CORRECTION: Our Local Heroes Foundation DID have a street collection permit for Manchester city centre 16 July 2014

  1. On 24 July 2014, I reported that Our Local Heroes Foundation didn’t have a street collection permit from Manchester City Council for the city centre 16 July 2014 when I encountered there an organised team of people from its official professional fundraiser, Prize Promotions Limited, selling the military charity’s wristbands. (https://dralexmay.wordpress.com/2014/07/24/our-local-heroes-foundation-prize-promotions-limited-again-selling-wristbands-on-the-street-without-a-street-collection-permit/) In fact, the charity DID have a street collection permit for Manchester city centre that day. As I wrote in the original post, I’d checked with the council. But Manchester City Council has revised its position.
  2. Before the 24 July 2014 post, I’d corresponded on this matter with two different people in the council’s licensing section.
  3. “Amanda” told me in an email 17 July 2014 that Our Local Heroes Foundation didn’t have a street collection permit for the city centre 16 July 2014. On the same day, I replied to her email referring to her answer. In his 18 July 2014 response, “Dave” didn’t change the council’s position. It was therefore apparently a fact that Our Local Heroes Foundation didn’t have a street collection permit from Manchester City Council for the city centre 16 July 2014.
  4. On 31 July 2014, “George ryan” left a comment on the 24 July 2014 post saying that Manchester City Council had told him that Our Local Heroes Foundation did have a street collection permit for the city centre “15 to 18 July”. See his comment there.
  5. I therefore emailed the council’s licensing section 1 August 2014 for clarification. In her 4 August 2014 response, “Amanda” revised the council’s position: Our Local Heroes Foundation had a street collection permit for the city centre 15 July 2014 – 18 July 2014. She apologised for her error, which arose because “we have recently changed how we log and report street applications”.
  6. I am happy to set the record straight. I wrote what I did in good faith. Manchester City Council has revised its position, something I couldn’t have foreseen.
  7. Yet this doesn’t alter the fact that in 2013, when previously working with Afghan Heroes, Prize Promotions Limited repeatedly sold that charity’s wristbands in Manchester city centre without a street collection permit. Also, different sellers then gave me very different answers to the question, how much of the £3 price goes to the charity? (https://dralexmay.wordpress.com/2014/01/06/the-fundraiser-the-comedian-and-the-ex-cabinet-minister-the-tale-of-a-military-charity/) That there was such a discrepancy in answers itself shows that the staff of Prize Promotions Limited can be dishonest and lack integrity. They can’t all have been telling the truth; if indeed any of them were. We can only wonder how much of the £3 price actually goes to the charity. Or how little.
  8. We know nothing about the application that the council approved for the street collection permit. Who was the promoter of the collection? What exactly did the application say about the role of Prize Promotions Limited in the collection? Did it state that any collectors would be paid, for example? Here the issue of fundraising costs is critical, as we’ve seen with the “prize draws” that Prize Promotions Limited organises on behalf of Our Local Heroes Foundation.
  9. In May 2014, I revealed that Prize Promotions Limited retains 80% of the ticket price of £2.50 “prize draw” tickets that it sells to the public in the name of Our Local Heroes Foundation. But neither the highly misleading tickets nor the charity’s website disclose the shameful proportion – and Prize Promotions Limited doesn’t even have a website for the public. (https://dralexmay.wordpress.com/2014/05/27/our-local-heroes-foundation-only-20-of-the-ticket-price-goes-to-the-charity-but-you-wouldnt-know-from-the-tickets-or-website/) In its “prize draws”, Our Local Heroes Foundation acts against the public interest in two ways. First, by approving unreasonable fundraising costs of 80%, especially for such a popular cause. Second, by permitting Prize Promotions Limited to raise funds on its behalf without disclosure of fundraising costs. (https://dralexmay.wordpress.com/2014/06/05/our-local-heroes-foundation-why-are-you-a-patron-of-a-charity-that-works-with-prize-promotions-limited/) I’ve received many angry comments – and emails – from people around the UK, who feel deceived by Prize Promotions Limited and its “prize draws” on behalf of Our Local Heroes Foundation: see the comments on the post https://dralexmay.wordpress.com/2014/03/30/prize-draw-by-prize-promotions-limited-for-our-local-heroes-foundation/.
  10. So were the fundraising costs reasonable when Prize Promotions Limited was working with Our Local Heroes Foundation selling the charity’s wristbands in Manchester city centre? Without public disclosure of the fundraising costs, we just don’t know. But we can at least hopefully find out what the application for the permit said about the role of Prize Promotions Limited in the collection. Did the promoter of the collection tell the council that any collectors would be paid? Prize Promotions Limited is a professional fundraiser, after all.
  11. I will submit a Freedom of Information (FOI) request to Manchester City Council to obtain the details of the application that it approved for the street collection permit.