licences page
Hampshire
Runnymede Borough Council Surrey
St Edmundsbury Borough Council Suffolk
Selby District Council NEW North Yorkshire
Sevenoaks District Council (SDC)
- see our Councils' registers of licences page
Kent
South Derbyshire District Council Derbyshire
Southampton City Council Hampshire
Tandridge District Council Surrey
Three Rivers District Council Hertfordshire
Tunbridge Wells Borough Council
- see our Councils' registers of licences page
Kent
Vale of Glamorgan Council NEW South Wales
Warwick District Council Warwickshire
Wellingborough Borough Council
- see Northants Licensing Partnership
Northamptonshire
West Lancashire Borough Council Lancashire
Wigan Council Lancashire
   
Metropolitan Police Service
(they license charitable collections in Greater London, excluding the City of London) NEW
Greater London
   

 
Firefox browser icon    

 
Note:
  With the table above, you can re-sort it by the second column (A-Z by county) and/or filter it using the free TableTools2 add-on with the Firefox browser.

 
Other councils with diaries of collections include . . .

Note:  So far, we haven't added separate entries for these councils below.     NEW

  • Harrogate Borough Council (North Yorkshire)  www.harrogate.gov.uk  
    - "House to House Refusals-granted list.doc.docx" (at Sept 2012)
    =Three 3-column tables: Refusals, further information awaited, permits granted
    Brief but meaty.

The councils' diaries of collections (A-Z)

Note - updating:  If you work for one of the councils below and you amend your web pages/diaries in response to our comments, please let us know and we'll amend our comments below accordingly.  Contact us.

With each entry below, we've added the date when we scrutinised their diaries. Since then, the council may have changed their diaries and website.
However, we hope our comments below are a useful guide to the issues in general.


Bassetlaw District Council (Nottinghamshire) - lower tier

= Worksop, Retford etc.   www.bassetlaw.gov.uk  

At July 2011, Google took us to a 60-page agenda of the Licensing Committee, with useful lists of licences - a PDF file.

At Oct 2012, their introductory licensing web page only lists "street collections".  However, when you go to this "street" page you find they've also got information on charitable house-to-house collections (and direct debit mandate collections).  This is confusing.  In licensing, the term "street collections" has a special, narrow meaning (under the 1916 Act) - namely 'static' (stationary) collectors (eg in shopping centres).  House-to-house collections are different - see the 1939 Act.

On this page, they've put a link called "Monthly Street Collections" to a file.
Unfortunately, this is in proprietary ".docx" file format (needing MS Office 2007+) - not the more compatible format of ".doc" or ".pdf".
We had to convert the file to ".doc" format (using an online utility) before we could read it.  It turned out to be a single-page Word document, headed:
  "Street collections, house to house collections and direct debit mandate authorisations :    collections : October 2012".

There were 2 house-to-house collections listed, of which one was for clothing :

  • "Monday 1st October - Saturday 20th October 2012
    Collecting throughout Bassetlaw : DB COLLECTIONS fundraising on behalf of The Air Ambulance Service to prevent the loss of life, alleviate sickness and aid recovery through the provision of a Helicopter Emergency Medical Service."

The entry above thus gives:     dates / area / collector / charity 

Alas, it appears there's no information on the website about :

  • collections more than one month ahead
  • relevant legislation (the 1939 Act, the 1916 Act or any Regulations)
  • National Exemption Orders (NEOs)

There was a helpful note as follows:  "If you have any concerns of unauthorised collections taking place then please report them to the Licensing Enforcement Officers on 01909-. . ."


Bedford Borough Council (Bedfordshire) - unitary

Bedford Borough Council: House Collections Register  

We looked at this register on 22 Dec 2011.

This register has a very useful table - with eight columns - as follows :

Col Column heading Example (month: June 2011)
1 Name of Individual Holding the Licence Pauline Ann Mason
2 Name of Charity or Fund Benefitting East Anglian Air Ambulance
3 Permit No: 6
4 Period in which Collection is to take/took place 18-30/07/2011
5 Area of Collection Whole Borough
6 Collection for Money/Goods/Other Clothing
7 Total Value Collected £1794.00
8 Total Value of Deductions £1363.44

The register has some excellent (unusual) features :

  • It lists the type of collection (column 6: money/goods/other) - Hallelujah.
  • It lists the finances (columns 7 and 8: value collected and value of deductions).
  • It tells you which collections have a National Exemption Order.

There are 37 collections listed.  They are all for the period Jan to Aug 2011.  We're puzzled why there are no entries after Aug.  So we assume they're not intending it to be a diary of current/future collections, alas.

It would help if the register gave the name of the collection company as well as the charity.
They do give the name of the individual, but this is of little use to people.  For example there's a collection listed by PACE [charity] - with the name of the individual (Mr William Souvatzoglu).  We know he's the boss of GT Recycling Initiatives Ltd (who collect for PACE).  But why not spell this out?  After all, when you get a bag from PACE, the text printed on it refers to the company (GT Recycling) - it doesn't name the individuals running the company.

In one case, they've listed a collector ('Gold Fish Textile Recycle Ltd') but they don't say which charity it's for.  Also, we don't understand why it says £0.00 in the "total value of deductions" column.

