Chuggers to be reined in

Steps are being taken to manage the behaviour of paid street fundraisers often referred to as chuggers across towns in Cheshire East following complaints been made about their behaviour. Officers from Cheshire East Council and Crewe Town Councils together with Local Councillors are working with the Public Fundraising Regulatory Association (PFRA) to deliver voluntary agreements as a basis to resolve tensions and improving professional standards.

“We have had complaints from shoppers and local traders about the activities of some of the chuggers who are trying to collect direct debit details from passers-by. We are pleased that a co-ordinated approach is being taken.  We would not like to think that by regulating activities in Crewe, the chuggers would simply move to neighbouring towns without agreement” commented Councillor Kevin Hickson, Leader of Crewe Town Council.

“The problem for all towns is that there is no legislation that covers in detail the activities of ‘chuggers’. However, information at the recent meeting provided a great deal of positive information on the role of the PFRA with a voluntary code with sanctions. We will now look to a Cheshire East framework within which each town will specify its own requirements as a basis for discussions conducted under the guidance of the PFRA.”  (Cllr Rod Menlove)

“We are keen to promote the viability of our town centres. This initiative is intended to assist retailers who consider that shoppers might be deterred from entering their shops by the activities of ‘chuggers’ in the vicinity.” (Cllr Les Gilbert)

Steve Service, Outreach officer at the Public Fundraising Regulatory Association said: ‘We are pleased to be working with town centres across Cheshire East to get an area wide agreement in place to regulate direct debit fundraising. The right of Charities to seek a sustainable form of income must be balanced against the rights of the public not to be put under undue pressure to give. Following an extremely positive meeting with representatives from local town centres today, we are hopeful that an agreement can be reached early in the new year.”

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