Street collections

The provisions of the Police, Factories, etc (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1916 as amended requires a person wishing to collect money or sell items for charity on the street to obtain a street collection permit. Applying for a permit is free.

In South Derbyshire, permits are obtained from South Derbyshire District Council.

  • Definitions
    'Street' - For the purposes of this act, a street includes any highway, and any public bridge, road, land, footway, square, court, alley, or passage, whether a thoroughfare or not.

    'Charitable purposes' - The ordinary meaning of ‘charitable purposes’ is given in the Charities Act 1960, s40, namely 'purposes which are exclusively charitable according to the law of England and Wales.' However, subject to compliance with the street collection regulations, we will use the wider interpretation contained in s11 of the House to House Collections Act 1939, which states that 'charitable purposes' means any charitable, benevolent or philanthropic purpose whether or not the purpose is charitable within the meaning of any rule of law.

    'Public place' - The Council hold the opinion that a 'public place' is one to which the public has a right of access and not merely access as matter of fact.

    To this end, we consider the collection of money or the sale of items taking place from a location where access to members of the public cannot be isolated would require a permit. If you intend to move from one premises to another such as from one pub to another pub you will need to register for a house to house permit.
  • Exemptions
    Exemptions to the above include:

    - A collection taken at a meeting in the open air (this was specifically excluded from the definition of a public place in the model regulations contained in SI 1974 No 140).
    - The selling of articles in any street or public place when the articles are sold in the ordinary course of trade/for the purposes of earning a livelihood. Therefore if selling in the course of trade you must not make any representation whatsoever that any part of the proceeds of the sale will be devoted to any charitable purpose.
    - If you wish to sell articles in the course of trade you should be aware of the provisions of street trading legislation adopted by the Council.
    - In light of the legislation covering the collection of ‘money’, those persons collecting from individuals via a direct debit commitment are exempt from the requirement to gain a street collection permit.
    - However, we would ask that anyone considering undertaking this type of activity informs us beforehand.
  • General principles
    - Charities must be registered with the Charity Commission or be a charitable organisation based within the District of South Derbyshire.
    - Wherever possible, only one organisation shall be permitted to collect per day. More than one organisation will be permitted if the collection is taking place in different areas of the District. Applications will be dealt with on a first come first served basis.
    - Organisations shall not be permitted more than one permit per year to carry out charitable street collections within the same location on a Friday or Saturday.
    - In general, organisations shall not be permitted to hold more than two collections throughout the District or part thereof during one calendar year. This shall be at the discretion of the senior licensing officer.
    - No payment must be made to any collector, or to any other person connected with the promotion or conduct of the collection, indirectly or directly, out of the proceeds of the collection without our approval. In general, payments to collectors are discouraged as it is contrary to the objective of maximising income to charitable institutions. Reimbursement of reasonable expenses is generally accepted provided that it is within an acceptable overall proportion of the total collected. All collections will be considered on an individual basis but all payments will be subject to our agreement in advance.
    - No animals are permitted to accompany collectors during the collection without our prior written approval.
  • Application process
    Let us know your preferred collection date or dates. If your preferred date or dates are not available, alternatives may be offered. Once dates are selected they are held for seven days to give you time to submit your formal application. If a completed application is not submitted within this time, we cannot guarantee the date or dates will still be available.

    Apply and pay for a street collection permit online or complete the street collection application form and return it to us with any relevant literature.

    The application for a permit must be made in writing no less than one month before the proposed collection. Applications are considered in order of receipt but not more than 12 months before the proposed collection date. We try to determine applications within 28 days of receiving a full application. Where there are grounds which could lead to a refusal, this period is likely to be extended to allow for Licensing and Appeals Sub-Committee to make a decision. We will write to you if this is the case.

    Contact us within 28 days if you have not heard from us, to check your application was correctly made and received.
  • On grant of a permit
    On receiving your permit it is important for you to consider the following:

    - that you have retained and understood the our street collection regulations controlling your collection;
    - that you have provided written authority for your collectors to take part in the collection;
    - that your collectors are over 16 years of age;
    - that you make arrangements for the return of the statement of income showing the details of monies raised to be countersigned by an accountant or other independent, responsible person.
  • Returns
    Within one month of the date of the collection, the person to whom the permit was granted shall forward the following return to us:

    - An account of the proceeds of the collection which has been certified by that person and either a qualified accountant or independent responsible person acceptable to us
    - List of collectors
    - List of the amounts contained in each collecting box.

    Complete a street collection return online or you can complete the street collections returns form. Failure to submit a return is an offence and may result in any future applications being refused.
  • Offences and penalties
    Any persons who act in contravention of any of our street collection regulations shall be liable on summary conviction to a fine not exceeding Level 1 on the standard scale (currently £200) in the case of a first or subsequent offence.
  • Refusal to issue a permit
    We reserve the right to refuse any application for a street collection permit, and it is likely that any previous contravention of our street collection regulations would result in such action being taken.
  • Appeals
    There is no statutory right of appeal against refusal of a permit.
  • Change of permit details
    Contact us if circumstances in relation to your permit change so that we can offer your date to another collector.