Another entry just says "Care2Give" - but this a commercial collector - there's no mention of which charity is involved.  The sum raised (£22,000) is larger than all the other collections put together.  The "value of deductions" figure is given as £0 - is this correct?

In summary, we suggest the Council do the following :

  • add a column for name of collection company
  • add a column for profit (=net proceeds) (column 7 minus column 8)
  • extend the table to include collection licences up to the present and into the future
  • tidy up/standardise the indications of National Exemption Orders (NEOs)
    (some just say n/a , some say HOE, some say Exempt)
  • improve the quality of data entry

However, these are minor points - it's a good register overall.

Update:  Since making the comments above, the Council have improved the register.


Blackpool Council (Lancashire)

House to house collections permit > Publications   web page

At 13 Dec 2011, there's a 6-page PDF file on this page called :"Calendar of house to house collections 2011 onwards".  
It lists collections up to 2015 inclusive*.

It's a table with four columns:      Month / Charity / Dates / HOE* 
HOE stands for Home Office Exemption.

The entries in the Charity column take the form of: charity (collection co and individual)*.
Example: Tree of Hope Childrens Charity (SOS Clothes Ltd – Gorodnicenko Mantas)

Direct debits are indicated*.  However, there's no other indication of type of collection (ie cash vs goods).

*We've asterisked the items above which are useful/above-average.

Blackpool's website also has a list of street collection permits (it's also a PDF table).


Brentwood Borough Council (Essex) - lower tier

We looked at their website on 4th Dec 2011.

Alas, there's no house-to-house diary.

However, there is a "Street collection diary"  
It's a web page.  Each entry has 3 components:     date / charity / location 

At 4th Dec 2011, it listed collections for Aug-Dec 2011.  Typical entries (re Oct 2011) :

"SAT 1ST - GUIDE DOGS - SHENFIELD, SHENFIELD STATION
 SAT 8TH - MUSCULAR DYSTROPHY CAMPAIGN - BRENTWOOD HIGH STREET"

We suggest they :

  • present it as a table (so it's easier to read)
  • add a collector column
  • use lower case
  • put a house-to-house collections diary on their website too

Broadland District Council (Norfolk) - lower tier

www.broadland.gov.uk         "House to house collections"  

At Dec 2011, there were three 1-page Adobe PDF files (landscape format) - one per month (the current Quarter).  Below is an extract from their Oct 2011 file :

Date Charity Collection Type Locations
 31 Salvation Army (exempt) H-H NR10, 3, 4, NR11 7, 8 [etc]
 24-30 Cure Leukaemia H-H All Broadland

At 10th Oct 2012, things were more sophisticated.
There was a fancy, interactive "House to house & street collections register" with five columns (the Status column is new) :

Type Date(s) Charity Collection area Status
House to house 01/11/2012 - 30/11/2012 Make-A-Wish Foundation All of Broadland Exempt

The register above had 188 records (rows), of which 151 were house-to-house and 37 were street collections.

  • You could only view 25 records at a time - scrolling up and down using 4 arrow buttons.
    We found this a bit cumbersome.
  • You could select house-to-house or street collections or both - a nice facility.
  • You could specify date, location and/or charity name.

We were puzzled that there weren't any of the obvious clothing collection names there.

It's a nice register.  However, it would help if it included the following information :

  • Type of house-to-house collection (money or clothes)
    - the two types are very different
  • Collector (eg Clothes Aid Ltd)

Castle Point Borough Council (Essex) - lower tier

www.castlepoint.gov.uk     =Canvey Island, Hadleigh, South Benfleet and Thundersley

We looked at their website on 28 Oct 2012.

Castle Point - 'What's on: Calendar of Events' page

http://apps.castlepoint.gov.uk/cpapps/index.cfm?fa=calendar  

This calendar lists various types of events taking place in the Borough (7 categories).
They're colour-coded - eg Council meetings (dark blue), street collections (pale green).  Their 'street collections' category includes charitable house-to-house collections.

You can view the calendar in two ways :

  • As a "wall calendar" for each month (a table of 5 rows, plus 7 columns for Sun-Sat).
    Each event has a colour-coded small square.  If you hover your mouse over any of these squares, a popup tooltip box appears, with a description.
    Example (15 Oct 2012, tooltip):
    • "House to House collection Intersecond Ltd Collecting for Mercy Ships"
    If you click on a square, it takes you to an "Event details" page.
  • As a list, with successive months - each row being an event on a particular day.
    If you click on any event (row), it takes you to an "Event details" page.
    Example (Event details page):
    • "House to House collection Intersecond Ltd Collecting for Mercy Ships
      Date: Mon 15 Oct 2012 to Fri 19 Oct 2012 9.00 - 17.00
      Location: Whole Borough
      Event Details: Used clothes collection"
    It displays events up to Nov 2017.

House-to-house clothing collections listed include :

  • Intersecond Ltd Collecting for Mercy Ships
  • Troop Aid House to House Collection
  • House to House collection Clothes Aid Collecting for NSCPP [sic, should be NSPCC]
  • House to House collection Clothes Aid Collecting for Make a Wish
  • House to House collection Clothes Aid for Papworth Hospital

Castle Point - Their licensing web page headed "Street and House to House Collections"

The section on street collections has the following link:
" A summary of the regulation relating to this licence"
This link is well intended.  However, it takes you to the Charities Act 1992 (on the www.legislation.gov.uk website).
In our view, this is incorrect.  The rules on charitable collections in the 1992 Act have never been implemented.  Instead, they should have referred to the Police, Factories, etc (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1916.  See the Acts and Regulations page.

