Round-Up Of Recent Developments

Article by Ms Oenone Wright and Mr Guy Greenhous

Originally published November 2003

Charities Bill

We are still awaiting the draft Charities Bill following the Government's response to the Strategy Unit's Report "Private Action, Public Benefit"

Public Charitable Collections


In September the Home Office issued a consultation document on public collections which runs until 7th December and is available at:

Integrated Licensing Scheme

The creation of a new integrated licensing scheme for public charitable collections was one of the recommendations in the Strategy Unit's Report and the intention is to create a fair and cost effective system of licensing which facilitates responsible fundraising but deters bogus collections and prevents nuisance to the public.

Local Authorities to Issue Licences

All licensing (including that for face to face direct debit solicitation) will be dealt with by local authorities. Only the smallest local collections will be exempt.

Not only will face to face fundraising require a licence (much of it is currently unlicensed) but charitable collections in supermarket forecourts and station concourses will also require one as licences will be needed where collections are made on land commonly used by the public as a highway, not just on actual public highways.

Lead Authority System

National Exemption Orders (which allow national organisations to undertake house to house collections without having to apply for local licences) will be replaced by a "lead authority" system. This will reduce the administrative burden where house to house and street collections are made in more than one local authority area.

Right to Appeal

Where a licence is refused (either for a house to house collection or for a street collection) any appeal will be heard in the Magistrates Court.


The Charity Commission has updated its publication "Charities and Insurance" (CC49). This, together with guidance on the procedure for obtaining authority to take out trustee indemnity insurance (OG100), gives trustees more information on the type of cover that is required, risk management and trustee indemnity insurance.

Charity Commission Powers

The Charity Commission's powers in respect of the prevention and detection of crime have been extended by the Regulation of Investigative Powers Act 2000.

Funding Initiatives

The Treasury has announced details of...

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