Minutes of Evidence
House of Lords
Minutes of Evidence
taken before the
Canterbury City Council Bill
Leeds City Council Bill
Nottingham City Council Bill
Reading Borough Council Bill
Thursday 3 November 2011
Knight of Collingtree, B (Chairman)
Blair of Boughton, L
Ordered at 10.45 am: that Counsel and Parties be called in.
884. CHAIRMAN: Good morning. Welcome to all of you, and I am sorry we are a few minutes behind the actual time which I am trying to stick to very much. We are in a difficulty, clearly, because we had hoped to get further yesterday than we could and this has made a rather difficult situation with regard to future meeting dates.
885. Now, I think you had all been informed at one stage that we would keep Monday next as a possible date. For reasons with which I need not bother you, that turns out to be impossible so we are not able to meet on Monday. Officials are working out the soonest possible date. We realise the difficulties that puts some of you under, and we are sorry about that, but our job is to listen carefully and try and do it fairly for every side and I know you will all appreciate that. We will give you a new meeting date as soon as we possibly can, a little later today I would hope.
886. Having said that, I hope to finish just before 1.00 today and do our usual one hour for lunch. I am always in a difficulty because I do not want to stop somebody in mid-flow, but I just thought it right to tell you that we hope we are able to finish just before 1.00 and come back just at 2.00. All right?
887. Now the second thing I need to tell you is to draw your attention to the minutes of evidence, which is rather a thick bundle about which no one will be surprised and I do not know whether you have had time to read it. If you have any corrections – I am not talking major corrections really, it is a question of any minor points, such as commas in the wrong place or whatever you feel – you are entitled to comment but bearing in mind that some of you, perhaps all of you, have not had much of a chance to read the minutes I appreciate this is difficult. I must give you the opportunity. Does anyone want to say anything about the minutes?
888. MS LIEVEN: My Lady, only to say that I only received them a few minutes ago so I have not had the opportunity to check for errors. We will do that during the course of the day and if there are any significant errors, we will let the relevant authorities know.
889. CHAIRMAN: Thank you, Ms Lieven. Mr Campbell-Lloyd, d o you want to ----
890. MR CAMPBELL-LLOYD: Any edit that I would have would not be available until about Wednesday of next week, because I am already booked to return to Ireland where my residence is, that is following the Monday schedule, so that will not come through until the middle of next week.
891. CHAIRMAN: I quite understand and it does tie in with what I said, namely that I doubted whether many of you would have had time to go through such a thick collection of pages as this is. Well then, in that case, we will give you the opportunity again to speak on the minutes because I cannot see that is right or proper to expect you to do it at this particular point.
892. The next thing that I must draw to your attention is the summary of the Promoters’ suggestions for amendments. You will recall that we asked Ms Lieven, who agreed to do it, because she had heard our concerns and what has been said in evidence and that she would produce some amendments, and I think we are all grateful that she has done exactly what we asked. I believe the best thing is to give her the chance now to talk them through and then you will be able to comment on what they contain. Ms Lieven.
893. MS LIEVEN: Thank you very much, my Lady. Can I just start by saying that they are only in draft at the moment. They have been shown to Counsel for the Lord Chairman, who has indicated that he is happy with the general principle of them, but there may be minor drafting changes during the course of the day, so please treat them as draft at the moment.
894. If I just, by reference to the draft summary of suggestions, go through them; first of all, in respect of clause 4 we have taken out the extension to services. As I said yesterday, it is not a life and death issue for my client so that issue can just fall away.
895. In respect of the pedlars’ clause, clause 5, we have used the Nottingham Bill as the template because that covers everything; how it filters through to the different Bills is that everything is the same but some provisions do not apply.
896. In essence, the two things that I think I need to draw the Committee’s attention to are that, in terms of the restriction on trading, which is in (3)(2)(a), "Trading is carried out in accordance with this sub-paragraph if (a) it is carried out only by means of visits from house to house". That is as it was, "or all items used for any purpose connected with the trading are conveyed in one of the two following ways: either they are carried". That was the original clause in Lee and Reading; "or", and this is the new clause, "they are carried in but not displayed for sale in or on a wheeled". I hope the version that the Committee has is: "receptacle, pushed or pulled by the holder of the Pedlar Certificate and a dimension is no greater than that specified in (2)(b) and the specified dimensions are 0.5 meters."
897. So there are just two things I should say about that. One is we have sought to allow a receptacle, container, vehicle, different words have been knocked around but we have come out with "receptacle" because that is the one that is in the Bills at the moment. We have extended to "wheeled receptacle" for the reasons that the Committee raised yesterday. We have made it clear that these receptacles are for the carrying of the goods, not the display, because one of the concerns is that you could have a very small receptacle and then turn it into rather a large display, thereby not solving the problem that my client is concerned about. So we have tried to make it clear that the receptacle is only for carrying the goods.
898. The other point to highlight is the dimensions. I think we have boxes and tape measures to show the Committee if you want a visual explanation. We have sought to keep it small enough that, in the view of my client, such a receptacle will not of itself cause any problem. So that is why the dimensions are 0.5 metres by 0.5 metres. That is ultimately a matter of judgment for the Committee, having heard the evidence. So that deals with allowing pedlars to continue with their trade by the carrying of items or pulling along a wheeled trolley, but only of a limited size.
899. The other part of the amendment is to deal with the geographic area issue. So sub-clause (5)(1), "A designated area means an area of the city". Here we are talking about Nottingham, "designated for the purposes of this section by resolution of the Council in accordance with (7) or (8)." That is following the pattern of the Local Government (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1982, and then we have sought to contain such a designation in this way, "First of all a designation for the purposes of this section shall have effect at all times or during such periods as may be specified in the resolution." So the councils can specify only limited times or only weekends or only the periods of a festival or all times, depending on what is proportionate in their area. Then (7), "The Council may designate an area for the purposes of this section only if it has reason to believe that it is necessary to do so for one of the following reasons", and those reasons are taken out of the Services Directive. We have not, of course, had all the reasons in article 40 of the Services Directive because some of them have no relevance, but we have picked out the ones which we believe have relevance for these Bills, save for, "Preventing the Obstruction of the Highway" which is not specifically referred to in recital 40 of the Services Directive - it is clearly relevant to the issues in this case - but would be covered, in any event, by matters such as public safety or protecting the environment but for the avoidance of doubt we have put it out expressly in (f). So the way this is intended to work is to follow the approach of the Services Directive, and ensure that the matters that are taken into consideration are those which would be appropriate under article 9 and the recital of the Services Directive.
900. So that, I hope, explains that. Then, sub-clause (8) is dealing with the process which, as I have said, follows that in the 1982 Act. Then the other clauses which have been changed have been changed in the light of the very valid point raised by Viscount Eccles yesterday to change all references from "suspecting" to "believing". We hope we have picked up every reference there to deal with that concern.
901. In my submission, those changes accord with the concerns raised both by the Committee and by BIS yesterday. There are clearly going to be matters of judgment for the Committee in respect of the size issue but that, as I have said, is a matter for evidence.
902. I hope that gives a brief outline of what we have done and why we have done it.
903. CHAIRMAN: Thank you , Ms Lieven. Before I call Mr Campbell-Lloyd , who I know is anxious to come in there, can I – for my own clarity – be quite sure because I am still worried about this point of house to house and not being trading , in that you will remember I asked yesterday if a pedlar had sold something to a housewife at one house and then her neighbour saw what was going on and said, "Yes, I’d like one of those" suddenly that would be illegal.
904. MS LIEVEN: My Lady, myself and Mr Lewis had a discussion about this yesterday. First of all, it is our view that such trading would not be contrary to the 1982 Act because you would still be trading house to house. It is not strictly in terms that you have to only trade at the door. My Lewis’ and my view is that would not be an offence in any event but, further, the chances (1) of a Local Authority seeking to prosecute in that situation; and (2) of a Magistrates Court upholding such a prosecution in that situation are, in my submission, unreal. It just is not going to happen. The idea that because you are trading house to house and there is a potential - and in my submission there is not anyway - legal question mark over, "Was the trade outside the doorstep to the next-door neighbour house to house?" it is effectively, I would submit, inconceivable that any local authority would prosecute or any Magistrate would uphold a prosecution.
905. CHAIRMAN: Well , the answer I received to my question yesterday was, "Yes it would be illegal" , so it is a comfort to hear what you have to say to us, Ms Lieven, and I think it was something that the pedlars themselves were anxious about and I was not at all surprised. So y ou have clarified it and I am sure that that has been noted; it is an important point.
906. MS LIEVEN: Certainly that is my and Mr Lewis’ position on behalf of the Promoters, and I am glad for the opportunity to say it on the transcript and it could be quoted in any proceedings if the bizarre situation arose where it was relevant in any proceeding, so I am entirely confident on that position.
907. CHAIRMAN: Thank you. I am sure that is very clear now and I would just like to say how grateful I am that you have acted so cleanly with regard to Viscount Eccles’ important point.
