Charities Bill [Lords]
Martin Horwood (Shadow Minister (Environment), Environment, Food & Rural Affairs; Cheltenham, Liberal Democrat)
The hon. Gentleman makes an excellent point, which I am happy to accept. Had I been able to move the amendment, I would have been content to withdraw it on that basis, as he has suggested a significant improvement. I commend his thoughts to the Minister.
Amendment No. 150 would amend clause 60. The clause is well intentioned, but there is an onerous restriction—albeit possibly an inadvertent one—that could be placed on public charitable collections. The Institute of Fundraising has raised a concern about that restriction with me and possibly also with other Committee members. Clause 60(2)(b) provides for possible restriction by local authorities of public collections when it is proposed to conduct such a collection
“on a day on which that other collection is already so authorised, or on the day falling immediately before, or immediately after, any such day.”
Let us imagine the practical impact of that. There is a seven-day week, and Sunday is a day on which public charitable collections rarely take place, so there are really six days at people’s disposal. The local authority might authorise a collection on a Tuesday and then choose to restrict collections on either side of that day, thereby ruling out Mondays and Wednesdays. There might then be an application for a collection on a Friday, following which the local authority might choose to rule out collections on a Thursday and a Saturday. In effect, the local authority would then have reduced the opportunity for public collections to two days in the week, which is rather less than was intended. The Public Fundraising Regulatory Association has raised concern about that, and I believe that the Institute of Public Fundraising has done so too. I look forward to hearing the remarks of the hon. Member for Isle of Wight on the other amendments.