OUTRAGED Poppy Appeal collectors say the charity has been left out of pocket after only being allowed two street collection days in Salisbury this year.
The city’s Royal British Legion branch would normally have street collections for seven to ten days before Remembrance Day but following changes to licensing at Wiltshire Council’s, they were only allowed to collect on Friday and Saturday last week.
Cindy Nelson-Twiby, who organises the city’s appeal, said it has left the charity £2,000 down on last year’s collection.
“We have had a lot of complaints from the public to say there has been no one on the streets,” she said. “We have many people willing to put time into collecting and this is like a smack in the face to the branch.” “It’s absolutely disgusting,” added collector Betty Coombes.
Mrs Nelson-Twiby contacted the council when she found out the charity was only licensed for two street collection days but she wasn’t allowed any extra days. When she explained the situation to some of the market traders, many of them offered to help out by having collection boxes on their stalls.
Wiltshire Council says the changes make it fair for all charities as they are all now only licensed for two street collection days. But Mrs Nelson-Twiby said: “We can’t go out in March or other times of the year like other charities can because the Poppy Appeal is not as significant at that time.”
The branch was also unable to hold its annual Poppy Appeal launch in the Market Place as it has done at the end of October every year, as it would count as a street collection day. Mrs Nelson-Twiby said: “If it wasn’t for the Old George Mall letting us have the launch there then I don’t think we would have had one, and then we would have been another £1,500 down.”
• TWO Poppy Appeal collection boxes have been stolen from shops in Salisbury. The boxes went missing from Teed Tools, Fisherton Street, and Majestic Wines, Southampton Road.
Anyone with information is asked to contact Wiltshire Police on 101.