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Arrangement of Clauses (Contents)

Medway Council Bill [HL]


The Bill is promoted by Medway Council. It makes provision for the registration of dealers in second-hand goods and for the regulation of occasional sales.

Clause 1 sets out the short title.

Clause 2 provides for commencement.

Clause 3 sets out the major definitions in the Bill.

Part 2 makes provision for the registration of dealers in second-hand goods and related matters.

Clause 4 sets out definitions of terms in Part 2, including the definition of “dealer in second-hand goods”.

Clause 5 provides that a person shall not carry on the business of a dealer in second-hand goods in Medway if he is not registered by the council, unless he is exempted from registration by Clause 8 or if he has made an application for renewal of his registration which is pending. The clause also provides that any premises from which the business of a second-hand dealer is carried out shall also be registered and that on an application for registration, the council is obliged to register the applicant and the premises. Registration remains in force for three years.

Clause 6 provides that every person registered under Clause 5 must keep a record in which he must enter the date of all transactions relating to second-hand goods, a description of the articles, the name and address (or other prescribed means of identification) of the person from whom the articles were acquired and the odometer reading and registration number of any vehicle acquired. No such records are required for certain items valued at less than £10. He must also enter details of any transactions in which he sells second-hand articles above a certain price. He must keep the record for a period of 2 years. The record must be produced on request to an authorised officer of the Council or a police constable.

Clause 7 provides that it shall be an offence to deal in second-hand goods without having registered under Clause 5 and that it shall also be an offence to contravene the provisions of Clause 5. It is also an offence to enter information which is known to be false in the record kept under Clause 6 and there is an offence to fail to display a certificate of registration.

Clause 8 provides exemptions from the operation of Part 2, including exemptions for charities, scrap metal dealers, providers of hire purchase arrangements, dealers in waste paper and pawnbrokers.

Clause 9 makes transitional arrangements for those dealing in second-hand goods at the time the Act comes into force.

Clause 10 enables a second-hand dealer to continue trading lawfully where he has applied for a renewal of his registration.

Part 3 deals with occasional sales and trading on premises without the consent of the owner (defined in the Bill as `squat trading').

Under Clause 11 notice must be given to the council 21 days in advance of the holding of an occasional sale or the carrying out of squat trading and if no such notice is given and the council or the police suspect that a sale or squat trading is to take place, is taking place or has taken place, they may demand certain information about the sale from the organiser including his name and address and the name and address of a person appointed to receive complaints about the sale.

Clause 12 provides that where an occasional sale consists of an event at which there is more than one seller, the person who holds the sale must keep a record containing the name and address of every seller and the registered number of any vehicle in which goods were carried to the sale. It also provides that the record should be kept by the person holding the sale for 2 years and be made available on request to an authorised officer of the Council or a police constable.

Clause 13 provides that any person who holds, promotes or conducts an occasional sale or carries out squat trading must display his full name and business address and the full name and business address of any other person concerned in the holding or promotion of the occasional sale or the carrying out of the trading in a prominent position at the place where the sale or trading takes place. In addition any notices, leaflets and posters distributed in connection with an occasional sale or squat trading must contain the name and address of the person who holds or promotes the sale or the trading.

Clause 14 provides that any person who contravenes any provision of Part 3 is guilty of an offence.

Part 4 contains miscellaneous and general provisions.

Clause 15 enables an authorised officer or a constable to enter and inspect premises which he believes are being, have been or are intended to be used for or in connection with an occasional sale or the carrying out of squat trading for the purpose of ascertaining whether there has been a contravention of the provisions of Part 3. It also provides similar powers of entry in order to serve notices, inspect any records kept in pursuance of the Act and ascertain whether any premises are being used by a second-hand dealer who is not registered. Further provisions of this clause provide that a warrant must be obtained from a magistrate before premises are entered in certain cases.

Clause 16 provides that it is an offence for any person to obstruct an authorised officer acting in the exercise of his powers under the Bill or to fail to give an authorised officer or a constable any assistance or information required for the purposes of exercising their functions under the Bill.

Clause 17 provides a defence of due diligence against any of the offences under the Act.

Clause 18 provides that where an offence is committed by a body corporate, the directors and other officers of the body corporate may also be guilty of the offence.

Clause 19 provides that the written consent of the Director of Public Prosecutions is required for the prosecution of offences under the Act by persons other than the Council or the police.

Clause 20 provides that the council shall provide to the Secretary of State a report on the working of the provisions of the Act no later than three years after commencement, and that the Secretary of State shall lay a copy of the Report before Parliament.

Clause 21 makes provision about publicity for the passing of certain council resolutions under the Bill.

Clause 22 makes provision about the service of notices under the Bill.

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Prepared 31 January 2001