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What does the law require?

You need permission from the Council if you intend to organise a public charitable collection, either in a street, public place or house to house.

'Public charitable collection' means a collection from the public of money for any charitable, benevolent or philanthropic purposes whether or not they are for a registered charity.

A street includes any highway or public bridge, road lane, footway, square, court, alley or passage, whether a thoroughfare or not. Public place includes any area which the public have access.

What do I need to consider?

Any person authorised by the relevant charity may make an application for a public charitable collection permit. The person submitting the application must be deemed a fit and proper person.

How will you deal with my application?

Applicants must complete the application form and submit it to the Licensing Team. A public charitable collection permit is free of charge.

An application must be:

In writing (including electronically)

Be signed by the applicant (including digital signature)

Made at least 28 days prior to the date of the proposed collection.

We shall refuse permission to hold a public charitable collection or house to house collection on any of the following grounds-


(a)   that the date, time, frequency or area of the collection would cause undue public inconvenience;

(b)   that another collection in respect of which permission has been granted or which is exempt is due to take place on the same or a proximate day;

c) that it appears to us that the amount likely to be applied for charitable purposes in consequence of the collection is inadequate having regard to the likely amount of the proceeds of the collection;

(d) that the organiser of the collection has been convicted of an offence under section 5 of the Police, Factories, etc. (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1916 or the House to House Collections Act 1939, or under regulations, or of any other offence which involves dishonesty or the commission of which would be likely to be facilitated by the grant of permission.

We may have to publish details of your application.

If your application is deemed non-contentious, we should be able to grant your licence without referring the decision to the Licensing Committee. 'Non-contentious' means any application which has not resulted in any objections, or representations of a serious nature, and where is no conflict with council policy. Contentious applications will be determined by the Licensing Committee.

We will attach conditions to any permission we grant or renew and we may take action to ensure that you comply with those conditions.

When will a decision be made?

We aim to make a decision on your application within 60 calendar days of you submitting to us all the documentation we require. This assumes that your application is not contentious. Your application will take longer to process if it becomes contentious (for example, if we receive objections or representations) and if that is the case we will keep you informed of the revised timescale.

What happens if you don't make a decision within the target time?

'Tacit authorisation' does not apply because there is an overriding reason relating to the public interest, namely the need to combat potential fraud. Therefore if you have still not received a decision after the target time has expired, your authorisation is not granted automatically. In such a situation, we will get in touch with you to let you know what happens next.

Please note that you must not carry on the activity for which you have applied for a permit unless or until you have been granted a licence.

What can I do if I'm not satisfied?

If you are unhappy with the way we have processed your application please contact us.

How does the Council handle objections and representations?

Find out more about objections and representations.