SOLIHULL politicians have given a mixed response to following Birmingham’s example and considering a crackdown on charity collectors in the town centre.
In the second city, the council is asking for views on whether so-called “chuggers” should be prevented from approaching people in the street.
It follows an increasing number of complaints that the charity workers are intimidating shoppers and denying donations to local charities.
Last week, the Local Government Association called for councils to be given more powers to intervene in areas where they are causing a nuisance. But in the borough, the verdict is that there’s not enough of a problem in the town centre to merit a crackdown.
Solihull MP Lorely Burt said that she did object to those who were paid to get people to sign up to donate on a charity’s behalf.
“To my mind there are two types of charity collectors,” she said. “There are those who get on quietly, doing it out of the goodness of their heart.
“And then there’s chuggers, who are on a salary and take a slice of the money that people are donating. I’m very uncomfortable with that.
“I don’t think we’ve got a problem with this in Solihull, but obviously if numbers increase it would be sensible for the council to look at this.”
Councillor Joe Tildesley (Con, St Alphege) said it was not something his constituents had complained of: “It’s one of those things that isn’t a problem until residents start to raise concerns,” he said.
l What do you think? Email firstname.lastname@example.org or write to 150, High Street, Solihull, B91 3SX.