Page last updated at 20:50 GMT, Wednesday, 29 October 2008

Step forward for pedlar ban bill

Street - generic
Pedlars differ from street traders who pay the council for a licence

A local council bid to ban pedlars from the streets of Bournemouth has passed its second reading in the House of Commons.

The Parliamentary Bill was passed by 228 votes to 14, a majority of 214.

Bournemouth Borough Council claims it is too easy for pedlars to set up business with little regulation as all they need is a 13 licence from police.

But supporters said the practice has been around for centuries and pedlars provide a valuable public service.

Mark Smith, head of tourism at Bournemouth Borough Council, said: "Obviously we're delighted the Bournemouth bill will now proceed to a second reading.

"MPs were strongly in favour with over 90% voting for this. It's a triumph for the rights of legitimate traders and for the protection of the residents and visitors in Bournemouth."

Adverse impact

Sir John Butterfill, MP for Bournemouth West told the Commons pedlars were blighting the town centre.

He said: "Some of the pedlars have set up selling identical goods immediately outside licensed traders.

"There is one particular pedlar who sells balloons actually in the doorway of a shop selling balloons."

But MP Chris Chope expressed concerns that the displacement of pedlars from Bournemouth town centre would have an adverse impact on neighbouring areas, including his own constituency of Christchurch.

He also said the bill aimed at cracking down on rogue pedlars would take away their historic rights and "penalise the lawful pedlar".

The bill will now be put through its committee stage.

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