Regulator may need a special licensing division

The licensing of public fundraising collections may need to be managed by a new division of the Charity Commission, Andrew Hind, chief executive of the regulator, has suggested.

Under the Charities Act 2006, all public collections for charitable or benevolent purposes in public places will require a licence, and the commission has been given the licensing job.

"It may be that we need some kind of semi-autonomous division of the commission to undertake it, because it will be a different relationship when applying for licences than that charities have with the regulator," Hind said.

He also raised concerns about funding. "We are keen to make this happen, but this is the one area that requires significant amounts of money - we will need earmarked funding to do it," he said.

The commission was in "positive discussion" with the Office of the Third Sector, said Hind, and they will meet in the next two weeks to finalise details. Provisions for licensing are due to come into force by 2009.

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