Page last updated at 08:28 GMT, Thursday, 12 June 2008 09:28 UK

Pedlar ban plan for town centre

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

Pedlars on the streets of Bournemouth could soon be fined or have their goods confiscated in a plan by the council.

A Parliamentary Bill outlawing street traders in the town will get its second reading on Thursday.

Bournemouth council say the 13 licence fee paid to police makes it too easy for pedlars to set up business with little or no regulation.

But supporters say the practice has been around for centuries and they provide a valid service.

Mark Smith, head of tourism at Bournemouth Borough Council, said: "The trouble is pedlars can get a certificate for 13. It is a few pence a day, and can take business away from others who pay much more.

"We've had incidents where people have sold goods and can't get refunds, we've had people given tattoos that have poisoned them, we can't have dangerous goods on the streets."

It is a way an entrepreneur can start in business
Chris Chope, Christchurch MP

Pedlars differ from regulated street traders who have to apply and pay hundreds of pounds to the local council for a licence.

But Ian Kruger, who sells hotdogs in Southampton, said: "I am sure many pedlars would try and apply for a street trading licence but they are very difficult to get.

"Pedlars have been allowed for hundreds of years. If I had money to run my own shop I would love to, but why should my right to trade on the streets be taken away forever."

His point of view is echoed by MP for Christchurch Chris Chope.

"I think this bill is unsatisfactory, we are talking about piecemeal legislation," he said.

"There will be different rules in Bournemouth to Christchurch and other areas, it's absurd.

"The person who founded Marks & Spencer started life as a pedlar. It is a way an entrepreneur can start in business."

'Old law' used against traders
11 Oct 07 |  Oxfordshire
Traders forced off city streets
10 Sep 07 |  Oxfordshire
Review into street traders plan
23 Nov 05 |  Berkshire

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