Under the House Collections Act 1939 Section 2 and the House to House Collections Regulations 1947 a licence is required by promoters of charitable collections made from door to door. In certain circumstances, responsibility for issuing a licence has been referred to Town/Parish Councils.

Unless those who wish to hold a collection have an Exemption Certificate, it is an offence for anyone to promote or make collections from door to door or from one public house to another for charitable purposes without the promoter obtaining a licence. Some of the larger charities, e.g. Christian Aid, Help The Aged, have a Charity Commission Exemption from applying for a licence.

The Home Office issue Exemption Orders to large charities which make regular House to House Collections. When volunteers, or promotion companies commissioned by the Charities are going to make a House to House Collection they should be informed whether the Charity has been issued with an Exemption Order or not. If they have an Exemption Order, then they do not have to apply for a licence from the Local Licensing Authority, but they should inform that Authority that they are planning to make a collection in their area. Therefore, the holders of a Home Office Exemption Order will not appear on this Council's register.

The aim of licensing such collections is to regulate those who wish to promote an appeal for a collection and go from door to door, in order to collect:

  • direct debit requests;
  • money, usually using sealed collection tins or envelopes;
  • collect items, such as donated clothing, bric-a-brac and the like;
  • to sell goods for charitable purposes.

This type of regulated collection should not be confused with a Pedlar's Licence which is issued by the Police under legislation valid throughout England and Wales.

The timescale for determining this application is 7 days from the receipt of an acceptable and complete application by this Authority.