Charitable collections

There are various ways that money is raised for charities and for other purposes. Two of the most common methods are house to house or street collections.

House to house collections

If an organisation or individual wishes to make a collection from house to house for charitable, benevolent or philanthropic purposes it is necessary to obtain a licence form the Council. Certain collections are exempt such as those organised on a national basis by large charities but otherwise a local licence is necessary. Normally such collections invite cash donations but collections involving the sale of tickets or collection of goods also have to be licensed. Promoting or undertaking a house to house collection without a licence is an offence.

The Council can help to ensure that house to house collections do not cover the same area at the same time and will also check that money collected is properly accounted for.

If you are interested in promoting a house to house collection or would like further information please contact Environmental Health

Street collections

Street collections which involve collecting money or selling goods in any street or public place for the benefit of charitable or other purposes require a permit issued by the Council. Failure to have permit for such a collection is an offence.

Many organisations like using street collections and the Council endeavours to manage this demand to ensure the days available are allocated in a reasonable way. The Council has adopted a pdf icon policy which can be downloaded [563kb].

To apply for a street collection permit please complete the Application for the grant of a Street or House to House Collection Licence form.

Street and house-to-house collection criteria

The Council will not:

  • usually permit more than one collection per year by an individual or organisation
  • issue permits to an individual or organisation, which fails to provide adequate information to enable them to consider their application properly, this includes any information that might lawfully be requested by the Council in addition to that given on the application form
  • issue permits to an individual or organisation whose aims do not appear to be charitable or of a closely allied nature
  • issue permits to an individual or organisation whose collectors are paid more than it considers being 'reasonable expenses'
  • normally issue a further permit to an individual or organisation that has cancelled a street or house-to-house collection in Spelthorne at short notice (less than one week), or on more than one occasion in the last three years
  • normally issue permits to an individual or organisation that has held an unlawful street or house-to-house collection within this area, or that of another local authority
  • normally issue permits to an individual or organisation who has broken the Street/House to House Collection Regulations set by this Council, or those of other local authorities within the last five years, or where it is reasonably suspected that the individual or organisation might do so
  • normally issue a permit to an individual or organisation that has previously submitted a returns form for a collection that has taken place in the borough showing that no money was received

The Council will:

  • take into account information or advice supplied by the Police or other relevant bodies in deciding whether to grant a permit
  • will take into account any decision by another local authority to refuse permission for the individual or organisation in question to hold a street or house-to-house collection, and the reasons for it