A NEW policy aimed at controlling ‘chuggers’ in St Helens town centre more effectively will be adopted after being rubber stamped by the council.

In February, a public consultation was carried out on a proposed street collections policy the council hopes will provide better regulation of street collections for charitable or other purposes.

Under current legislation, charities must obtain a permit from the local authority before a charitable collection takes place.

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However, St Helens Council does not grant permits to individuals or groups selling goods for charitable purposes.

A loophole means these collectors – nicknamed chuggers – are still able to operate as they do not exchange money.

Adoption of the new policy was approved by the council’s licensing and environmental protection committee in April, following a six-week public consultation that garnered no responses.

When the policy was first proposed in February, Lorraine Simpson, the council’s licensing manager, said the council had looked at what other local authorities have done around this issue.

She added that the new policy will, if adopted, allow the council to manage the street collectors “more tightly”.

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Currently, permit applications are limited to registered charities.

The new policy will incorporate smaller fundraising groups who do not have charity status.

The street collections policy was unanimously approved by councillors at full council on Wednesday night.