Monday, 26 November 2012

Government accepts my amendment on vehicle badging for scrap metal collectors

The Scrap Metal Dealers Bill has passed the Commons and is now making its way through the House of Lords. An issue I have led the campaign on for over a year and I delighted the government have accepted  that this must legislate to tighten up on the weal legislation that exists.

I am also pleased to see that my amendments requiring itinerant metal collectors to display large visible license badges was accepted by the Government. This means that only licensed itinerant metal collectors can pick up metal, and they must display large badges on their vehicles – in the same way as taxis. It is very important that the public can see who itinerant dealers are - and who are not - if we are to effectively clamp down on criminal and rogue collectors.

Though the Government was initially sceptical of the idea, during committee stage members from all parties rallied around my proposals and they have now been amended in to the Bill that has now passed the Commons. My amendment agreed by the Home Office reads;
Display of licence

(1) A scrap metal dealer who holds a site licence must display a copy of the licence at each site identified in the licence.

(2) The copy must be displayed in a prominent place in an area accessible to the public.

(3) A scrap metal dealer who holds a collector’s licence must display a copy of the licence on any vehicle that is being used in the course of the dealer’s business.

(4) The copy must be displayed in a manner which enables it easily to be read by a person outside the vehicle.

(5) A scrap metal dealer who fails to comply with this section is guilty of an offence and is liable on summary conviction to a fine not exceeding level 3 on the standard scale.
The inclusion of these amendments is an incredibly important part of the fight against the criminal element that feeds the scrap metal industry. Most importantly it also means that the public will be able to police these scrap collectors, as they will now be identifiable to the general public.

The transcript of the committee stage debate where this matter was debated can be accessed here, and the relevant section begins just before 4:30pm.