Threat to outlaw carol singers

An East Sussex costal town has been branded “Bar Humbug on Sea” after council chiefs revealed plans to ban carol singers from doorsteps and treat them like cold-calling salesmen.
The ban, mooted by Seaford Town Council in East Sussex, will involve ‘no cold-calling zone’ signs being erected around the town and will be enforced by East Sussex trading standards.
It would also cover trick-or-treating children at Halloween. However, some groups, such as Jehovah’s Witnesses and political parties, would be exempt.
Supporters claim elderly residents have felt intimidated when strangers ask for money, claiming it was for charity.
Residents are currently voting on the ban, although they have the option allowing charities to be exempt. The ballot result is expected later this week.
One local resident said: “We will be a laughing stock. Never mind Seaford, it will be more like Bar Humbug on Sea.”
Seaford Rotary Club president Isla Sitwell is worried the proposals could wreck their work. The group raises thousands from its annual door-to-door Christmas appeal each year during which Santa Claus goes out with a team of carol singers every night in December.
She said: “We want to maintain our good relationship with the town’s residents, so if the vote does not exempt us then we would have to stop.”
Seaford town clerk Sam Shippen insists the council is being “more democratic” by offering the vote and giving residents the option of saving carol singers.

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