CHAMPION fundraiser Billy Birch probably won't have to be licensed with the borough council.
Laws being brought in by the Home Office mean most charity collectors will have to register with, and be regulated by, the local authority.
But it seems unlikely Billy, who was the Pioneer's Man of the Year in our Community Champions Awards 2002, will be covered by this legislation.
Trudie Odaka, the council's principal assistant solicitor, says in a report how the Home Office is bringing in a local authority licensing scheme for public charity collections.
She adds: 'Current legislation imposes a duty on us to ensure collections are properly conducted, proceeds are used to benefit a named cause, and scollection don't inconvenience the public.
'The Home Office's proposal is for a single licensing scheme covering public collections where some or all of the proceeds go to charity.
'Only the smallest collections should be exempt. But organisers of such collections would be required to contact the council.'
When the Pioneer asked her about Billy's fundraising work, she suggested he contact the council to outline his particular circumstances.
Billy has now done this, and has been told he will probably be exempt.
He also contacted the Countess of Chester Hospital for which he does the majority of his charity work.
Billy, who has been fundraising for about 12 years, said: 'I thank the Pioneer for bringing this to my attention.
'It was best I checked with the borough council because I don't want to break any laws coming in.'
Billy carries a Countess of Chester ID card to prove he is a charity collector.
And he can provide references from Peter Herring, the hospital's chief executive, and Cheshire chief constable Peter Fahy, if required.
Countess fundraising manager Janet Ratcliffe added: 'We have told Billy to carry on as before.
'But if there is any change in this position, then we will let Billy know.'