There's no mention of H2H National Exemption Orders (NEOs).

There's no information about bogus collections.

Castle Point - Their Licensing Public Register (LalPac software)

This listed various types of licences - eg alcohol/entertainment.
There were 2 house-to-house collection licences.  In both cases the Name entry was: "Albert Sutton".
Unfortunately, there's no mention of which charity or collection organisation is involved.
However, when we searched Google for ' "Albert Sutton" clothing collection', we found there's an Albert Sutton who works for the Troop Aid charity.  The collection dates exactly matched those given on the "Calendar of Events".


Doncaster Council (South Yorkshire) - Metropolitan Borough (unitary)

See their Licensing >> House to House Collection Permit   page.

At 6 Dec 2011, this page had a link to a "House to House Collections Register".
Copy of this Register at 6 Dec 2011   (our thanks to the Council)
This is an Excel spreadsheet file.  There are 28 entries (rows).  The five column headings are :

  Expiry Date / Society Name / Registered Address / Collection Area / Permit Number 

The expiry dates are from 31 Oct 2011 to 31 Oct 2012 - a good range, well into the future.
They've chosen to use the word "Society" (rather than "Charity").
They call it " Register" - but don't forget it's only part of the Register (the live (diary) entries).

It's above-average quality.  However, it would be helpful if they did the following :

  1. Identify which collections are for clothes etc (rather than money).
  2. Add the name of the commercial collector to all entries (it's missing on a few of them).
  3. Make it clear whether the address relates to the collector or the charity.
  4. Identify which charities have National Exemption Orders (NEOs).
  5. Add the start dates (they list only expiry dates at present).

Eastbourne Borough Council (EBC, East Sussex) - lower tier

www.eastbourne.gov.uk  

At 17 Oct 2012, on the "House to House Collection Licences" page, there's a link to a file called :  "HOUSE TO HOUSE COLLECTIONS 2012 CALENDAR"

It's a 3-page PDF file (output from Microsoft Word) - a table with 3 columns.  There are 85 collections (an unusually large number).  Below is an extract :

Date(s) Name of Charity/Society HOE/EBC
15 August 12 – 14 August 13 Macmillion Cancer Support/Clothes Aid HOE
5 November – 11 November Intersecond Ltd/ Mercy Ships UK EBC

HOE indicates Home Office Exemption certificate.
EBC indicates the collection has been licensed by Eastbourne Borough Council.

Good points :

  • It includes name of collector as well as charity.
  • It includes Exempt collections (and it indicates which ones are Exempt).
  • It includes explanatory notes (explaining HOE and EBC).

Our suggestions :

  • Date(s) column:  Some of the years are shown with 2 digits - eg "14 August 13".
    It would be better if they all used 4 digits - eg "2013".
  • Name of Charity column :
    • Ensure the charity/collector entries are always in the same order.
    • Ensure both charity and collector are present.
      Eg one entry just says "SOS Clothes Ltd".
    • Improve the quality of data entry - spelling etc.
      Eg Macmillion, Colthes Aid [sic]
  • HOE/EBC column:  Change it to (say) NEO/EBC.
    (Exemptions were transferred from the Home Office to the Cabinet Office in 2006.)
  • Add an indication of type of collection (money or clothes).

Elmbridge Borough Council (Surrey) - lower tier

www.elmbridge.gov.uk  

At Oct 2012, there's a file called: "House to House Collections Public Register"
It's a 2-page PDF file, output from a spreadsheet file called "house to house col pub reg.xls"

It's landscape format, with a table of 5 columns :

  1. Name of Charity Collecting for
  2. Area of Collection
  3. Permit Number
  4. Start Date of Collection
  5. End date of Collection

There are 7 collections listed - 5 of which are Little Treasures Children's Trust.

We suggest they add the following information :

  • name of collector
  • type of collection (money or clothes)
  • returns

It appears they don't list collections by charities with National Exemption Orders.

There's also a "Public Register: List of all permits currently issued for Street Collections".

There's a useful "Charitable Collections Policy" document - a 13-page PDF file.


Erewash Borough Council (Derbyshire) - lower tier

www.erewash.gov.uk  

Their diary / register

At December 2012, there's a useful file on their website, headed :
"House to house collections register 2012"

It's a 3-page Acrobat PDF document (output from Microsoft Word) with a table of 5 columns and 44 rows (collections).  Extract :

Name of charity and/or collector Collection area Licence number/Type Collection dates Exemption / Direct Debit
Tree of Hope / SOS Clothes Ltd All of Borough 2015 - Clothes 10 Sept - 10 Nov  
Rotary Club of Church Wilne Ockbrook/ Borrowash/ Draycott 2019 - Money 11-21 Dec  

 
It's a nice register :

  • Many of the entries include the name of the commercial collector (eg Clothes Aid [Ltd]) as well as the charity.
  • The Type of collection (money or clothes) is indicated (in column 3) - this is very useful.

The Council's "Charitable collections" web page

There's a helpful link to the Cabinet Office's list of National Exemption Orders (NEOs).

There's a useful section aimed at householders headed "Bogus Charity Clothing Collections".