908. Would you like to speak now? We have, by the way, changed. When it is an actual witness speaking to you, you will not have the difficulty you had yesterday, you will be over there.
909. MR CAMPBELL-LLOYD: Thank you. What Ms Lieven has just presented was said to be clear, but for me it is about as clear as mud, because it presumes and assumes too much knowledge base that you are having to consider in coming to a judgment. I was presented with these papers a couple of minutes before coming in, and I am simply unable to digest it, make sense of it and rebut what Ms Lieven has given to you to make a judgment. I would ask for time to consider what we have before us and to make a considered response to it.
910. CHAIRMAN: Bearing in mind that you will obviously be busy during today while we are discussing other matters before us, how long would you ask for in order to be given time to assess properly what is before you?
911. MR CAMPBELL-LLOYD: You could probably appreciate that pedlars really have to live with these amendments, because they impact so significantly on their daily life, and as a rule, I would normally consider quite some consultation period with those pedlars that I have come to know, and it could take many days. But for the sake of the Committee endeavouring to achieve something today, if we could have 30 minutes now that I could discuss these four pieces of paper with the Petitioner, then I think that would suitable for us.
912. CHAIRMAN: Well, I think it is a perfectly understandable and fair point that you must be given time to assess exactly what is set down here, but I do not think I can stop the Committee for half an hour at this point while you do it. Would it be possible for you to do it during the lunch break?
913. MR CAMPBELL-LLOYD: If this whole matter is rolled over and we put it to one side, as if my response is not to do with these draft proposals, then it would be possible for us to take that on during the lunch period and to come back after lunch with our either acceptance or rebuttal of what is being proposed.
914. CHAIRMAN: Well, would you, please, because time is not only the essence for us, it is for you as well, and we appreciate many of you have – as you have yourself – travelled for quite a distance to be here and that new arrangements will have to be made. If this Committee is prolonged in its work, I think all of us would regret it, because it would be so inconvenient for each one of us. Therefore, if you could, please look at the amendments during the lunch hour, and they seem fairly straightforward, but I appreciate you need to look at them and consider them. That is the best I can do if I am to run this Committee effectively, okay?
915. MR CAMPBELL-LLOYD: What can I say?
916. CHAIRMAN: We do the best we can. All right, I think we then go on; yes.
917. MR CAMPBELL-LLOYD: Lady Chairman, I beg your pardon. There is an immediate difficulty, and that is that the next step is for further evidence to be considered, and if we are considering that evidence in the light of the new information that has come before us, then we also have to consider that it is being considered without this new evidence coming before us, and this creates a major problem for any form of examination that is going to be thorough in order and scrutiny. There are two mindsets here, one without this, one with it, and what position are we to take in the examination of evidence that is about to come before us?
918. LORD STRASBURGER: Chairman, I think we can only consider the Bill that we have before us.
919. CHAIRMAN: This is true, and we can consider these.
920. MR CAMPBELL-LLOYD: Without the amendment.
921. CHAIRMAN: What we shall do, I think, is consider these as suggestions to get over some of the difficulties, which have been suggested exist. That is all we can do. At the moment, we are considering the Bill and the points to be made against it and for it, and this we must continue to do. We cannot adjourn the Committee for an hour or so.
922. MR CAMPBELL-LLOYD: We have agreed that and understand that, so it is the Bill that we are considering.
923. CHAIRMAN: Yes, that is right.
924. VISCOUNT ECCLES: May I just ask Counsel one question about the draft amendments?
925. CHAIRMAN: Yes, of course.
926. VISCOUNT ECCLES: I am just asking Counsel a question, if I may. I think you said that it was your intention that clause 5 would be acceptable under the Directive, that was your intention. When will you be able to come to your opinion as to whether or not clause 5 is in conformity with the Directive or not, because presumably that will take some work?
927. MS LIEVEN: Well, my Lord, my position yesterday, having considered the original version of clause 5 carefully, was that that was in conformity with the Directive. What the Committee have to understand is that the question of conformity of the Directive is a question of judgment on the evidence. Now, my judgment and that of the Promoters’ legal team was that the original version was in conformity with the Directive. It therefore must follow as a matter of logic that the amended version, which further restricts the scope of the authorisation scheme, is also in conformity with the Directive. Sometimes it is easy to think that lawyers go through incredibly complicated processes that take many, many hours and huge bills, but in practice here, there is just a judgment to be made as to whether the circumstances of these four authorities is such as to justify in a proportionate manner the restriction on the activity of pedlars. Ultimately that is a question of reading the evidence, looking at the restriction and taking a view, and both Sharpe Pritchard and myself have done that and have reached the view that this is in conformity. So now we can do no more than hand that question over to the Committee. So in fact it does not take any further time. There is no great legal magic to it, I am afraid. It would be nice to suggest there was, but there is not.
928. VISCOUNT ECCLES: Thank you.
929. MR CAMPBELL-LLOYD: I have to interrupt this, because it is a matter of law, and this is a matter that probably BIS can answer better than I can, my Lady. There has been implemented the Services Directive into British law and it comes in the provision of the Services Regulations 2009, from which I will read. At clause 22, "A competent authority must not make access to or the exercise of a service activity subject to any of the requirements specified in the following paragraphs unless the conditions specified in paragraph 3 are met, that is qualitative or territorial restrictions, in particular in the form of limits fixed according to population or the minimum geographic distance between persons providing the service ----"
930. CHAIRMAN: I am sorry to interrupt, but ----
931. MR CAMPBELL-LLOYD: This is law.
932. CHAIRMAN: Yes. We are aware of that and we heard very much the same thing yesterday. Our job has to be having to hear it, and we can read it again in all the evidence of the written reports that have already been before us. It really is not necessary to say again what was said yesterday, and we understand our job very well. We truly understand your position, but we know what our job is and we listened very carefully to what was said. We should read it again and we should clearly have to decide for ourselves whether the amendments suggested would be a good addition or a bad addition, and we give you time to say why you think it would be a bad addition, but not by reading out the rules that this Committee has to abide by.
933. MR CAMPBELL-LLOYD: But we are discussing matters of law and you are making judgments on law. I am sorry ----
934. LORD GLASMAN: Just to say that we understand that law is interpreted in many different ways. There is an entire vocational system in Germany that is in conformity, where you cannot work if you have not passed the internal apprenticeships, whereas we often take very little view. We are being nice. What we are saying is we understand the law, we understand how laws are interpreted within national traditions and we are completely open to the case you are making, but are capable of making that judgment. That is all we are saying.
935. CHAIRMAN: Thank you. We shall be able to go into that further, as I have already said. Therefore, I think we go on to asking Ms Lieven to call your fourth witness on the Nottingham Bill, please.
936. MS LIEVEN: Yes, my Lady, that is right. If I can call Mr Ehrhart. What I intend to do, my Lady, is effectively for my next two witnesses to adopt the general evidence the Committee has already heard. So we will not repeat matters in terms of the generality of the problems, we will try to focus specifically first on Nottingham and then on Reading and try to keep this as short as possible.
MR NEIL EHRHART called
Examined by MS LIEVEN
937. MS LIEVEN: First of all, can I introduce you? Your name is Neil Ehrhart, is that right?
(Mr Ehrhart) That is correct.
938. Since 1997, you have been the markets and fairs service manager at Nottingham City Council.
(Mr Ehrhart) That is also correct.
939. Can you just explain what your responsibilities are in that regard?
(Mr Ehrhart) I deal with the management of all the retail markets within the city centre and within the wider districts. I also deal with pleasure fairs, licensing of private markets and obviously the licensing of street trading as well.
940. Your exhibits are at divider 7 of the black exhibits bundle. Can you just give us a very quick overview of the nature of Nottingham, and in particular, the city centre?
(Mr Ehrhart) Nottingham is a major retail centre within the East Midlands. It appears in the sixth position in the country as a retail centre and has seen major growth. We have two shopping centres, one in the north of the city. If you look to page 3, NG1, it shows the Victoria Shopping Centre right at the north of the city and at the south of the city there is the Broadmarsh Shopping Centre, both of which have announced major refurbishments recently. In the middle, the Old Market Square is a very large civic space hosting a number of events within the city, including Christmas and German craft markets. We have had a Nottingham Riviera Beach, Nottingham by the Sea in the Old Market Square, so it is a major event space for us. Just while I am on NG1, the green streets are the ones that are designated as consent streets for street trading, on NG1.
941. Thank you. Then on moving on to NG2, just tell us, if you would, what Nottingham City Council’s approach to street trading is.
(Mr Ehrhart) Well, we have a number of street trading pitches within the city centre. We have 40 that we licence in the city centre and a further 19 in the wider districts, in the other areas. The vast majority of the street trading pitches are in the area, it is like a U shape with a tail in the north-east corner of the map, and then lesser street trading pitches in the main areas in the rest of the map. Because we have these two centres, the main footfall of the public is between the two centres, so travelling straight down from the Victoria Shopping Centre along what is Clumber Street – although you cannot see that on the plan, unfortunately – and obviously coming from the south, from the Broadmarsh Centre through that area there. Coincidentally, on NG2 on page 3, these are the areas that we mostly experience problems with illegal street trading in Nottingham, because that is where the public tend to gather.
