Nick Hurd says there should eventually be a statutory licensing scheme for face-to-face

Civil society minister tells committee of MPs that in the meantime he supports self-regulation 'with the hint of a big stick behind it'

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Face-to-face fundraising should eventually come under a "comprehensive licensing regime" with statutory force, according to Nick Hurd, the Minister for Civil Society.

Speaking to the Public Administration Select Committee hearing as part of its investigation into charity regulation and the Charities Act 2006, Hurd said that it would take some time to introduce such a licensing regime and, in the meantime, he supported the existing self-regulation model.

"Anything that requires primary legislation is going to take a bit of time, and in the meantime I want to see if self-regulation works, preferably with the hint of a big stick behind it," he said.

At present, Hurd told the committee, voluntary site-management agreements seemed to be working well in terms of dealing with "very real" public concern about chugging.

Speaking in response to questions from Charlie Elphicke, Conservative MP for Dover and Deal, Hurd said that although face-to-face fundraising was not popular it did raise considerable sums for charities.

"The final consideration is that you and I may not like chugging, you and I may cross the road," he said. "But there are lots of people out there who respond positively, unfathomable as that might be to you and me."

Hurd’s position is in line with recommendations made by Lord Hodgson in his review of the Charities Act 2006. His comments today go further than his written response to that review, also published today, which does not make clear his view on its recommendation that face to face "should be brought within the licensing regime".

This article was taken from Third Sector – http://www.thirdsector.co.uk/news/1162894/