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More time given to scrap review respondents

The Home Office has allowed some respondents more time contribute to its review of scrap metal legislation.

In a document issued in early December, stakeholders were initially given seven weeks until the end of January to suggest changes to the Scrap Metal Dealers Act 2013 that banned cash payments for scrap metal.

But now the department has allowed some respondents more time.

In response to an MRW request, a Home Office spokesperson said: “A small number of partners have been granted an extension beyond the deadline to allow them sufficient time to prepare their evidence to inform the review.”

One of the partners, the British Metal Recycling Association (BMRA), said it had asked the department to extend the review period to 12 weeks.

It said in a statement: “Given how the Act impacts on every BMRA member company and that no further formal review is planned, the BMRA requested that this timeframe be extended to 12 weeks.”

Under the Act, which came into force in October 2013, all scrap metal dealers are mandated to hold a licence. Anyone operating as a scrap metal dealer without a licence now faces a fine of up to £5,000.

While the Home Office always intended to review the legislation, the BMRA said this was brought forward by 18 months due to the trade body’s lobbying.

It said the association was “concerned that the Act was not being effectively enforced and with members’ businesses suffering as a consequence”.

The BMRA has not yet responded to the review itself, and plans to holding a members’ meeting later this month to canvass opinions and help to gather evidence to support its submission.

It also plans to meet organisations including the Energy Networks Association, BT, Virgin Media and Ecclesiastical Insurance Group to develop consistent messaging across their separate responses to the consultation.

In addition to its response, the BMRA is seeking parliamentary support for its concerns regarding a “lack of enforcement, misleading Office for National Statistics data and opportunities to strengthen the Act”.

To this end, it has appointed public affairs agency Blue Rubicon to arrange meetings with key parliamentarians, refine the association’s arguments and potentially co-host a parliamentary reception.

 

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