942. Now, the Nottingham Bill has a provision about offering pickets or offering to purchase pickets. Can you just explain what it is about Nottingham that makes that provision, you would say, justified?
(Mr Ehrhart) Sure. As I say, Nottingham City is a very vibrant city centre. We have a bid for the night-time economy and we are developing that. We have two universities, a high student population and a number of large entertainment venues in the city centre. You can see on NG2 in the north-west corner there is the Royal Concert Hall and the Theatre Royal, and just by the entrances there, we get a lot of people offering to buy tickets off people, or if anybody wants tickets, so that people can purchase tickets on the street there. There is another venue, a student venue, just beyond that which is not on the plan, and to the west of the city we do have the Nottingham Arena, which hosts the local ice hockey team but also major concerts as well, and once again, we have a proliferation of people wanting to buy and sell tickets outside those venues.
943. Thank you. Then in terms of unauthorised traders, can you just give the Committee an overview as to how the pattern of such traders has changed in recent years?
(Mr Ehrhart) Certainly. In the last sort of five years or so – I mean, certainly I would say six years ago – we did not really have a major problem in the city at all, but from around five years ago, we started to see an increase in illegal street traders, and we have now – certainly at peak times we can have as many as 12 to 16 illegal street traders in the city centre, although of a normal weekend, that probably tails out at around four or five, but certainly during peak periods, in the periods before Christmas where we have events on, it can be as many as 12 or 16.
944. Behind the plan, you have some photographs, mainly of Clumber Street. Do you want to just give a kind of brief overview of the nature of the problems and by reference to particular streets in the city centre?
(Mr Ehrhart) Sure, yes.
945. VISCOUNT ECCLES: I wonder if I might just ask what definition is being used for illegal street traders. What is your definition of that?
(Mr Ehrhart) The sort of reference that I am using, we prosecute people for illegal street trading under the 1982 Act. Now, obviously there is an exemption in the 1982 Act for people acting as a pedlar under the authority of a pedlar’s certificate, and so we will prosecute under the 1982 Act even if they have a pedlar’s certificate but they are not acting as a pedlar. So the case law dictates that they must move on, they must travel to their customers rather than remaining stationary. I think Mr Casey referred to a case where they are able to carry a small trolley with them. Now, if any of those tests, if you like, are not met, we do not deal with them as pedlars or whatever, we deal with them under the 1992 Act, and we take the prosecution as an illegal street trader.
946. Do you have any form of written guidelines as to what constitutes not trading as a pedlar?
(Mr Ehrhart) I have not got any with me to present here. We do use the case law that has been built up over a number of years, and it is really using those, I think it is, about six or seven tests.
947. Have you translated that case law into any form of written guideline?
(Mr Ehrhart) What we do do is if we observe somebody trading on the street that we do not recognise we will approach them to sort of see if they are a pedlar, if they have a pedlar’s certificate, and then we will observe their activity to see if they are trying to comply with the exemption. If they not, we will give them a letter before action, which sort of explains why we are taking the action that we are and why we are observing and what they need to do to comply with the 1982 Act.
948. Is compliance solely a matter of whether they move or not, or does it include the size and contents of the trolley?
(Mr Ehrhart) Unfortunately, the case law does not give a size to the trolley. It says, "A small means of carrying their goods" or something of that description. So there is not a test on the size of the trolley, which is why we get these very, very large trolleys that we are getting in the city centre and others.
949. Counsel, I think if there were to be any form of written guidelines, it would be of assistance certainly to this Member of the Committee, because in evidence before your good self, it was argued that you were not representing a case for whether trading was illegal in the case of the pedlars, but the case was that even legally trading pedlars were causing problems which needed to be solved. This is an extra dimension, as I understand it, because a judgment is being formed by Nottingham City Council as to what is legal or not legal, which does not only consist in whether or not the person moves.
950. MS LIEVEN: Well, my Lord, I think if I can try and help understanding what Mr Ehrhart said, there are three limbs to whether you are lawfully acting as a pedlar. One is have you got a certificate. That is easy. The second is whether you move. That is not so easy, but at least observable. Then in terms of this question about is what you are carrying, does that fall within being a pedlar, the closest the case law comes to is the case that I think Mr Casey referred to yesterday, Shepway District Council v Vincent 1994, which says, "In my view, in the ordinary meaning of the term ‘pedlar’, to exclude a person who has some small means of assisting the transport of his goods, such as a trolley in the present case". Now, in my knowledge of these Bills and of this issue, none of these local authorities have tried to take enforcement action on the grounds that somebody’s trolley is too big, because the law is just not clear on that. So although that is one of the potential parts of being a trader, if you turned up with an HGV and tried to drive that along the street, undoubtedly that would fall outside being a pedlar, but beyond that, your Lordship and your Ladyship have seen all these photographs of very large structures, sometimes perched on top of relatively small trolleys, and they are all being said by the pedlars to fall within the definition of peddling. In terms of is there written guidance, so far as I am aware, there is no national written guidance.
951. I can ask, on the assumption that these Bills are not going to finish today, my client to see what form of written either guidance, or as Mr Ehrhart has said, letters before action are sent to people who the councils are considering prosecuting, as to the assistance that comes out of that. But there simply is no clear bright line test.
952. LORD STRASBURGER: But, Counsel, your witness has mentioned two possible two criteria and then dismissed one. He mentioned size of the trolley and then accepted that that was not a factor, so really the only criterion you have given us is as to movement, is that right?
(Mr Ehrhart) What I was said was there was no national test as to the size of the trolley.
953. What we are trying to investigate is what your officers are instructed to do, so are they simply required to observe whether the pedlar is moving?
(Mr Ehrhart) Most of the evidence that we have presented to the Magistrates Court in the past has been around how long they have stayed stationary in one position and how far they have moved on, and how they are travelling for most of the evidence, because that is quite clear in that respect.
954. So what are the thresholds in Nottingham, in terms of how long they take to move and how far they go?
(Mr Ehrhart) The case law says around 15 minutes in one location, so we sort of observe for a minimum of 20 minutes.
955. Twenty minutes?
(Mr Ehrhart) Yes.
956. What about how far they have to move?
(Mr Ehrhart) Well, once again, it is how far and how quickly they move, and we will take a cumulative view on that, depending on what their activity is outside that initial 20 minutes.
957. CHAIRMAN: This matter did arise yesterday, when one of us – it was probably me, I think – asked the direct question, "Was the size of the trolley something at issue?" and that is why I imagine you put down a new size, which seemed rather small to me, but is the question of the size of the trolley one of the things that is worrying you or not?
958. MS LIEVEN: Yes, my Lady, can I be absolutely clear, the size of the trolley is critical in terms of the constriction of the space and the congestion, so in that term, yes, the size of the container, receptacle, trolley, is absolutely critical. The question I think that we were trying to answer in respect of Lord Strasburger’s question is, "Well, what is the law on the size of the trolley?" and the only answer ----
959. LORD STRASBURGER: No, I was asking what rules do Nottingham apply.
960. MS LIEVEN: Yes, but the answer to that is Nottingham can only apply the national law, as set out in case law, because there is no statutory provision in respect of size, and the case law is completely unclear. So effectively, Nottingham and all the other authorities do not try to enforce on size of the trolley. That is why the two Christmas trolleys that met in Leeds, if your Lordships and your Ladyship remember the photos, both of which were very large, but the size is just not a matter which authorities feel they can prosecute on, save I suppose potentially in the grossest examples. But I am not conscious of any prosecutions that have been taken not on the basis that the pedlar has not moved, but on the basis of size. One can grasp for some guidance in the case law, but there are no clear answers.
961. CHAIRMAN: I understood yesterday that that was one of the reasons you were putting forward for changes in the law, that the size of the trolley made a difference, and that seems to be the position. We recognise there is no such rule at the moment, and this is why it is suggested that there should be. Whether or not we might consider that the size suggested is not really quite a good size to choose to enable the pedlars to do their job properly is another matter.
962. MS LIEVEN: Yes, my Lady, and in terms of the size chosen, can I just say this – perhaps I should have said more when I was opening on the amendments – there are, I would suggest, two issues around the receptacles point. One is the absolute size, but the other is the form of the size, so the Committee will be aware that in the Bournemouth and Manchester Bill, the size was defined by the Committee, not by the Promoters, in respect of cubic capacity, and the concern with that is that if you have a one metre cubic capacity, you can have a receptacle that is very large like that, which is a lot bigger than something with dimension. So that is one concern.
963. The other concern is that if you have a receptacle and then it is used for the display of goods, you get into terribly complicated arguments which to some degree one can predict from the photographs. You have got a small receptacle, and then you have lots of things like coat hangers sticking off it, hanging the goods, and that causes the obstruction, the construction of space. That is why we have done two things in that amendment. We have restricted the size of the receptacle to something which is relatively small, I accept, by reference to the dimension, and the Committee may feel that bigger dimensions would be more appropriate – it is a matter for the Committee – but the other is that we have made it entirely clear that that receptacle is for the carrying of the goods and not the display, because once one allows display, then you have opened a Pandora’s box of complexity in the Magistrates Court about the evidence as to, "Well, my receptacle was only 0.5 by 0.5, and the fact that I have hung up this great, massive display is not in breach of the law". So those are the two issues, if I can just say that.
