A CRACKDOWN on illegal street pedlars has finally been passed by Parliament after three years of trying.
The Bournemouth Borough Council Act 2010 was one of the last Acts to be passed by the current Parliament, with royal assent granted yesterday.
The law brings in new restrictions for pedlars moving through the streets of Bournemouth.
They will not be able to remain stationary for more than five minutes, congregate in one area or trade within 50 metres of another pedlar. Any found operating illegally risk having their goods seized by the council.
Cllr David Smith, cabinet member for community, said: “It’s taken almost three years to get this Bill passed through Parliament but at last we now have the law in place which is fantastic news for the town and its businesses.
“By having more powers to control street pedlars in the town this will help us to protect established traders and to reduce the risk to our local shoppers from traders operating illegally.”
And Nigel Hedges, president of Bournemouth’s Chamber of Trade, said: “The Chamber has fully supported the Bournemouth Bill throughout and I’m extremely pleased that there is now a law in place that will protect local businesses in the town centre.”
But Nic McGerr, who petitioned against the bill, said Bournemouth council had spent around £100,000 pursuing the legislation, without carrying out any consultation with residents.
He believes the council will end up having to defend the bill in court, which will rack up further legal costs.
“I’m deeply upset for the people of Bournemouth who have had this measure forced upon them,” he said.
“They have been forced to pay for something they have not been consulted about.”