Rotherham: Clothing collection company is fined

Rotherham Magistrates Court, Main Street, Rotherham.
Rotherham Magistrates Court, Main Street, Rotherham.
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A firm which collected clothes and bric-a-brac from generous Rotherham householders has been fined for operating without a licence.

Recycling Clothes Company Ltd was ordered to pay a total of £2,860 by Rotherham Magistrates after the company pleaded guilty to two charges of promoting a charitable collection without a licence being in place.

Staff from the West Sussex-based firm delivered plastic sacks to Rotherham households for donations of clothing and bric-a-brac before returning to collect them.

But the company had been refused a door-to-door collection licence by Rotherham Council last year.

The licensing board refused the applications because of concerns about how much money the firm would pass on to their nominated charity - the company had submitted that £75 out of every £800 raised would go to their nominated charity.

Despite the refusal, the firm continued to make door-to-door collections.

Rotherham Magistrates’ Court was told community protection officers from Rotherham Council intercepted workers collecting bags in Hellaby last November.

The company returned to Aston in April to make further collections, and staff were caught by council officers again.

Rotherham Council prosecuted under the House to House Collections Act of 1939,

The firm admitted two charges of promoting a charitable collection without a licence and was fined £600 for each offence.

It was also ordered to pay £1,600 in costs and a £60 victim surcharge.

Coun Peter Wootton, chairman of Rotherham Council’s licensing board, said he hoped the case would send a clear message to collectors working in the borough.

He added: “Rotherham Council recognises that there is a place for legal and licensed charity collectors to work within the borough.”

“However, this case emphasises that our community protection unit will investigate illegal collections and that we will take robust enforcement action against those who ignore the licensing process.”