964. CHAIRMAN: Thank you. Please continue.
(Mr Ehrhart) Going back to the photographs, if you look at NG5 on page 5, you can see there that there are three traders there that are unlicensed that are working in series there and causing an obstruction on the highway. In NG6, we have got two traders trading in close proximity, one transversely across the highway and similarly in NG7. In NG8, we have quite a – well, it probably is a metre square trolley on that one, but you can see the amount of overhang that we have on that situation.
965. MS LIEVEN: Can I stop you on NG8, Mr Ehrhart; because that is a good exhibition of the point I was trying to explain to the Committee. How does the display relate to the size of the trolley there?
(Mr Ehrhart) Well, certainly the display is probably three or four times the length of the actual trolley itself.
966. Thank you.
967. LORD GLASMAN: Mr Ehrhart, can I just say it is a pleasure to hear your evidence.
968. CHAIRMAN: Go ahead.
969. LORD GLASMAN: Sorry, Chairman. I am just interested to know, I asked the question yesterday – I am going to repeat it now – these are not pedlars, these are illegal street traders.
(Mr Ehrhart) Yes. This is the sort of activity that we are getting in Nottingham, and we have to try anticipate what ----
970. I mean, why is this not just a straightforward police matter of they are not allowed to trade and move them on? I mean, arrest them.
(Mr Ehrhart) I think we heard evidence yesterday from the police, the Superintendent from Leeds, the difficulties in policing these sorts of things. We use CPOs, Community Protection Officers, to view these, and what we find is that when there is a uniformed presence, the activity changes, so when we have a known council officer or CPO walking up and down the street, then the traders will move. When we have people in plain clothes, or if we have CCTV evidence, then the behaviour is quite different, and they do remain static. But obviously to gather the evidence ----
971. Well, they are not pedlars, they are illegal traders.
(Mr Ehrhart) That is right, yes. By not moving, by their behaviour, even though they are carrying a pedlar’s certificate, they cannot say ----
972. But you have a problem of enforcement of the law. That is what you are looking at.
(Mr Ehrhart) That is correct.
973. MS LIEVEN: Can I just follow that up, because I want to be clear on that. If NG8 is showing a person – let us not call it a trader or a pedlar, a person – who is trading from that spot and not moving. Is that an illegal street trader? If he is not moving and he is staying there, is he an illegal trader?
(Mr Ehrhart) That is correct.
974. But if he is moving, if he stays there for five minutes and then he pushes his trolley five metres up the road and then he pushes it again five metres later, is that illegal street trading or is that peddling under the 1871 Act?
(Mr Ehrhart) If they have a pedlar’s certificate, then that could be classed as peddling, and therefore they can claim the exemption.
975. LORD GLASMAN: And if they do not, it is illegal.
976. MS LIEVEN: Yes, but just in terms of NG8 showing illegal street trading, do we know whether that person did or did not have a pedlar’s certificate?
(Mr Ehrhart) I believe that person did have a pedlar’s certificate.
977. Do we know whether that person moved or not?
978. LORD GLASMAN: By number 9? I do not think so.
(Mr Ehrhart) Yes, I mean, at times she would have moved, but it
979. MS LIEVEN: Maybe she moved disastrously. I do not know whether that counts as moving or not. Yes, I hope I have got the point across.
980. CHAIRMAN: Can I just interject here and ask you, what seems to be the worst of the trouble here is the huge overhang. I mean, there is more outside the base of the trolley than there is on the base of the trolley. Would it not be more sensible to ask for a limit to the overhang? Because obviously that is what has tipped it over, but apart from that, I can imagine it really being a thorough nuisance to have such a big sort of curtain across each side as is pictured here. Has it never come to a suggestion that, "Okay, it is bad enough to have an overhang, but to have one this size is ridiculous"?
(Mr Ehrhart) Certainly that is an extreme case, and that is ridiculous, I totally agree, my Lady. I mean, in our Bill we have sort of said that we want to exempt pedlars or end the exemption with the 1982 Act, so that these trolleys would not be allowed at all and, in fact, peddling would not be allowed at all.
981. MS LIEVEN: That was the terms of the original Bill.
(Mr Ehrhart) That is correct.
982. The amendments I put forward would allow the carrying.
(Mr Ehrhart) That is correct.
983. LORD STRASBURGER: So you seemed to say in answer to Lord Glasman’s question that moving it five metres would be satisfactory in terms of complying.
(Mr Ehrhart) We have to have a look at the picture in the whole. If they were standing 15 minutes in one area, then that would be fine, but then if they moved on, it all depends if they are going to a customer or if a customer comes to them, if they are carrying out a transaction. There is not an absolute that sort of says, "Yes, they can move one metre, five metres, 30 metres, and therefore that is acceptable".
984. MS LIEVEN: Can I just be completely clear, Mr Ehrhart? In terms of them moving five, 10 or 15 metres, are you saying that that removes the problem as far as the city council is concerned, or are you saying that would make them lawful within the existing law which we are trying to amend?
(Mr Ehrhart) It would make them lawful, more difficult to get a prosecution. Yes, I mean, our concern and one of the reasons we are bringing forward this Act is that it has an impact on our urban environment, the ability for people to move around. You can see that that is blocking the window display and the entrance to SportsWorld there, so there are major impacts on the city centre and for retailers and for the members of the public, having that sort of activity in our town centre.
985. Thank you. Can I just pick up one other point about the nature of Nottingham, which may have been clear, but may not. In terms of Clumber Street, is it an important throughway through the pedestrian retail centre of Nottingham?
(Mr Ehrhart) That is correct. It is one of the main pedestrian routes from the Victoria Shopping Centre in the north through to the centre of the city centre. It is sort of classed as one of the busiest streets in Europe. We have had recorded footfall of 60,000 people going up and down that street at peak times, so yes, it is a very important street.
986. Thank you.
987. CHAIRMAN: How many?
(Mr Ehrhart) A day, 60,000 on a Saturday before Christmas.
988. VISCOUNT ECCLES: Could we be told what the position of licensed street traders is in Nottingham, because in the other submissions we have had evidence on that.
989. MS LIEVEN: My Lord, we could, but it does require the Committee to have good eyesight. I think Mr Ehrhart touched on it a moment ago. I think one can do it best from NG2. Is that right, Mr Ehrhart?
(Mr Ehrhart) Yes, NG2 shows the main concentration of street trading, licensed street trading activity that we have is in the green shaded areas on NG1 in the top right-hand corner of the plan. Now, within that, you can see some solid green lines very, very faintly there. We have something like 20 street trading pitches that operate on Clinton Street East and a few more on Clinton Street West on the other side. So the largest concentration that we have is in that area of the city, and in that area of the city they are allowed to sell any goods that we approve. In the remainder of the city ----
990. LORD STRASBURGER: How much do you charge for having that?
(Mr Ehrhart) It depends on the size of it. In that area, we call that a low footfall area and so we charge them about £2,000 to £2,500, depending on the size of the ----
991. Per annum, I assume?
(Mr Ehrhart) Per annum.
992. LORD BLAIR OF BOUGHTON: Sorry, can I just ask, looking at these two maps, is it a fair conclusion that the street traders, licensed, do not trade in the places where the illegals trade?
(Mr Ehrhart) Well, certainly on Clumber Street, that is a prohibited street, so we do not have any street trading pitches on there. We have three street trading pitches on High Street, which is as you travel down Clumber Street, it is the area that is shaded green on NG1 and red on NG2, so there is some co-activity there.
993. But I think you listened to the evidence yesterday. The contrast here in Nottingham is that, by and large, the areas are different. They are not in competition.
(Mr Ehrhart) Certainly on Clumber Street, it is a prohibited street for the purposes of street trading, so as it is so busy and it is not wide enough to accommodate licensed street traders, we have prohibited that street for street trading, but obviously pedlars acting as pedlars with a pedlar’s certificates are able to trade on that street.
994. MS LIEVEN: Just to go back to the point about good eyesight, if one looks, I think, at NG1 and NG2, the very small green dots, are they the locations of licensed street traders?
(Mr Ehrhart) That is correct.
995. It is a challenge to see them, but there are very small green dots. Just coming back to Lord Blair’s point of non-competition in Clumber Street, is Clumber Street a prohibited street because it needs to be kept clear, in the council’s view?
(Mr Ehrhart) That is correct, yes.
996. Thank you.
997. LORD STRASBURGER: The cost of the licence in other parts of the city, is that similar?
(Mr Ehrhart) The ones on High Street that we have talked about a moment ago, depending on the size, can be sort of £4,000 to £5,000. The most expensive one that we have is the St Peter’s Square there. It is a little round circle. It is both coloured green and red, and the top licence there is £7,500.