Links:  There are helpful web links to 7 organisations - the IoF, PFRA, the Charity Commission, CharityBags, FRSB, CRA and the Cabinet Office.

There's a PDF file called "Street collections register 2012".
It's a 5-page table with 5 columns.

Elsewhere on the Council's website there are some useful, meaty (unusual) documents on enforcement policy, for example :

www2.erewash.gov.uk/moderngov/documents/s2764/EnfPolicyAppendix1.pdf  
= "Enforcement Policy" (draft v4, Oct 2008) - 14 pages

These documents deal with enforcement generally.  However, they're also useful regarding illegal charitable collections.


Forest of Dean District Council (Gloucestershire) - lower tier

www.fdean.gov.uk  

At Oct 2012, their licensing page on house-to-house collections has a link entitled :
"Diary for House to House Collections"

This loads a document headed: "House to house collections calendar 2012"
This is a PDF file, output from a Word v2010 document, with 17 pages (landscape format).
There are 12 tables, one for each month of the year.  They have 7 columns. Below is an extract :

June [2012]   

Lic. No. Collector & Name of Charity Area of Collection Type of Collection Date From Date To Exempt
H82 East London Textiles for Little Children’s Trust Cinderford, Coleford, Lydney & Newent Textiles 25th 30th No
/ SALVATION ARMY Forest Of Dean Money     YES

This is an excellent diary :

  • It gives the name of the collector as well as the charity (where different).
  • It includes collections by charities which have a National Exemption Order (NEO)
    and it has a column indicating whether each is Exempt or not.
  • Best of all, it gives the type of collection (with 3 categories) :
    • money
    • textiles
    • "Direct debit face to face collection no licence needed"
    It's unusual to see "type of collection" listed in a house-to-house diary - but we feel it's crucial information.  Full marks to Forest of Dean Council.

The licensing page includes a helpful link to the Cabinet Office's List of Exempt charities.
They link to the copy on the NationalArchives.gov.uk site (which is slightly out of date).
It would be better if they linked to the up-to-date 'master' copy on the GOV.UK website - see our page on National Exemption Orders for details.

Some minor points - it would help if they did the following :

  • change references to the Home Office to the Cabinet Office
  • change the word permit to licence

There's a commendable paragraph on potentially illegal collections :

"If a resident wishes to check whether a house to house collection has a permit they may check the diary above.  If a collection is taking place that does not appear to hold a permit, please contact us as soon as possible with details of any vehicle involved, if possible."

Guildford Borough Council (Surrey) - lower tier

www.guildford.gov.uk    At October 2012, their website has the following web pages :

  • "House to house collection returns 2011"
  • "House to house collection returns 2012"

The "returns 2012" page has a web table of 6 columns.
Below we've listed the headings and some typical entries :

Dates of collection Charity Collecting organisation Home Office Exemption Amount raised Amount deducted for expenses
1 Feb - 29 Feb Azzara Do Not Delay Intersecond Ltd No £480.25 £371.91
8 Oct - 14 Oct Little Treasures Children's Trust East London Textiles Ltd No Awaiting Return Awaiting Return

The two "returns" pages are high quality and helpful.

However, we'd suggest the following minor changes :

  1. Slightly rename the pages so it's clear they're a diary of collections - not just details of returns.  Eg (say): "Charitable house to house collections 2012 (including returns)"
  2. Indicate the type of collection (cash or clothes).
  3. Change "Home Office Exemption" to (say) National Exemption Order.
    Change HOE to NEO.
    Add a note to explain that (since 2006) the Cabinet Office has been responsible for NEOs (not the Home Office).
  4. Add a column for Net proceeds (ie amount raised, less deductions). This is the key figure.

Mid Devon District Council (Devon) - lower tier

At 4th Dec 2011, the Licensing > Charities   page has a link to a one-page Word file called "Charity Collection list".
It's headed: "Charitable Collections in Mid Devon:
Street and House to House Collections
Week commencing Monday 21 November 2011"

Each entry (line) has four parts:   type of collection | charity/collector | area | date 
Example :

"House to House – Clothes Aid, Make a Wish – Whole District – until 1/1/12"

We suggest they add the type of house-to-house collection (money vs clothing).


Milton Keynes Council (MKC, Buckinghamshire) - unitary

(a) Charitable house-to-house collections

At Oct 2012, we looked at the licensing page for house to house collections.  We couldn't find a diary or register.

However, Google took us to a file on their website with details of house-to-house collections for the previous year (2011) :

www.milton-keynes.gov.uk/licensing/documents/House_to_House_spreadsheet_2011.xls  

This is an Excel spreadsheet.  There are 12 worksheets - one per month (Jan-Dec).
Each sheet has 7 columns.  Below is an extract from the Oct 2011 sheet :

Date Received Applicant Name Charity Area of collection Date Collecting from Date Collecting to Permit Number
2011-03-11 Mr Antanas Dzinga, SOS Clothes Ltd Tree of Hope Whole Borough 2011-08-22 2011-10-16 113663

 
(b) Charitable street collections

At Oct 2012, we looked at the licensing page for street collection permits.
Near the bottom, it states :

The public register of the current Street Collection Permits that have been
issued is available by clicking on the following link:
 
