Coastguard charity faces running foul of Hartlepool council collection rules

A charity bidding for a licence to carry out charity collections from houses in Hartlepool faces running foul of council rules.

Wednesday, 19th June 2019, 3:30 pm
Updated Wednesday, 19th June 2019, 5:35 pm
A Coastguard helicopter. Picture c/o Pixabay.

Hartlepool Borough Council Licensing Committee will decide next week whether to grant a ‘House to House Collection’ licence to the Coastguard Association.

Charities who obtain the licence typically deliver plastic bags to local residents asking for donations of clothing and other items such as books, shoes or anything of value in order to benefit a good cause or charity.

Residents are then asked to leave bags of donations on the street or doorstep which are then collected and transported to regional centres where they are sorted and sold.

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Any charity looking to carry out such collections must obtain a licence from the local authority.

However a policy passed in 2011 in Hartlepool states for an application to be approved the applicant must be able to prove a minimum of 75% of the proceeds of the collection are donated to the good cause, or alternatively clearly state the percentage which will be donated on bags.

But council bosses have stated the applicant said they cannot comply with the requirements as they make a flat £100 donation to the Coastguard Association for every tonne of goods collected, regardless of the value of the goods donated.

A report from council assistant director of environment and neighbourhood services Tony Hanson said Deivydas Kristopaitis, acting as a collector on behalf of The Coastguard Association, is to come to the committee to argue why they should be granted the licence.

It said: “As the applicant cannot comply with the council’s policy, they have asked to attend the Licensing Committee to explain why an exemption is appropriate to them.

“It is for the Licensing Committee to determine whether the council’s policy, as detailed above, should be deviated from and a ‘House to House Collection’ licence granted.”

The policy was installed in 2011 following a ‘significant increase’ in the number of collections being requested and the ‘limited benefits to good causes in some instances’, according to council bosses.

A decision will be made at the council Licensing Committee on June 26 at 2pm at the Civic Centre.