Page 31 - MarketTimesFebruary2013
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  Market Times • February 2013
 Govt needs to back-pedal on pedlars
TRADERS and market operators are being urged to protest at Government plans to scrap the laws governing pedlars.
As part of review of street trading generally in its efforts to comply with the European Services Directive, which came into force in December 2009, the Government wants to repeal the Pedlars Acts of 1871 and 1881, effectively giving the itinerant traders the right to trade anywhere without any kind of certificate.
Even with the Pedlars Acts there has been difficulty in enforcing the law, in many cases with both police and street trading officers unclear as to what their powers actually are.
But major players in the industry are concerned that scrapping the legislation would lead to an unacceptable “free-for-all” where rogue traders would have a field day.
It would mean that while legitimate street traders and market stallholders would have to continue to pay for licences and rent, pedlars would be able to trade wherever they liked without charge — perhaps just a few feet away from the established trader, selling the same line.
It would also be without challenge if they could show they were acting within the definition of a pedlar — broadly trading on foot, door-to- door or whilst travelling through streets and carrying his goods on his person or in a receptacle of an approved size which he pulls or pushes.
As an operator or trader it is not too late to make your feelings known by taking part in the Government’s consultation exercise, which closes on February 15 2013.
You should write to Rachel Onikosi at the Department of Business, Innovation and Skills, 1 Victoria Street, London SW1H 0ET, or email
 Full information on the consultation, including the opportunity to
make representations online, is available by going to 2006
Traders should lobby MPs
THE two leading market industry organisations are united in their call for traders and operators to argue against the Government’s plans by participating in the consultation exercise or by contacting their MP.
Joe Harrison, the National Market Traders Federation’s Chief Executive, said: “We must get as many people as possible to object to these proposals which could well lead to an influx of pedlars and bogus street traders into town and city centres.
“Police and local authorities would be unable to control unlicensed street trading and both licensed street traders and market traders would be disadvantaged.”
National Association of British Market Authorities Chief Executive Graham Wilson said: “It is a matter of great concern that the proposals suggest amendment to pedlars and street trading legislation but leave the matter of enforcement to some unspecified time in the future.
He said the situation was unacceptable. “There are already well-established and
effective enforcement powers in London and enacted in private legislation across the country, but the effect of the proposals would be that these powers would be removed to comply with the requirements of the directive.”
He said the industry would campaign strongly to persuade government that the proposal needed to be reviewed to ensure that adequate and effective enforcement procedures could be implemented alongside the other service directive proposals.
Joe Harrison agreed.
“This issue will not go away and we encourage our members to ask their local MPs to raise their concerns with Consumer Affairs Minister Jo Swinson.”
The NMTF West End Street Traders branch is making representations alongside the national body and NABMA.
The Local Government Association has already objected strongly on behalf of local authorities.
An explanatory article by Graham Wilson is available by going to
A typical pedlar pictured just feet away from the market in Ipswich in
Balance of
THERE is concern that Government has made it clear in the consultation that an operator’s right to refuse applications to sell duplicate lines is not compatible with the European Services Directive.
NABMA CEO Graham Wilson said: “This is a matter of great importance to the markets industry.
“Whilst it has always been right to act cautiously with regard to a policy of refusing applicants for stalls where there is space on a market, it is recognised that the impact of this move will cause alarm to both market operators and traders.”

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