'Stop banning charities from no cold calling zones'

Self-regulatory body the Public Fundraising Regulatory Association is urging councils to let door-to-door fundraisers into designated areas

No cold calling zone
No cold calling zone

The Public Fundraising Regulatory Association will urge councils to stop trying to exclude door-to-door fundraisers from areas designated as 'no cold calling zones'.

Mick Aldridge, chief executive of the association, said that about half of all county councils in the UK had set up such zones, which are intended to protect vulnerable people from burglars and rogue traders.

Aldridge said councils and residential groups were using the no cold calling zones, which he believes should not apply to charity fundraisers, to try to prevent door-to-door fundraising from taking place.

Ed White, who joined the association as its first policy and outreach officer from face-to-face agency Gift Fundraising last week, will set up a register of the zones.

White will also monitor where new zones are being proposed and negotiate with local authorities before they are set up to make sure door-to-door fundraisers are not excluded from them.

"Local authorities will have to explain why they are setting up these zones," said Aldridge. "No cold calling areas are supposed to protect vulnerable people from being burgled, not give peace and quiet to people who can't be bothered to answer the door to fundraisers.

"We will be speaking to local councils to make sure they are using them properly."

A Local Government Association spokesman said the zones allowed local residents to decide who to block, and that they were free to exclude charity fundraisers.

NO-GO ZONES

The zones are set up by local authorities, working with police, trading standards bodies and residents. The aim is to stop commercial salespeople, rogue traders and 'distraction' burglars, who pose as legitimate callers. Residents display signs reading "no uninvited salespeople" and have access to a 'trigger plan' in which the authorities ask cold callers to stop. The zones have no statutory force.

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