A typical tale of nitwittery from modern Britain. And this, of course, is one of the problems with localism: it means giving more power to local councillors. That’s still, on balance, a risk worth taking even though so many of them seem so utterly devoid of common sense.

Quackers council chiefs have banned a bow tie-wearing duck from collecting cash for charity – unless it gets a permit.

The bird – called Star – wears a dickie bow and waddles alongside his owner Barrie Hayman raising money for sick youngsters.

Star and Barrie regularly visit businesses collecting cash from the public – already raising £6,500 for a children’s hospice.But Mr Hayman has now been told by several councils that his sidekick could be deemed ‘irritating’ and needs a permit.

Mr Hayman [...] now has to apply 28 days in advance for a single day’s permit – meaning he would only be allowed to collect on one day each month.

He said: ‘If I was putting into my own pocket, I could understand it, but everything goes to the sick children.

‘If a permit covered me for a year and I was able to visit a different town each day, that would be fine, but on this basis I don’t think I can carry on.’

Mr Hayman and Star collect on average £200 a day by going into businesses around North and Mid Devon.

[...] A North Devon District Council spokesman said: ‘All he’s got to do is apply for a street collection permit, which is a fairly simple process.

‘Our policy is to allow one charity collection per day per parish, so that the streets aren’t full of people collecting for charity, which is irritating to the public.

‘We need to give all charities equal opportunities to collect.’

Alana Marie Smith, director of fundraising for the hospice, said Star’s work had been ‘wonderful’.

She said: ‘Barrie and Star are tremendous in their fundraising efforts and in their wonderful support of the sick children.’

How does it go? Ah yes:

That England, that was wont to conquer others, Hath made a shameful conquest of itself.

Tags: devon, duck, Local government, Localism, O Mores, O Tempora, UK politics