998. Is there a waiting list?
(Mr Ehrhart) We do not keep a waiting list, no.
999. Are they all taken up?
(Mr Ehrhart) All the ones in the main core are. In the Clinton Street area, where the vast majority of the pitches are, we have some vacancies and if people want to come on there, they are able to.
1000. Thank you.
1001. VISCOUNT ECCLES: In the council’s consideration of promoting a Bill, what part has discussion of the difference in incomes to the city between licensed street and pedlars been?
(Mr Ehrhart) No, I mean, there has not been any consideration on that. Yes, our main concern is for the impact on the urban environment and access around the city centre. Competition is not really a factor, in our view.
1002. MS LIEVEN: Thank you. Mr Ehrhart, can I just move on; oh, I am so sorry.
1003. VISCOUNT ECCLES: My question may have been slightly misunderstood. It was not a question about competition. It was a question about income to the city. The street traders provide you, as you have just told us, with annual licence fees and you derive income from that. Hazarding a guess, it might be amounting to £100,000 a year or some such figure.
(Mr Ehrhart) For the whole street trading activity, including the ones in the districts, we derive around £90,000 a year in income. Most of that is taken up in staffing costs, enforcement costs, promoting this Bill and those sorts of areas. We do not set our fees to generate a great deal of profit from this. We set our fees to cover our administration.
1004. I chose the word "income" quite carefully, and I am sorry for my over-estimate of £10,000. I apologise for that. You derive no income from pedlars, and my question was has that ever been a consideration when you come to think about street trading in general?
(Mr Ehrhart) No. No, it has not.
1005. MS LIEVEN: Thank you, Mr Ehrhart. I think the last thing I wanted to ask you about is prosecution. Give us a rough view of the number of prosecutions that have been taken by the city council in regard of illegal street trading and the problems that arise with prosecution.
(Mr Ehrhart) These days we are taking probably only around half a dozen successful prosecutions each year, the problems being as we have already discussed in terms of monitoring their activities and taking statements, and as we mentioned previously about serving summonses. Our most prolific year was probably 2009, where we probably did – without counting them –18 to 20 prosecutions.
1006. Thank you.
1007. CHAIRMAN: Could you tell me, have you had any protests of any kind of any size from the public in Nottingham about the operations of the pedlars?
(Mr Ehrhart) We have not from the public. We have from some of the retailers and obviously from some of the street traders, who they see it as unfair competition, but we have sort of raised this Bill on the basis of the impact on our environment.
1008. CHAIRMAN: I think if I could say to Ms Lieven it would be very helpful to the Committee with regard to the whole range of Bills here if we could have some idea of any public opposition, or indeed, opposition from shops or other sources. So far we do not know. Earlier reference was made to public concern about it. We would like to know if that evidence exists.
1009. MS LIEVEN: My Lady, I will do my best to take instructions, but I think it probably is worth my saying that in terms of the concerns for the urban environment which all four Promoters have raised, both congestion and management of the urban environment, it is not really a matter which the public are going to raise complaint or objection about, because the public only complain when they can see some point to it. So I do not think we are going to find a series of complaints anywhere, but in terms of drawing up urban plans and so on, if I can find any material over the weekend, we will make sure we put it before the Committee.
1010. CHAIRMAN: I wanted to have clarification on that, because it was earlier mentioned, and obviously all aspects of this matter have got to be considered by the Committee. Lord Glasman.
1011. LORD GLASMAN: My apologies. Just to ask, of the 18 prosecutions that you took in 2009, how many of those were licensed pedlars who were breaking that and how many were just illegal traders?
(Mr Ehrhart) Well, we took them on the basis that they were all illegal street traders.
1012. Got it.
(Mr Ehrhart) How many of them had pedlar’s certificates, I do not know. I would say the majority of them would have had pedlar’s certificates, yes.
1013. What proportion do you know were successful?
(Mr Ehrhart) Sorry, those 18 are the ones that were successful, that we were able to serve the papers on, that we went to the Magistrates Court, albeit it could be up to eight months later that we get the hearing, and some of them are multiple offences from the same illegal street trader.
1014. LORD BLAIR OF BOUGHTON: But presumably you issue summonses or you do preparatory work for people who just disappear?
(Mr Ehrhart) That is correct, yes.
1015. VISCOUNT ECCLES: When the city creates a pedestrianised area, is it part of its intention that that should attract more people?
(Mr Ehrhart) It is to make a more pleasant environment and encourage public circulation, yes, I would say so.
1016. So when does the attraction of more people become congestion?
(Mr Ehrhart) I am not a planner, so I do not know if I could say that. I mean, certainly when we do plan our streetscape, we do have an urban design guide which sort of lays out zones where pedestrians would go, where street furniture would go and where the carriageway is. Our existing street traders are aligned with the street furniture zone rather than in the pedestrian zone or in the carriageway, so we can control our existing pictures within the guidelines that we have as a city, and those are designed, as I say, to encourage better pedestrian flow through the city centre.
1017. CHAIRMAN: Thank you. Ms Lieven.
1018. MS LIEVEN: No, all my questions are answered.
1019. CHAIRMAN: Thank you. Now then, Mr Simon Casey has the opportunity to examine the witness on points of course to do with Nottingham. Mr Casey.
1020. MR CASEY: Thank you, my Lady.
Cross–examined by MR CASEY
1021. MR CASEY: Mr Ehrhart, I am going to start with the maps that we have discussed and looked at already, and the first point, I would just like to comment that I find it extremely difficult to even read any one of a number of streets from these maps, in fact, almost impossible, and it is not really very helpful for me to make an assessment of where you have licensed street traders and where you do not, and the areas where the pedlars congregate and where the pedlars do not congregate. I am just wondering how you can assist me, because I have some vital questions which could be concerned with those particular areas.
(Mr Ehrhart) Yes. Well, if you have the plan in front of you, in the ----
1022. Yes. To be specific, I really would like to find out where Clumber Street is precisely in NG1, and also NG2. Yes, both maps if you could, please.
(Mr Ehrhart) Yes, sure. Clumber Street, if you look in the top right-hand corner, where it says in larger lettering, "Victoria Shopping Centre" there is a road that travels directly south from there, and it is not shaded in NG1.
1023. You mean it is like an ‘I’, a capital ‘I’ almost? Below the G, is that the one, of the shopping?
(Mr Ehrhart) Yes. It is at that junction and it travels south from the Victoria Shopping Centre. In the plan NG2, it is shaded in red.
1024. Oh, it is that one there, okay. I see. Thank you. So I have just now shaded that in so I know precisely where we are talking about, thank you. Taking NG1; I will ask you another question to start with. Is there any particular reason why Clumber Street is a prohibited street in terms of licensed street traders?
(Mr Ehrhart) The main concern, as I have said in evidence, is that it is a very high footfall. It is a main arterial route, a pedestrian arterial route from the north of the city into the centre of the city and with that pedestrian footfall, we feel as though licensed street trading would cause an obstruction to the free flow of the members of the public and other authorised users of the street.
1025. Okay. How did you base that opinion, on analysis, or it is just a subjective opinion of the council?
(Mr Ehrhart) Well, obviously it is an opinion of the council, but also it is based on pedestrian footfall counts that we have in the city centre.
1026. That is backed up by data?
(Mr Ehrhart) Yes, but I do not have that data with me.
1027. No. Thank you. Okay, never mind. Shame. Coming down to Old Market Square on NG1, I can see a very narrow street that appears to go north/south. I cannot read the name of it, but it appears to be a consent street.
(Mr Ehrhart) That is correct. That is Exchange Walk and there is a street trading pitch on that.
1028. How many pitches, may I ask?
(Mr Ehrhart) Just one.
1029. Just one. Is that also a very busy street?
(Mr Ehrhart) It is quite a busy street, yes, yes.
1030. Okay, but you allowed a street trading pitch?
(Mr Ehrhart) We allowed one that is three foot deep and it is right up against the wall, and it is next to a tobacconist and newsagents which also protrudes into the street by that much, so it does not obstruct the free flow of people.
1031. I was just trying to get a scale of proportion between the street that was small and the larger one that had the prohibited zone. Could you give me an approximation of the width of the smaller street, the one in the south of the ----
(Mr Ehrhart) I would suggest it is around 15 to 20 foot wide.
1032. Fifteen to 20 feet?
(Mr Ehrhart) Yes.
1033. So metres; well, I can imagine that, yes.
(Mr Ehrhart) You would probably get two vehicles passing if they pulled over.
1034. So it is relatively wide, the smaller street on the map?
(Mr Ehrhart) No, it is narrow. It is narrow.
(Mr Ehrhart) No, it is narrow.
1036. It is narrow, in your opinion?
(Mr Ehrhart) Yes.
1038. CHAIRMAN: Mr Casey, I wonder, could you link the questions to what causes you inconvenience as pedlars in the area?