Street Collection Permit - Public Register

This Public Register lists collections for 2012.  This too is an Excel spreadsheet.
There's a single worksheet, with 12 sets of columns, one set for each month of the year.  There are 31 rows for the days of the month.  Some thought has gone into producing it - eg colour-coding :

www.milton-keynes.gov.uk/licensing/documents/C_-_Street_Collections_2012.xls  


New Forest District Council (Hampshire) - lower tier

At Oct 2012, there's a web page headed :

"New Forest District Council
Licensed House to House Collections Register"

Below is a link to it :

www.newforest.gov.uk/licact/HouseCollections.cfm  

This is a plain (but effective) web page.  There are no notes; it just consists of the heading and a web table of 3 columns as follows (we've included one entry) :

Charity name and area covered Collection start Collection end
East London Textiles Ltd
(for Leukaemia & Lymphoma Research) - Whole Area
01/02/2012 31/12/2012

With the first column, as well as (1) charity name and (2) area covered, it includes (3) the name of the commercial collector (where appropriate) - which is helpful. 
So, in effect, it's a 5-column table.

The quality of data entry is good and the entries are consistent.

It would be helpful if they added the following information :

  • the type of collection for each entry (money or clothes)
  • which collections have a National Exemption Order (NEO)
  • returns information (total income, costs, net proceeds)

Exemptions. The Council's page on house-to-house collection licensing states that exemptions are obtained from the Charity Commission.  This is one of several (well-meaning) council websites we've seen that (incorrectly) indicate that the Charity Commission is responsible.  Exemptions are obtained from the Cabinet Office (not the Charity Commission).  It's disturbing that incorrect information like this can continue on a website for years without anyone spotting the error.

There's a very useful page called "Registers and Pending Applications"  
This has helpful links to the H2H Register described above (and to a street collections Register).  However, we're puzzled by the heading above these links, which says "Charities Act" :

  • Firstly, it doesn't say which Charities Act - 1992, 2006 or what?
  • Secondly, it seems to be inappropriate - surely they should be referring to the dedicated 1939 and 1916 Acts?
    We suggest they omit the word "Act" (so it just says "Charities").

There's also a useful street collections register on their website.


North Norfolk District Council (NNDC) (Norfolk) - lower tier

www.north-norfolk.gov.uk  

Their house-to-house (H2H) register

At 12 Oct 2012, we're pleased to see there's a house-to-house register.
It's a file called: "House to house collections register (by month and area)" :

www.north-norfolk.gov.uk/files/lic_register_housecollection.pdf  

It's a useful 2-page PDF file (output from Crystal Reports) with 17 collection entries.

There's 4 columns:       Charity / From Date / To Date / Licence No 

Also, they give the area covered, and we're pleased to see they give the name of the collector.

We suggest they add the type of collection (money or clothes).

Their house-to-house collections web page

It says: "In certain circumstances, responsibility for issuing a licence has been referred to Town/Parish Councils."
This is intriguing - we've never come across this before (delegation).

There's a section as follows :

". . . Some of the larger charities, e.g. Christian Aid, Help The Aged, have a Charity Commission Exemption from applying for a licence.
 
The Home Office issue Exemption Orders to large charities which make regular House to House Collections."   [bold added by us]

This section is well-intentioned - but it needs to be amended :

  • The Charity Commission have never issued Exemptions.
  • The Home Office transferred issuing of Exemption Orders to the Cabinet Office (in 2006).

There's a note saying collections by charities with Exemption Orders are not listed in the Council's PDF register.  However, we feel it would be helpful if they did include them (most councils do).  It's confusing for the public if they only have information about licences.

Also, it would help if they gave a link to the list of National Exemption Orders (NEOs) on the Cabinet Office website (see link above).

There's also a street collections register on their website (it's a PDF file too).


Northamptonshire Licensing partnership - lower tier

www.east-northamptonshire.gov.uk/licensing  

Information as at Oct 2012.

This is a consortium of 5 district and borough councils :
- Corby, Daventry, East Northamptonshire, Kettering, Wellingborough
The partnership is based at the Thrapston offices of East Northamptonshire Council (ENC).
(By the way, Northampton Borough Council isn't part of the partnership.)

There's a downloadable file called:
"Licensing Collection Diaries House to House Collections"

It's an Excel spreadsheet file (.xls).  You can view it online and/or download it.
It has tabs for 5 worksheets - one for each of the districts/boroughs (A-Z).
Each sheet has 9 columns (A-I).  They're headed as follows :

Title First Name Surname Address1 Charity From Date To Date Area Home Office Exempt?
Ms Monica [xxxxxx] Audosta Ltd Woodlands Cancer Care Saturday, September 01, 2012 Friday, August 30, 2013 Whole of Borough no

They use the Address1 column for the name of the collector.

It's a good, useful diary.  However, it would help if they did the following :

  • Add the type of collection (cash or clothes)
  • Change the heading of the "Home Office Exempt?" column to (say) "National Exemption Order?"

The website has a downloadable 9-page PDF document called:
"East Northamptonshire Council House to House Collections Policy"

The website also has a downloadable spreadsheet file of street collection diaries (which covers all 5 districts/boroughs).


