MRW’s sampling of councils indicated the worrying trend that most were unsure about the nitty-gritty of the licensing system they have to run under the new Scrap Metal Dealers Act despite applications for temporary licences opening on 1 August.
Many local authorities blamed the Government for the lack of information. Granted that guidance from the Local Government Association (LGA) has been slow coming out with a draft circulated only this week, but councils have a legal duty to implement the new licensing system for scrap metal dealers.
Meanwhile, the British Metals Recycling Association (BMRA) has held numerous meetings with members to prepare them for the new Scrap Metal Dealers Act. Once the Home Office informed us about temporary licences for existing registrants, we advised members to apply to their council for one from 1 August. We are also planning to produce a model application form as some local authorities may not have procedures ready in time.
This belt and braces approach will help our members to comply with the new Act and protects them against possible closures and prosecutions from 1 November if councils haven’t processed their applications. The BMRA will communicate further details to members, as they are finalised by the Home Office, via our website and email bulletins as well as leaflets, posters and a comprehensive guidance document.
However, the BMRA and our members can only do so much. It is obvious from MRW’s research that local authorities clearly need to get their act together and establish their licensing system ready to receive and process applications from the start of next month.
Ian Hetherington, director general of the BMRA