Scottish Government drops plans to charge charities to run fundraising market stalls

Ministers do a U-turn on licensing proposal after pressure from the sector

The Scottish Government has dropped plans to require charities to buy licences to run fundraising market stalls following pressure from the sector.

The Scottish Government had intended to include a clause in the Criminal Justice and Licensing (Scotland) Bill to allow councils to start charging charities, community groups and religious organisations for holding events such as village fetes and bring-and-buy sales.

Scottish umbrella body the SCVO ran a campaign against the move, which it said would have cost charities an average of £200 a year

But Scottish justice secretary Kenny MacAskill announced last week that the plans had been dropped.

"The provisions in this part of the bill were as a result of recommendations from a task group, which carried out an extensive review of civic government licensing across Scotland," he said.

"However, we have received many representations and understand the concerns that the change will impact on fundraising events in general.

"We want to work with, not against the charity sector, so my ministerial colleagues and I have therefore decided that the proposal should not go ahead. We've listened to the concerns raised by the charity sector and we've acted."

Lucy McTernan, deputy chief executive of the SCVO, described the change of heart as "a very welcome Christmas present for charities across Scotland".

"Although amendments had already been lodged, the Scottish Government's U-turn on this issue is great news for the voluntary sector," she said.





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