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If you want to collect money or sell articles in any street or public place within Portsmouth, for the benefit of charitable or other purposes then you must hold a street collection permit issued to you by Portsmouth City Council under the Street Collections Regulations. It is an offence for any person to collect money or sell articles without the benefit of a permit and/or to breach the adopted regulations.

Zoe Gofton
023 9268 8367

Within one month after the collection you will be required to forward a statement detailing the list of collectors, the amount collected and the expenses and payments incurred. 

Eligibility criteria

The collections must be for a charitable purpose. 

Regulation summary

The power to regulate street collections and issue licences is contained in the Police, Factories, & c. (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1916 (c.31) and the following Council regulations 'Street Collection Regulations' 

Application evaluation process

You will need to submit a Street Collection Application Form at least one month before the proposed collecting date(s) specified in your application. 

In Portsmouth you are not permitted (unless in exceptional circumstances and with the agreement of the Seafront and Events Manager) to collect on the seafront promenade or beach areas.  For clarification purposes this restriction extends east to west as follows:

from Southsea Esplanade at its junction with Henderson Road, towards South Parade and then ending at Clarence Parade and Long Curtain Road.  Additionally, the restriction also extends from Speakers Corner to the west of the Blue Reef Aquarium surrounding the perimeter of Southsea Castle (Castle Esplanade).

Preference is given, as far as possible, to applications which are local in nature and any short notice applications received for the benefit of a national emergency.

We reserve the right to make more detailed enquiries about your application in certain circumstances.  This could include requesting that the applicant or any other person connected with the organisation submits a police check at our request.

Please be aware special arrangements exist in December for undertaking street collections in the precinct areas located in Commercial Road, Palmerston Road and Cosham High Street. Please contact Rebecca Coghlan on 023 9284 1068 or email for any proposed collections in these areas during December. 

Will tacit consent apply?

Yes. This means that you will be able to act as though your application is granted if you have not heard from the local authority by the end of the target completion period of a maximum of 42 days. 


You may apply by downloading the form below and sending together with the supporting documentation by email to or post to: 

Portsmouth City Council 
Licensing Office 
Civic Offices 
Guildhall Square 
PO1 2AL 

Apply online

Application for a street collection

Returns form 

Failed application redress

Please contact PCC in the first instance: 
Tel: 023 9283 4572 email:

There is no statutory right of appeal if you are refused a licence but you may appeal to the High Court for a review of the decision. 

Licence holder redress

Please contact PCC in the first instance: 
Tel: 023 9283 4572 email: 

Consumer complaint

We would always advise that in the event of a complaint the first contact is made with the trader by you - preferably in the form a letter (with proof of delivery). 

If that has not worked, if you are located in the UK, Adviceguide (external link) will give you advice. From outside the UK contact the UK European Consumer Centre (external link).

Please contact the Local Authority: 
Tel: 023 9283 4572 email:

The main Act of Parliament covering the licensing of street collections is the Police. Factories etc (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1916. Model regulations contained in the Charitable Collections (Transitional Provisions) Order 1974 have been adopted by the Council. These regulations are shown in this leaflet and provide for the legal control and supervision of licensed collections.
We wish to grant as many permits as possible to help charitable or other purposes and will do so provided we are satisfied that:

  1. You will collect money or sell articles for the benefit of charitable or other purposes in any street or public place in Portsmouth. Street includes "any highway and public bridge, road, lane, footway, square, court, alley or passage, whether a thoroughfare or not". Collections however in places where there is no public right of access do not require our permission, although the Charities Act 1992 (when it comes into force) will introduce a licensing code for certain private places. For Clarification purposes a street collection permit in Portsmouth would not be required for a collection held:
  2. Inside a shop or shopping mall (you will need the permission of the owner inside a pub or club (if going from one pub to another you will need a House to House Collection Licence)inside a cinema or theatre
  3. in a private dwelling house
  4. in a works or business premises.
  5. A permit is also not required (even if collecting in a public place) for:
  6. a meeting in the open air
  7. the selling of articles in any street or public place when the articles are sold in the ordinary course of trade and for the purposes of earning a livelihood.


If selling in the course of trade you must not make any representation whatsoever that any part of the proceeds of sale will be devoted to any charitable purpose.

Selling is only permitted in a street if you hold a Street Trading Consent issued by the Portsmouth City Council.

You have been honest in supplying information to us and must not, under any circumstances, make a false statement at any time to obtain your permit. This is a serious offence.

In Portsmouth you are not permitted to collect on the seafront promenade or beach areas

To help us consider your application we would like you to show us:

  1. That you have submitted your application at least one month before the proposed collecting date(s) specified in your application.
  2. That you have completed the application form fully in every respect.


Failure to complete the application form will result in us not being able to consider your application immediately or delaying consideration until you have provided any outstanding information. It is very important the charity/organisation benefiting from the collection endorses the application properly in the box provided. We reserve the right to make more detailed enquiries about your application in certain circumstances. This could include requesting that the applicants or any other person connected with the organisation submitting police checks at our request.

We will determine your application as quickly as possible. We will tell you if the dates you have requested have already been allocated to another organisation. We allow collections 7 days a week but do not, as a matter of local policy, permit multiple collections on the same day in the same area of the City. We will always offer, where possible, an alternative date for your collection.
On receiving your permit it is important for you to consider the following:

  • That you have retained and understood the regulations controlling your collection.

  • That you have provided written authority for your collectors to take part in the collection.

  • That your collectors are over 16 years of age.

  • That you make arrangements for the return of the statement of income showing details of monies raised to be countersigned by an accountant or other independent responsible person.


The statement of income must be returned to us within one month of the collecting date. Failure to do so is an offence and may also result in any future application being refused by the Council.

If, for any reason, we cannot support your application, the Licensing Committee will be asked to consider and determine the matter. As the law currently stands, there is no general right of appeal against the council's decision to either the Magistrates or Crown Courts.



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