Runnymede Borough Council (Surrey) - lower tier

"Public Charitable Collection Diary and Returns 2011"  

At Dec 2011, it's a table.  It includes two very useful columns headed :
- Total sum raised
- Expenses deducted from proceeds

After this table, there are two excellent lists, headed as follows :

"Please note that the following commercial clothing collections have been or are operating in the borough but have not been licensed or authorised to collect : "
 
"The Following Commercial Clothing Collection companies have been refused a licence to collect in this borough : "

This is one of the best collection diaries we've come across so far.  It oozes quality.

See also Tandridge District Council (also Surrey) for a similar diary - entry below.


St Edmundsbury Borough Council (SEBC, Suffolk) - lower tier

www.stedmundsbury.gov.uk     =West Suffolk (Bury St Edmunds, Haverhill etc)

(a) House-to-house collections register

At 15 Oct 2012, we were pleased to see that house-to-house collections were included in their "Licensing Public Register".  This uses software by LalPac Ltd   (a dedicated licensing package used by many councils).  LalPac is part of Idox plc.  The Council started using the software in 2011.
The register contains details of all types of licences - eg alcohol.

There are 10 house-to-house collection licences (all with "HH" prefixes).
There are 5 columns.  Below, we give the 5 headings and two entries :

Licence Number Name Issued Commences Expires
HH0007 Louise DUFTY 14/10/2011 01/11/2011 31/10/2012
HH0008 INTERSECOND LTD 02/07/2012 11/07/2012 07/07/2013

Eight of the 10 items in the Name column are individuals, not organisations (charities or collectors).  So the entries are more-or-less useless.  For example, with the entry above, who is "Louise Dufty"?  Which charity (or collector) does she represent?  Any collection leaflet or bag won't give her name.

With the two collections that do give the name of an organisation, they only give the name of a company - the commercial collector (Intersecond Ltd and East London Textiles Ltd).  So you still don't know which charity is involved (most collection companies collect for several charities).

It says: " Click the Licence Number for futher [sic] details".  However, when you do this, you get exactly the same information as in the table.

Assuming we've explored this register properly, it's a poor register.
(Their street collections register is better - see below.)

We suggest :

  • they change all the entries in the Name column to the name of the charity;
  • they amend (bespoke) the LalPac software by adding columns for :
    • name of collector
    • name of the individual (if they feel this is desirable)
    • type of house-to-house collection (money or clothes)
    • geographical area
    • comments ?

We've contacted LalPac Ltd and discussed the issues with them.
We've suggested that the company amend their software in relation to charitable house-to-house and street collection licences.

Alternatively, the Council could put the house-to-house register in a more flexible file format - eg an HTML web page, Word, Excel or PDF.  For more on this, see the 'General comments' section near the top of this page.

See our Councils' registers of licences page for details of a more-or-less identical house-to-house register (also using LalPac software) to be found on the website of Bury Council.  We've included a screengrab image.

(b) Street collections register

Charitable street collection licences are included in their register (code "SC").
With these, we're pleased to see there's an extra column headed "Operator".
This lists the name of the charity.
At 17 Oct 2012, there were 29 entries - eg Salvation Army, Cancer Research UK, Marie Curie Cancer Research.  The quality of data entry is good.


Selby District Council (North Yorkshire) - lower tier

www.selby.gov.uk     The information below is as at Oct 2012.

On their page called "Licence - house to house collections", there's a heading :
"List of Approved Collections within the Selby District 2012"

Beneath this is a link called "Approved Collections - doc".

This is a 4-page Word file - with a table of 5 columns.  Below is an extract :

Date Charity Type of collection Collection company (if different) Area(s) where collection will take place
16 May to 31 December 2012 Children’s Cancer & Leukaemia Fund (CALF) House to House Recycling & Management Services Ltd (R&MS Ltd) Selby District

Our comments :

  • It's unusual - it has house-to-house and street collections in the same table.
  • There are separate columns for charity and collection company (which is good) .
  • Charities with National Exemption Orders have the word "EXEMPT" in the "Type of collection" column.  These entries are beautifully consistent.
    (Their note below the table (on Exemptions) refers to the Home Office.
    It would be helpful if they could update this to refer to the Cabinet Office instead.)
  • They've been careful with data entry.
  • It would help if the table indicated which collections are for clothing.
    The commercial clothing collectors which we recognise here include (A-Z) :
    • Audosta Ltd, Clothes Aid, ClothesAppeal Ltd, East London Textiles Ltd, H B Textiles, Recycling & Management Services Ltd (R&MS Ltd), UK Export Trade, UK Recycling Assistance, Unicare Ltd
  • There are useful notes below the table, including :
    • "If you are aware of any collections that are being carried out within the Selby District area, that are NOT on the above list, please contact us by using one of the methods below: . . ."
      It's nice to see a council licensing department asking the public to report unlicensed collections to them.
  • At the bottom, it says:
    "For information on charities and collection companies visit http://www.charitybags.org.uk  "

Copy of the collections List (as at 6 Oct 2012):  House_to_House_and_St_Coll_120823.doc  

By the way, their introductory licensing page is innovative - they've helpfully split licences into categories, as follows :

  • Animal licences (7 types)
  • Entertainment licences (11 types)
  • Street licences (5 types)
  • Taxi and cab licences (2 entries)
  • General licences (32 types)

See our page on Licensing regimes for a similar approach - including some more suggestions for categories (eg health/personal care).


