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Yarmouth traders' canvassers concerns

PUBLISHED: 14:35 16 April 2009 | UPDATED: 09:18 11 May 2010

UNHAPPY: shop owners Anjam Pasha, right, and Tony Felstead have accused charity fundraisers of hitting their business.

UNHAPPY: shop owners Anjam Pasha, right, and Tony Felstead have accused charity fundraisers of hitting their business.

TRADERS this week accused charity canvassers of hitting business in a Great Yarmouth holiday hub.

Irate retailers say the clipboard-wielding teams funnelled customers away from their shops when they descended on Regent Road on Tuesday.

TRADERS this week accused charity canvassers of hitting business in a Great Yarmouth holiday hub.

Irate retailers say the clipboard-wielding teams funnelled customers away from their shops when they descended on Regent Road on Tuesday.

It is claimed the street fundraisers, nicknamed chuggers, caused takings to fall at shops already being hit by tough trading conditions.

It was the second time in the last two weeks that canvassers had descended on the thoroughfare at the start of what should be the busiest time of year.

Tony Felstead, who owns Biggerland men's clothing shop, says the fundraisers refused to move when he asked them to go elsewhere.

“You would expect them to go when asked, but in the end we had to call the police,” he added. “This is only a small street and people were going out of their way to avoid them and then bypassing our shops.

“It should be getting busy with the start

of the holiday season, but all the

traders are having a hard time and we

do not need extra obstacles in our

way.

“We are paying rates while these people contribute nothing - they should go

down the seafront where there aren't any shops.”

Street fundraisers do not need permission from the borough council to operate as

they are collecting pledges of support, not cash.

AF Fashions owner Anjam Pasha also told the chuggers to leave after noticing fewer customers coming in his shop.

He said: “I asked them to move but

they kept coming back. I am not against raising money for charity, but these

people are getting paid while costing us money.”

The canvassers were working for Oxford-based Dialogue Direct Fundraising UK on behalf of the RSPCA.

The company's website claims it pioneered the concept of face-to-face fundraising in Europe and is dedicated to recruiting long-term supporters for charities.

One chugger, who did not wish to

be named, said: “This is the first

time anyone has complained, I

have fundraised all over the UK and

never encountered anything like this before.

“Most people are friendly and happy to speak to us, it was only a couple of shopkeepers who were upset and we are normally welcomed by retailers.

“We were not stopping people going in the shops and moved down the street when the traders asked us to go.”


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