THE BOSS of Rugby town centre said he would reconsider giving money to pushy charity street collectors after a new report branded them ‘the worst and most damaging form of fund-raising there has ever been’.
Aftab Gaffar, managing director of Rugby First, said it was disappointing to learn so-called chuggers who stop people in the street to ask for charity donations take donated money as part of their salary.
But he said they were less of a problem in Rugby since systems were put in place to limit their numbers and monitor their conduct.
Charity bank Charity Aid surveyed councils throughout the country, concluding many councils regard chugging as aggressive harassment of the public and calling for the practise to be banned.
The survey also claimed over 90 per cent of the public were against chugging, and that town centre businesses were complaining that chugging is affecting trade. Its chairman Peter Quinn even claimed chuggers’ pay amounted to more than the first £100 of a donor’s money.
Mr Gaffar said historical issues in Rugby were no different to those experienced by other areas across the country.
He said: “The problems in Rugby could not be attributed to specific groups, and was primarily related to the volume of chuggers as well as on occasions their pushy nature.
“Fortunately Rugby town centre has a Business Improvement District (BID) which allowed us to address the issues directly with the Public Fundraising Regulatory Association (the regulatory body for street and doorstep Direct Debit fund-raising).
“This involved a booking system which restricted the numbers, and a good practise policy to monitor their conduct and address any complaints from businesses and customers.
“On a personal note it was disappointing to learn a significant proportion of the money donated through chugging does not find its way to the charity. I, like others, will now think twice before giving in this way.”