South Derbyshire District Council (Derbyshire) - lower tier

www.south-derbys.gov.uk  

There's a useful diary of house-to-house collections.

At Oct 2012, it's an Excel spreadsheet with 9 columns (A-I) and around 50 rows (collections).  Unusually :

  • It gives the address of each charity (in the form of four columns).
  • It gives the name of the individual (person) applying (the "Applicant" column).

Spelling, punctuation and case are good quality.

Our suggestions :

  • There's a column called "Charity", but unfortunately there's no collector column.
    Some of the entries in the Charity column are incorrect - they're the name of the commercial collector (eg Intersecond Ltd and Ragtex UK Ltd).  So you've got no idea of who they're collecting clothes on behalf of.
    So, we suggest they add a collector column.
  • Add the type of collection (money, direct debits or clothes).
  • Add an indication of which collectors are exempt (with NEOs).
  • In the two Date columns, some entries are in the order of day-month-year, but others are year-month-day.  We suggest they should all be in the same order.

Comments on their 'house to house collections' licensing page

  • It would help if they referred to licences (not permits).
  • They refer to Charity Commission exemption.  They should have said Cabinet Office.
  • They state: "The current list of house to house collection permits is shown at the bottom of this page".  Maybe it was at one stage.  However, as far as we can see, it's not on this page now - it's on the parent page called "Charity collections & street trade".

Their street collections page

At the bottom of this page, there's a link to an Excel spreadsheet file called:
"Street & House to House Collections Register - 11 June 2012 (22KB)"

This does indeed list house-to-house and street collections (14 and 21 entries respectively).  However, we're confused as to how this relates to the register/diary described above which only deals with house-to-house collections (with 50 or so entries).

The web pages and diaries here are well-meaning - but they need a radical overhaul.


Southampton City Council (Hampshire) - unitary

www.southampton.gov.uk  

Southampton City Council logo

At Dec 2011, their website has a sophisticated database of all types of licence.  It uses software from CAPS Solutions Ltd.  CAPS was founded in 1989.  It was acquired by Idox plc in 2007.  Idox also produce Lalpac licensing software (see St Edmundsbury Council and Bury Council above).

There's a search form.  This has a field called "Application Category".  We were pleased to find that this field's values include "house-to-house collection licences" and "street collection permits".

Selecting "house-to-house collection licences" gives 23 applications.
They're in reverse date order (date received) - from now, back to Aug 2008 (a period of 3.5 years).  However, it appears that the collection periods are all current/in the future (so it's just a diary of live licences - rather than a full register).  There's a table of seven columns :

Application Ref. Date Received Business Name Address Licence Details Status Click to view
             

We suggest they add the type of collection (money or clothes).

One entry is for "Little Treasures Children's Trust" (of Romford, Essex) - which must mean it's a clothing collection.
Clicking on "Click to view" gives seven tabs with further details - eg their address.  The "Agent details" tab has the name East London Textiles Ltd (and ELT's address).

Almost all the other 22 entries appear to be for cash.

Many/most are charities with National Exemption Orders.  The "Additional details" tab confirms this (with a line stating "Home Office Exempt: YES").  So, these aren't licences - they're just notifications by the charities of their intention to collect. 
Some relate to collections as far ahead as 2015 (ie 4 years' time).

We praise the council for adding house-to-house (and street) collections to their licensing database.


Tandridge District Council (Surrey) - lower tier

www.tandridge.gov.uk/environment/licences/  

At Jan 2012, there are five web pages under the heading "Charity collections" :

  1. Bogus charity clothing collections
  2. House to house collections
  3. House to House Collection Returns
  4. Street collections
  5. Street Collection Returns

2. The House to house collections   page :

This has a very useful section headed "Unauthorised collections".  Its introduction states :

"The following "Clothing Collections" are being made by organisations that do not have a current Permit or a Home Office Exemption to collect, or they are HOE but have not agreed their collection dates with the Council"

Below this is a bulleted [name-and-shame] list of 17 collectors/charities - including Intersecond Ltd, Hand of Help UK, Drops of Help Ltd, ANYA Ltd.

There are three surprising entries - namely British Heart Foundation, Clothes Aid/NSPCC and Cystic Fibrosis Trust.  These charities have National Exemption Orders (HOEs/NEOs) - but they haven't notified the Council of their collections.  The Council has told us that this is a frequent problem.  (Note: It would help if the charities in this category where identified in the list - eg by adding "(NEO)" after each one.)

Lower on their page is a table headed "Applications received".  This has four columns.
We give the headings below, with one example :

Date Organisation Area Exempt
10-15 October 2011 SOS Clothes Whole district  

At Jan 2012, there are 27 entries in this table, covering the period Jan to Dec 2011.
Fourteen of the collections have an "HOE" in the "Exempt" column (=52%).

Below this is a table for 2012 (with three entries so far).

3. The House to House Collection Returns   page has a table with six columns.
We give the headings below, with one example :

Date Charity Collecting
organisation
Home Office
Exemption
Total sum
raised
Expenses
deducted from
proceeds
10-15 October 2011 Tree of Hope SOS Clothes   £46.20 £18.47

At Jan 2012, the table has 26 entries, covering the period Jan to Dec 2011.
Fourteen of the collections have a "Y" in the "Home Office Exemption" column (=54%).
Three of the collections are for direct debits.
We suggest they add the type of H2H collection (cash or clothes).
There are four clothing collections by SOS Clothes (for the Tree of Hope charity).
All (?) the other collections appear to be for cash.