1039. MR CASEY: Yes. What I was trying to do was establish the reason why the prohibited street was in fact prohibited and make a comparison of size, because I think the arguments on the side of the Promoters is quite often to do with obstruction, and I wanted to see why a relatively narrow street would have a licensed street trading pitch, whereas a relatively wider street, from what I can see, is prohibited. I just wanted some clarification on why that was such.
1040. LORD GLASMAN: The amount of people on it. That is the answer.
1041. MR CASEY: Sorry. Yes, thank you. I just wanted to go back, just take issue with your map. You used the words, "Areas of illegal street activity" on both of them, it appears to me. Would that not be presumptuous on your part to say that every person who goes and trades there is in fact illegal?
(Mr Ehrhart) No, I do not think that implies that, and I certainly think it does not say that.
1042. It does, I am afraid. It says "illegal". I think I can quite clearly see the word "illegal".
(Mr Ehrhart) What it says is that those are the areas where we have the greatest majority and where we have had most of the prosecutions of illegal street trading activity.
1043. Okay, but that is your opinion, but it is rather misleading for me.
(Mr Ehrhart) No, it is not my opinion. It is based on the cases that we have taken and taken through the Magistrates Court.
1044. I will come to those later. Do you have a letter of action? I heard it mentioned earlier. It would be very useful to see exactly what advice you do give to street traders.
(Mr Ehrhart) No.
1045. I have personally had them in the past when I have traded in various towns and they are quite useful and informative. You do not have one?
(Mr Ehrhart) I do not have a copy with me, no.
1046. That is rather unfortunate. It would have been quite useful for at least everyone to see what advice you do give to people. Very unfortunate. I am quite surprised. I hear you have taken 18 cases against pedlars and they have all been successful. Is that correct?
(Mr Ehrhart) No, I said the peak year in 2009, we took around 18 to successful prosecutions.
1047. Okay. How many cases were unsuccessful and were dismissed by Magistrates?
(Mr Ehrhart) We have not had any that have been taken to court that have been dismissed by Magistrates.
1048. You have had a very good track record, it sounds like.
(Mr Ehrhart) Well, we collect our evidence carefully and make sure that we have got a strong case before we take it. We do not want to waste the Magistrate’s time or council resources.
1049. So no appeals to the Crown, as far as you are aware of?
(Mr Ehrhart) No.
1050. No appeals allowed, no.
(Mr Ehrhart) I do not know if they were allowed, but none taken.
1051. So you could say that you have done a very good job of prosecuting those who are illegal?
(Mr Ehrhart) Yes. We try to, yes.
1052. Yes. Which is a good thing if they are illegal then?
(Mr Ehrhart) Yes. I mean, if we have legal pedlars there – we have a balloon seller that regularly comes to Nottingham. He keeps moving and we do not take a prosecution out against him, because he is working within that law.
1053. So the law seems to be working, would you say, with you are prosecuting those who are illegal, and the ones that are not are carrying on and trading as pedlars perfectly lawfully, is that correct?
(Mr Ehrhart) No, that is not correct. We still have the problems of obstruction, impact on the urban environment.
1054. Okay, we will come to obstruction later, thank you. I just wanted to clarify a matter that was discussed earlier by yourself and Counsel for the Promoters about there was a mention of a time period of 15 minutes for a pedlar, and quite obviously you are aware that the statute section 3 definition of pedlar does not mention how long a pedlar can be stationary for, does it?
(Mr Ehrhart) The Pedlar’s Act does not?
(Mr Ehrhart) No. Because it has been developed in case law, several cases.
1056. Yes, and I think the question was put to you – and I am not quite sure who by – that what would constitute a lawful activity of a pedlar, for example, if he was stationary, and I cannot recollect whether or not you gave a definitive answer on that or not.
(Mr Ehrhart) Sorry, what is your question?
1057. What are the allowable activities? I will put it as a specific question to you. What are the allowable activities of a pedlar who is stationary in the street?
(Mr Ehrhart) They are able to take a small rest if they need to. They are able to carry out a transaction during that period while they are stationary.
1058. Is that an exhaustive list? Is that everything?
(Mr Ehrhart) No. As I say, I think case law has sort of said that if somebody is stationary for over around 15 minutes, it tends to believe that they are illegal street trading. There is no definitive time as to how long they can be in one position.
1059. I think my point is it really does depend on the activities of the pedlar. Say, for example, if you had somebody stationary for 15 minutes, would that necessarily take them past the legal ----
(Mr Ehrhart) This is the difficulty with the law as it stands at the moment.
1060. I will give you an example. A pedlar who is busy with customers, in your mind would they have to move after that and tell the customers to leave, perhaps?
(Mr Ehrhart) No. If they have a queue of customers and they are carrying out transactions, they can stay there for the period of time it takes them to carry out those transactions, so that could be 20 minutes, half an hour, it could be an hour if they are excessively busy.
1061. Thanks. I presume all this information is part and parcel of the – what was it, what did you call it? – letter before action that you give to people? They are advised of all of this?
(Mr Ehrhart) It is the guidance that we have when we are sort of collecting evidence and taking cases forward, yes.
1062. Okay. Have you ever considered why a pedlar might choose to be a pedlar?
(Mr Ehrhart) Not as a council officer, no.
1063. No. I mean, but why they would choose to be a pedlar rather than a licensed street trader perhaps?
(Mr Ehrhart) No, I have not considered that.
1064. Would they choose because of perhaps the flexibility?
1065. CHAIRMAN: Could you keep to matters which are relevant with regard to the Bill and your objections to it? It would help us if you did not branch off into things which are not.
1066. MR CASEY: Do you have any evidence that the general public have any objections to pedlars being in Nottingham and trading as pedlars?
(Mr Ehrhart) Oh, I think the Chair asked that, and no, we do not have any.
The answer is no. Okay. There is a report which I would like the Committee to have a little look at in my bundle, which could probably give an indication of what the general public do think of pedlars, and it was part of the Durham research documents, Street Trading and Peddlery in Great Britain. It is at yellow tab 5. (After a pause). I would just like to say that I am not going to read it all out to you right now, but I would certainly recommend it being read because there were an awful lot of replies to the questions. One of my witnesses, who I will call for Canterbury, was one of the people that did an awful lot of this work for Durham in their research.
1067. CHAIRMAN: I am so sorry; I really must interrupt because time is being taken which ought not to be taken on matters of this kind. It is your opportunity to present your Petition against what is being proposed and really, with the greatest respect, this is a cross-examination.
1068. MR CASEY: I was just trying to ask him if he is aware of the report.
1069. CHAIRMAN: He is not here to talk about that, he is here to give evidence and answer your questions, but not questions which are not relevant. You will have your opportunity to speak, and I think yesterday we had the same mix up in the difference between examining a witness on what that witness has said and making your own case. If you could clearly divide them as they are supposed to be divided, we would all be grateful.
1070. LORD GLASMAN: Another way of looking at it is, think about those television law programmes, you say, "Did you or did you not say" not, "Did you or did you not read", I think that is a good way of organising it.
1071. MR CASEY: Yes. Going back to your prosecutions, have you ever taken one of the pedlars – actually have you been to most of these proceedings?
(Mr Ehrhart) No, I have not, no.
1072. You have not. Were there any findings from the Magistrates as a matter of fact that they decided that the whole apparatus of the particular pedlar took them outside of the scope of the Pedlars Act?
(Mr Ehrhart) Sorry, what was the question?
1073. Were there any findings of facts by the Magistrates that the apparatus used by the pedlar was out of the scope of what would be defined as a pedlar?
(Mr Ehrhart) You mean the trolley?
(Mr Ehrhart) No, as I have already said, most of our cases have been on the behaviour of the pedlars rather than the size of their trolleys. We have not tested that, no.
1075. So what you are telling me is the Magistrates did not take up issue with the size of the trolleys?
(Mr Ehrhart) We did not raise that as part of our evidence.
1076. Okay, thank you. But they did not take issue either?
(Mr Ehrhart) Well, they would not have been able to because it was not part of our evidence.
1077. Fair enough. (After a pause). I will not go through every single picture here but can you tell me whether or not they are licensed street traders, pedlars or illegal traders in these photographs?
(Mr Ehrhart) In NG14 there are two legal street traders that you can just about observe. One the left-hand side of NG14 there is part of a green hot potato seller and on the right, behind the Yorkshire Bank building, there is a little blue canopy sticking out and that is a fruit and veg trader, all other traders in the street are unlicensed by the council.
1078. What street is this, please, I would not know?
(Mr Ehrhart) The street in NG14?
1079. Long Grove and High Street, I am trying to relate it to the map actually, that is the major problem.
(Mr Ehrhart) If you relate back to NG1 and NG2, if you navigate from the Old Market Square to the right of the Old Market Square the road that goes east/west, which is shaded green and red on either maps, that is Long Grove.
1080. In your opinion, looking at these photographs, would you say that any of these photographs show an absolute obstruction of the street? I fail to see any, do you?
(Mr Ehrhart) I think we have had this discussion before. I suppose anything on the street is an obstruction but these are unlicensed obstructions, certainly.
