Seaton Council have, at best, been disinterested in the way that Chargers have besieged Chapel Street. Elected representatives and members of the public have raised their concerns with the Council and no effective action has been taken.
I spoke about this issue a couple of years ago, and to be fair Sir Ron Watson (Indep) challenged the Council but no effective action was taken. Let us be clear this is not a matter of money, this is about the will to act.
This morning I met Enda Rylands the Chair of the Southport BID. His organisation has recognised the problem and is willing to act. They have drawn up a plan to regulate fundraising in the town which will require Charities to apply for permits and will designate the pitch they should occupy. This should put an end to the accosting of shoppers.
I am not against fundraising on ChapelSt but when large charities send battalions of chuggers to occupy Chapel Street things have gone too far. There is good practice in Southport. The young man who sells the Big Issue sticks to his pitch and folk approach him. The same is true of the women who sells The War Cry.
The Southport Visiter has done a survey of readers and well over 90% agree with me.
The BIDs permit arrangement should come into force in September. There are about 100 other similar schemes across the country. If the Council had acted when this was raised 30 months ago a lot of inconvenience and upset could have been avoided. I predict that we shall shortly see a Labour Councillor claiming credit..................