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Keep pressure up on scrap reform

Plans to overhaul the Scrap Metal Dealers Act (1964) are gathering pace with MP Richard Ottaway (Con) unveiling his government-backed private members’ bill.

It is encouraging that even while the bill was still being drafted Mr Ottaway was prepared to share the key details and listen to the views of those who will be affected. Speaking last week he confirmed that his proposals include a local authority administered licence scheme.

The BMRA raised concerns about the potential for a postcode lottery of fees and licence conditions, and over the impact on legitimate businesses – all reasonable fears.

Reform is needed. But it must not be clumsy, rushed or driven by headlines – it must hold unscrupulous criminals to account while ensuring that honest, hardworking businesses are not penalised. The balance will be difficult to strike and will inevitably involve some compromise.

So far, Mr Ottaway has shown a keen interest in industry views – in an exclusive Q&A with MRW he answered head-on questions about issues such as the level of bureaucracy, and police and council failure to tackle metal theft in the past. Read the full article for free at It is up the industry to respond and keep up the pressure to ensure that engagement continues.

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