(Mr Ehrhart) Indeed.
1082. But they could be certified pedlar?
(Mr Ehrhart) Sorry?
1083. They could be certified pedlars?
(Mr Ehrhart) I would say most of them do have pedlar’s certificates but they are not licensed to trade on those streets in that activity.
1084. MR CASEY: Fair enough, okay.
1085. CHAIRMAN: Mr Casey, are you making the point that these are not pedlars or what point are you making?
1086. MR CASEY: I was just asking him what his opinion was. If he had any evidence to prove otherwise.
1087. CHAIRMAN: Otherwise than what?
1088. MR CASEY: If they were pedlars or if they were just illegal street traders, there is a difference.
1089. CHAIRMAN: I see. Yes, it was not really clear from what you were saying. But he is trying to ask you, were those people pedlars?
(Mr Ehrhart) These are typical examples of the sort of traders that we get in Nottingham and typically they would carry a pedlar’s certificate, yes. But it is there activity. It is the way they behave which brings them outside the exemption within the 1982 Act, which means we take a prosecution.
1090. CHAIRMAN: That is clear, thank you. Mr Casey.
1091. MR CASEY: You do not have any other photographs of your licence pitches, do you, in Nottingham? There does not appear to be any here.
(Mr Ehrhart) No.
1092. It would have just been very useful in a comparison between the two different types of trading.
(Mr Ehrhart) If you would like to visit Nottingham at any time they are there on the streets.
1093. I would like to move on to seizure. (After a pause). Can you explain to me the purpose of your seizure clause?
(Mr Ehrhart) The main purpose is to be able to effectively deal with the obstruction on the streets on the day. That is our main concern, the obstruction and the impact on the urban environment. By undertaking the seizure we can clear that and also collect the evidence for a prosecution if required.
1094. LORD STRASBURGER: Who is going to do that?
(Mr Ehrhart) It would be our Community Protection Officers. Authorised officers, more likely to be our CPOs than police constables.
1095. LORD STRASBURGER: What will they do with the goods they seize?
(Mr Ehrhart) We will act in accordance with the Bill, so we will put them into storage, we will list them, we will obtain details of the owner and obviously if we do not take the prosecution then we will aim to return them within the timescales.
1096. MR CASEY: You said they were to with obstruction?
(Mr Ehrhart) That is our main concern, is the impact on the urban environment and the obstruction that they cause.
1097. CHAIRMAN: Could I ask whether you have noted that, due to comments made by Viscount Eccles, you will no longer be permitted to use the word "suspect" but use "believes that". Have you any comment to make about that?
(Mr Ehrhart) No, if I used the word "suspect", I apologise for that. That is a term we redrafted last night.
1098. MR CASEY: Correct me if I am wrong, but it appears to me that the purpose of the seizure is not because of obstruction, it is to be used in evidence before the court, is that correct?
(Mr Ehrhart) I think that is what I said ----
1099. For the charge of illegal street trading?
(Mr Ehrhart) That is correct, that is what I said ----
1100. Does the law of obstruction come under a different statute?
(Mr Ehrhart) Sorry?
1101. Does the law of obstruction come under a different statute?
(Mr Ehrhart) I cannot say. I am a market officer.
1102. I put it to you that it comes under the Highways Act and not the Street Trading Regulations. (After a pause). The period of 56 days from when the article is seized, if it is seized by an officer, do you think that is proportionate and strikes a fair balance between the general interest and the rights of the individual like myself?
(Mr Ehrhart) I am advised to say by our legal team that drafted the wording there, yes.
1103. You are advised then? You do not have your own opinion?
(Mr Ehrhart) Well, I bow to the legal opinion that I have been given.
1104. So you cannot answer that question for me?
(Mr Ehrhart) Well, I have answered the question.
1105. I redirect the question to you, do you think it is proportionate and strikes a fair balance?
(Mr Ehrhart) I will repeat what I said. I am advised that that is proportionate by my legal team.
1106. So that is not coming from you? I will put another question to you, which you probably will not be able to answer, but I will ask you nonetheless. Do you consider that the period to be an infringement of a person’s Article 1 Protocol 1 rights contained with the Human Rights Act 1988?
(Mr Ehrhart) As predicted, I cannot answer that. I will have to turn to my legal team.
1107. CHAIRMAN: I am sorry, Mr Casey, that is not – I am assured – a proper question to ask this witness.
1108. MR CASEY: It was just that it was part of my Petition and I did touch on these issues within it.
1109. CHAIRMAN: Yes, you can talk to your Petition. You can make the point that in your Petition that this is something that is unacceptable to you if you wish, but you should not ask the witness whether it is his opinion.
1110. MR CASEY: Okay, sorry.
1111. CHAIRMAN: No one is trying to stop you from putting your point at all but just we must keep within the rules.
1112. MR CASEY: I understand, and sometimes I stray from them. I do struggle with it, so if I move beyond the bounds of what is acceptable, as you do, please keep pulling me back into line. Yes.
1113. LORD STRASBURGER: (After a pause). While Mr Casey is going through his notes, why is there only one prosecution every two months?
(Mr Ehrhart) Why is there only one every two months?
1114. Yes, it suggests to me there is not much of problem.
(Mr Ehrhart) What it reveals is the difficulty in gathering the evidence, serving the summons, et cetera, and taking the case forward. There are cases that we gather evidence on that either show that people are moving and, therefore, are behaving as a pedlar under the thing, still causing obstruction but moving. There are cases where we are unable to serve the summons or the address that we are given or the name that we are given is incorrect. So there are a number of cases that we try to gather evidence on that we are not able to complete through the court.
1115. MR CASEY: Within your Bill that you are promoting, just the last question on seizure, can you tell me if there is any sub-clause in there that actually allows an individual to challenge the seizure of the goods in a court of law?
(Mr Ehrhart) I can read through it, if you like. Is there a particular one ----
1116. I cannot find one myself, personally.
(Mr Ehrhart) Without reading through it, I think there is a clause where they can claim it back after a certain period of time.
1117. There is, but before the 56 days I am not aware of any.
(Mr Ehrhart) Right.
1118. But, please, confer with your Counsel. (After a pause). I am not sure I am allowed to ask that question.
1119. CHAIRMAN: I think it is very good advice that when you are unsure leave it out, and bear in mind that you have your opportunity when you put your Petition to put forward any point that concerns you and your opportunity to work and carry out your trade. If you are in doubt yourself, my advice is to leave it out at this stage and consider bringing it in at the next.
1120. MR CASEY: I think I was just about to make the mistake of asking for his opinion again, which I am not allowed to do, so I will not. Moving on, the Fixed Penalty Notices. It is the same question to you, clause 12, is there anywhere there that allows a person to challenge the Fixed Penalty Notice if one should be issued? I fail to see one myself.
(Mr Ehrhart) Short of reading through it; would you like me to read through it, Chair?
1121. LORD STRASBURGER: There is not much point in asking the witness what is in the Bill and what is not. We can read it for ourselves.
1122. MR CASEY: Okay, I just wanted to point out that there was not one.
1123. LORD STRASBURGER: Do that later.
1124. CHAIRMAN: I do not think he touched on it in his evidence anyway.
1125. MR CASEY: Okay, I think that just about sums up that, thank you very much.
1126. CHAIRMAN: Thank you, Mr Casey. Ms Lieven, do you wish to use your right to re-examine.
Re-examined by MS LIEVEN
1127. MS LIEVEN: I just want to ask one question, my Lady, and I hope the Committee will indulge on this because it is a critical point and I think it is important to try and make it as clear as possible.
1128. My Lord, Lord Strasburger, asked you a question just a few minutes ago about the fact there has only been one prosecution every two months, roughly, showed that there is not much of a problem, and you pointed out in the answer the difficulties with prosecutions in terms of evidence gathering, and so on. But if you take the scenario of the person who has a pedlar’s certificate, who is trading with one of the trolleys that one sees in the photograph but who moves every 15 minutes, is it possible to take a prosecution under the current law in respect of such a person?
(Mr Ehrhart) Generally not, and we would not do so, no.
1129. MR LIEVEN: But is such a person potentially causing a problem, in the view of the council in terms of obstructing the highway and/or impeding the urban environment?
(Mr Ehrhart) Yes, we believe that does cause an obstruction.
1130. MS LIEVEN: So to what degree in your view does the number of prosecutions, whether defining them as high, low or medium, reflect on the problems and concerns which lead the council to promote this Bill?
(Mr Ehrhart) The prosecutions are not an indication of the activities that are happening on the streets. That just gives an opportunity to bring a case forward. We have much more activity on the street than the prosecutions that we bring, yes.
1131. MS LIEVEN: Thank you. Madam, the only other point is in respect of Mr Casey’s last question about six penalty notices, which I think might be helpful if I just dealt with that rather than trying to do it through the witness. The answer to Mr Casey’s concern lies in clause 11(1) because the system of the fixed penalty offence is the authorised officer finds a person who he has reason to believe has on that occasion committed a relevant offence, the officer can then give that person a notice offering him the opportunity to discharge any liability by paying for the fixed penalty.
