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New guidance for commercial-charity textile collections to make licensing fairer

New guidance for licensing officers is being drawn up to ensure that commercial textile collectors in partnership with charities are not wrongly denied licences to collect door to door.

Guidelines are being drawn up for licensing officers by the National Association of Licensing Enforcement Officers to clarify regulations on door to door textile collections in the 1939 House to House Collections Act .

Textile Recycling Association national liaison officer Alan Wheeler said: “There have been some refusals for licences where there shouldn’t be.”

The Act currently states that officers can refuse to grant a licence if they deem that the amount of money going to a charitable purpose is not enough. This is causing confusion among officers who are comparing charities which collect themselves with charities partnered with commercial collectors.

Some officers have not been granting licences to commercial collectors in partnership with charities, believing that the percentage of profits actually given to the charity is not enough in comparison with a charity which carries out its own collection and seems takes 100% of the profit.

The argument is that although the charity keeps 100% of the profit, not all of it goes to a charitable purpose because much of the profit is used to cover the cost of the collections – the same way that commercial collectors take their share of the revenue to cover costs.

Further action on bogus collectors and textile theft from door-to-door collections is also taking place, with a meeting of stakeholders taking place in the Cabinet Office on 10 January.

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