Institute of Fundraising backs PFRA in chuggers row

Wandsworth Council should take complaints to the FRSB, says policy director

The Institute of Fundraising has backed the Public Fundraising Regulatory Association in its war of words with Wandsworth Council over street fundraising.

James Cousins, a Conservative party councillor in Wandsworth, south London, accused the PFRA last week of failing to tackle the "legions of chuggers" around Tooting Broadway.

However, the institute said it was "pleased to support" the role the PFRA plays in regulating face-to-face fundraising and criticised Wandsworth Council's approach in the light of Cousins' complaints.

"If, as the council suggests, businesses and residents have an issue with face-to-face fundraising, where is the evidence of these complaints?" said Louise Richards, director of policy and campaigns at the institute.

"Why has Wandsworth Council not taken these complaints to the Fundraising Standards Board, which runs the self-regulation scheme for fundraising bodies in the UK and adjudicates complaints against the rigorous best practice standards set by the Institute of Fundraising?"

Westminster Council also issued a statement on the same day as Wandsworth Council calling for action to reduce face-to-face fundraising.

Cousins previously wrote on his blog: "Perhaps the PRFA doesn't realise that two councils independently expressing concern – supported by huge numbers of residents – might actually be a sign that their chuggers are a real problem and councils, quite rightly, want to do something about it."

Wandsworth Council did not respond to calls from Third Sector.

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