Coastguard Association refused permission for charity collections in Hartlepool after falling foul of council red tape

A charity has been refused a licence to carry out charity collections from houses Hartlepool after falling foul of restrictions.

Thursday, 27th June 2019, 4:30 pm
Picture c/o Pixabay
Picture c/o Pixabay

Charities who obtain the licence typically deliver plastic bags to local residents asking for donations to a good cause and residents then leave bags of donations on doorsteps to be collected – but they must agree to certain condition.

The Coastguard Association application was referred to the council’s licensing committee, which was due to hear from Deivydas Kristopaitis, acting as a collector on behalf of the charity.

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However Mr Kristopaitis informed officers he would not be turning up, leaving the committee to make a decision based submitted information.

Councillors and officers were unanimous in rejecting the application, stating not enough detail of proceeds to the charity were listed.

Coun Brenda Loynes said: “I would have preferred them to be here to answer questions and talk to us a little bit more because they really haven’t said an awful lot.”

To get a licence, applicants must prove a minimum of 75% proceeds from collections are donated to the good cause, or clearly state the percentage which will be donated on bags.

But as the Coastguard Association collectors make a flat £100 donation to the charity for every tonne of goods collected, regardless of the value of the goods donated, they could not meet the requirements.

Ian Harrison, council trading standards and licensing manager, said: “Because the council has a policy on the issues it’s for the applicant to convince the committee why a deviation from that policy should apply to them.

“I think on the basis that they haven’t been able to come today, and the rather brief information they provided on the email, I think it’s very easy for the committee to say they’ve just failed to convince you deviation is appropriate.”

Mr Harrison said the council committee previously made and exemption for the Great North Air Ambulance, which came to the committee on two occasions and explained their figures in detail.

He said the council’s policy is ‘fair and just’ and about keeping public confidence in the donations they make.