Most local authorities with site-management agreements for street fundraising report fewer complaints

Mehboob Khan of the Local Government Association says survey results demonstrate success of the partnership with the Public Fundraising Regulatory Association

Mehboob Khan
Mehboob Khan

Almost three-quarters of councils with site-management agreements with the Public Fundraising Regulatory Association have reported a fall in complaints about face-to-face fundraisers, according to new research by the Local Government Association.

The LGA signed a joint national agreement, called Making the Pledge, with the PFRA in November 2012 to work together to improve standards in face-to-face fundraising.

The PFRA has 75 site-management agreements with local authorities covering 110 towns and cities in the UK, which set out the number of fundraisers permitted in a designated area and the hours and days they can work.

The research is based on a survey of 118 local authorities between October and November. Among the 38 respondents that have site-management agreements with the PFRA, 23 said they had seen a reduction in the number of complaints about street fundraising. Two said complaints had increased, seven said they had remained the same and the other six said it was too soon to tell.

Thirty-six of the 38 respondents with site-management agreements said they would recommend them to other local authorities. The other two said they did not know.

Among all the respondents, the number of street fundraisers on high streets and their "poor conduct" were raised as a concern by 56 per cent and 54 per cent of respondents respectively.

Mehboob Khan, chair of the LGA’s safer and stronger communities board, said site-management agreements allowed local authorities to decide the fundraising conditions that suited their area and respond to the specific concerns of local communities.

"There is still work to be done to improve collections and reduce complaints further and that is why we are determined to increase the number of agreements in place," he said.

Sally de la Bedoyere, PFRA chief executive, said: "Our agreements with councils are proven to improve the professional standards of fundraisers and bring down the number of complaints going to local authorities.

"By partnering with the LGA, we have been able to take our message to more than councils than would otherwise have heard it, which is evidenced by the fact that a third of all the agreements with councils we have had come in the past year."

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