We understand Tandridge pioneered the idea of adding this type of table to their website (summarising the accounts).  It's lovely idea.

The two tables above ("Applications received" and "Collection returns") are excellent.  However, it might be better if they were combined into one table (as some other councils have done).  This would add only one column ("Area") to make seven columns (as three columns are the same).  Combining them into one table would make it easier to maintain/update, eliminate inconsistencies and make it easier for users.

One minor point - it would help if they replaced the term "Home Office Exemption" (HOE) with (say) "National Exemption Order" (NEO) to reflect the change in 2006 to the Cabinet Office (and/or added a brief note of explanation about this).  The Home Office now have no involvement in charity issues.

See Surrey Police arrest three over clothing collections   BBC News item dated 19 Aug 2011.  The police took action following a request from Tandridge Council.
For more on this, see our List of prosecutions of collectors page.

See also Runnymede Council's collection diary (above) which is based on Tandridge's design (and is also high-quality).


Three Rivers District Council (Hertfordshire) - lower tier

www.threerivers.gov.uk/Default.aspx/Web/Licensing1  

There's a "Diary of licensed collections" - it's a 5-page Word file.
At 4th Dec 2011, it covers the calendar year 2011 (12 months).
There's no diary for 2012 there yet - so it looks only 4 weeks into the future.

It's a table - with four (unlabelled) columns:     month / days / area / charity 
- The first two pages are street collections.
- The last three pages are house-to-house collections (including clothing).

We suggest they add the type of collection (money vs clothing).


Vale of Glamorgan Council (South Wales)

www.valeofglamorgan.gov.uk  

See file: "11-09-13 - House to House Collection Report Appendix C.pdf"
This comprises a file called "Appendix C.xls" - a table of 8 columns and 7 rows (collections).

This includes returns information - eg a column labelled "% Amount to charity".
This is the first time we've seen any council quoting the percentage.  We're impressed.`


Warwick District Council (Warwickshire)

Collections are located as follows :
Home>Your Council>Charities and voluntary groups>Charities>House to house collections

www.warwickdc.gov.uk/.../Charities/House+to+house+collections.htm  

At 23 Dec 2011, this page has links to two PDF files :

House to House collections in Warwick District for 2010   (PDF)
House to House collections in Warwick District for 2011   (PDF)
- both these files open in a new browser window

Each PDF file has 12 pages - one per month.  There are two columns:    date / charity 
Entries take the form of: charity c/o commercial collector.
Example: Woodlands Cancer Care c/o Audosta

Most of the entries are presented well.  However, there are some problems :

  • A few give only the collector's name - eg Ragtex UK Ltd, Care2Give Ltd, Textiles Solution.  So you can't tell which charity is involved.

Collections with National Exemption Orders are marked as "(exempt)".

We suggest they add the type of collection (cash vs clothing etc).

The text on the web page states that exemptions are obtained from the Home Office.
However, the Cabinet Office took over responsibility for exemptions in 2006.

Warwick's page on street collections has three PDF files listing collection licences for 2011, 2012 and 2013.


West Lancashire Borough Council (Lancashire) - lower tier

"House to house collections: Collections diary"  

At Dec 2011, it's a PDF file, with 12 pages (landscape format) - one per month.
It's literally a diary - with columns labelled: Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat/Sun - and a row per week.
Each entry gives up to five components :

     type of collection / collector / charity / licence ref no / area 

Example :

"House to House Collection - Little Treasures Childrens Trust - HTH0055 (All Borough)"

Wigan Council (Lancashire) - Metropolitan Borough (largely unitary)

"List of Approved Collections / Fundraising within the Wigan Borough"  

At Dec 2011, the List is a web page table.
Unusually, it gives the type of collection - which is very useful.
They do it using a column headed "Type of collection".

It's a good (above-average) diary.


Metropolitan Police (=Greater London)

Metropolitan Police logo

Charities section: www.met.police.uk/charities/  

The Metropolitan Police Service (=the MPS, =the Met) are responsible for licensing charitable collections in Greater London (excluding the City of London). 
For details, see our Regulators page.
(Outside of London, local councils are responsible for the licensing of collections.)

At mid-2012, we're pleased to see that the Met's website includes :

  • a list of charitable house-to-house collection licences.
    The link is called: "Licences issued"
  • a list of street collection permits. 
    The link is called: "Permits issued"

Their "Licences issued" list is a web page with only three columns :

       Charity / Borough / Collection dates [from/to] 

Our suggestions :

  • Alas, the collectors are not listed (eg Clothes Aid Ltd).
    We suggest they add a column called "Collector".
  • Some of the organisations listed in the Charities column are incorrect - they're the commercial collectors - eg Appco Group UK, Fundraising Initiatives.
    So you've got no idea of which charity they're collecting on behalf of.
    Adding a collectors column would avoid this problem.
  • Add the type of collection (cash or clothes).
  • Indicate which charities have National Exemption Orders (NEOs).
  • Add information on returns (income, costs, net proceeds).

 
Below - a bogus, unlicensed 'charitable' clothing collection leaflet

Bogus clothing collection leaflet - Rutex Ltd (company dissolved)