Page last updated at 19:10 GMT, Thursday, 12 June 2008 20:10 UK

MP criticises 'nuisance' pedlars

Tony Lloyd
Mr Lloyd said the system was unfair to street traders

An MP has launched a bid to clamp down on the "nuisance" of pedlars on the streets of Manchester.

Former Labour minister and Manchester Central MP Tony Lloyd called for stronger legislation on pedlars, as many "abused" their licences.

During Commons debate, Mr Lloyd said a licence could easily be obtained but holders could then travel out of their designated area.

He said the laws were unfair on street traders, who have fixed stalls.

Mr Lloyd said during the debate on the private Manchester City Council bill that pedlars operated "way beyond" anything that the licence was intended to achieve.

"A pedlars' licence can be obtained almost anywhere in the country to anyone with good character and has been resident in the area for one month," he said.

But checking by police was minimal, the concept of good character not properly defined and the pedlar could move from one area of the country to another with the same licence he added.

Geoffrey Clifton-Brown, shadow minister for trade and development, and Liberal Democrat spokeswoman Sarah Teather, agreed that work needed to be done on clamping down on pedlars.

Mr Lloyd said there were "perfectly legitimate" traders on the streets and he did not want to see "heavy-handed legislation" driving away such traders.

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