1132. So like – certainly I am familiar – speeding tickets. You have the choice, you can either pay your Fixed Penalty Notice or you can elect to go to the Magistrates. So it is not the case that if you are given a Fixed Penalty Notice there is nothing you can do about it. If you are not happy with the Fixed Penalty Notice then you can go to the Magistrates.
1133. CHAIRMAN: There is a further course you can take, you can always, if it is a parking ticket for instance, write to the local authority. That is perfectly acceptable as well.
1134. MS LIEVEN: My Lady, parking tickets are slightly different but speeding fines are dealt with the police, so you do not have the opportunity to appeal to the parking adjudicator, which is a different issue. You either pay your notice or you elect to go to the Magistrates and that is exactly the same as here. But if there were any doubts upon it, I think Lord Blair would be far better off to explain it to the Committee than me.
1135. CHAIRMAN: Thank you very much.
1136. MR CASEY: May I just interject there? I just wanted to say that I fail to see the provision in the Fixed Penalty Notices that allowed one to appeal against the Fixed Penalty Notice within the provisions of the clauses within the Bill. Moving on to another point, on trolley size that I think was just mentioned, the Magistrates can prosecute somebody for a trolley that is beyond what is considered to be reasonable. It is in Shepway v Vincent, just to point that out. Thank you.
1137. LORD STRASBURGER: I just have one last question for you. Looking at NG14, I think you said you believe this is a pedlar?
(Mr Ehrhart) Yes, the characteristic is that it is likely to be somebody with a pedlar’s certificate.
1138. If he stayed there all day, would you look to prosecute him?
(Mr Ehrhart) Yes, we would, yes
1139. What harm is he doing?
(Mr Ehrhart) Well, there is obviously a case of precedent there, but there is also another illegal street trader or unlicensed street trader in the background there as well. Can you see just standing next to the trolley there by the guy with the green and black top?
(Mr Ehrhart) There may well be others on the street as well. Most of the ----
1141. But we keep hearing about obstruction, do you think that pedlar, if he is a pedlar, is causing an obstruction on the basis of that photo?
(Mr Ehrhart) There is access around either side to be able to walk around, yes there is.
1142. So in this case he is not causing an obstruction?
(Mr Ehrhart) There are alternative routes, yes.
1143. Thank you.
1144. VISCOUNT ECCLES: Lord Chairman, Counsel raised a question of fixed penalties. I do not know whether this is the right time for us to have a bit more extended discussion.
1145. Fixed penalties, it depends very much at what level the penalty is set. But there can be circumstances, I suggest, when what is being done gives rise to a Fixed Penalty Notice but it is of a nature whereby the person who the Fixed Penalty Notice is being delivered considers it is perfectly okay to pay it, because in fact it is a part of the cost of business to pay the fixed penalty, bearing in mind the economics of the trade that that person is carrying on. If that happens to be the case, it seems that you could argue that that devalues justice, in some quite serious way, because there is nothing much to do with the rule of law to make a utilitarian economic decision that it is worth paying a penalty. Is there not a danger that the clauses in your Bills might lead to that happening?
1146. MS LIEVEN: I think my first answer to that is that the evidence that you have heard is that there is a significant danger, if not evidence, that that is what is happening at the moment. So the evidence you have heard is that where – what I can happily call – illegal street traders are prosecuted, in many cases they are happy to take the fine, and that does not deter them from coming back again and again because it is effectively part of the cost of the business. So unless one was to up the fine massively, given the potential profitability of unlawful street trading in some of these locations, that danger exists in any event.
1147. In terms of the broader scope of your Lordship’s question, I think the best I can answer is that Fixed Penalty Notices have become a widely adopted and accepted system through Parliament for a number of relatively minor offences. As I understand it – and again I think I defer to Lord Blair on this – it is almost the nature of the alternative of taking a Fixed Penalty Notice that the offender is saying, "I will accept a lesser fine rather than exercise my rights to go to the Magistrates Court". So the very nature of any Fixed Penalty Notice regime is that there is an economic incentive to avoid the court system. That is a jurisprudential and philosophical basis that I do not feel it would be appropriate for these Promoters to get into. I think one just has to accept that Parliament has accepted that situation for a broad range of offences, both in national and local legislation, for a number of years by now.
1148. So what I am saying is I completely understand your Lordship’s concern. I have seen articles about them but I think that is a judgment that has been made by Parliament for many years, for understandable but ultimately utilitarian reasons.
1149. LORD BLAIR OF BOUGHTON: I would not want to give evidence, but I think Counsel has expressed that extremely well.
1150. CHAIRMAN: Thank you, Lord Blair. I consider then we have finished with this matter about Nottingham for this time and I am proposing to move on to the Promoter’s evidence- in-chief on the Reading Bill, please.
The witness withdrew
1151. MS LIEVEN: Thank you, my Lady. Can I swap my witnesses, please, and call Mr Champeau. (After a pause). The plans for Reading, the exhibits, are at divider 8, plans and photographs again.
MR JEAN CHAMPEAU called
Examination by MS LIEVEN
1152. MS LIEVEN: Can I start by introducing you, your name is Jean Champeau, is that correct?
(Mr Champeau) Yes, that is correct.
1153. And you are employed by Reading Borough Council as a senior licensing officer, and have been employed by the council since 1984; is that right?
(Mr Champeau) Yes, that is correct.
1154. We have some plans of the centre of Reading. Can you just give us a bit of an overview of Reading as a retail centre, please?
(Mr Champeau) Yes, Reading Town is relatively small, or the borough is relatively small. We are, I think, at the moment classed as number 16 in the country as a shopping centre. I am not quite sure how that is done but that is the way it has been classified. Reading serves a much greater community, even though it is a small borough it serves a much larger community. We have the usual retail outlets, we have a couple of shopping malls and running through the middle of Reading is Broad Street. If you refer to map 2 that is an overview of the main shopping areas, and it is Broad Street that concerns us, which runs right through the middle of the town and connects the two shopping malls at either end. We have a number of licensed street traders in one part of Broad Street. The rest of Broad Street is dedicated to other uses, such as a performance area, art work, and seating. There is an access area for disabled people who come on things like the Ready Bus, so that they have access to the middle of Reading, they can be dropped off and picked up. Most of the bus routes of Reading go around the outside, so disabled access into Broad Street is quite important.
1155. Can I just take you to your first exhibit for a moment. Does that show the position within Broad Street of the licensed street traders?
(Mr Champeau) Yes, it does.
1156. Thank you. We will come to the photographs in a moment, but what is Reading Council’s experience of the activities of pedlars in Broad Street?
(Mr Champeau) For Reading Council pedlars became a huge issue about five years ago when, with the run up to Christmas, we ended up with 14 trolleys on a Saturday afternoon.
1157. CHAIRMAN: 14 what?
(Mr Champeau) Trolleys. At that point we realised we could no longer ignore the problem of the size of the trolleys and the amount of people who were turning up to peddle.
1158. Were these pedlars or were they traders?
(Mr Champeau) These were people with pedlar’s certificates.
1159. Pedlar’s certificates. Thank you.
(Mr Champeau) Yes, they all had pedlars’ certificate. If they did not have pedlar’s certificates they would have been moved on. They would not have been there, or if they refused to move we would have prosecuted them. That is why in the end the Bill for Reading started to be promoted, to take control.
1160. MS LIEVEN: Can I just pick up a point that was raised in Nottingham, in Mr Ehrhart’s evidence as well. If one has a look at the photographs that you produced, from page 9 onwards, first of all are these largely taken in Broad Street?
(Mr Champeau) Yes, they are all taken in Broad Street.
1161. Now, what we do not see is an absolute blockade of Broad Street. In other words, a complete obstruction of Broad Street so pedestrians cannot get from one end to the other, yes?
(Mr Champeau) Yes.
1162. Does the fact that there is not a total obstruction of Broad Street – it is, as its name suggests, quite board – in your view mean that there is not a problem with pedlars’ trolleys in that area?
(Mr Champeau) The problem with the pedlars’ trolleys is they are now so large that they tend to stay away from the legitimate street traders, and they then go to areas where we have designed it for disabled access for performances and they congregate in that area. If I refer you back to page 2, you will see in the middle there is a road called Queen Victoria Street, that part is where they tend to congregate en masse. That area there is deliberately kept free of furniture, of shelters – anything – so that people can move in and out and around about the town centre depending on where they want to go. That is where we end up with a blockade – if that is the right word – of these large trolleys.
1163. LORD STRASBURGER: Are they in Broad Street or Queen Victoria Street?
(Mr Champeau) They do not normally go up Queen Victoria Street, they sometimes do, but the side of Queen Victoria Street is pavement cafes because we have a lot of Costa Coffee, that kind of set up, and the middle is kept as an access route for emergency services when it is pedestrianised and for disabled access.
1164. So you use the word "blockade", what is being blocked and where?
(Mr Champeau) It is just there is a mass of them. They just congregate and they go around and around. Because they need to keep moving they just – almost like a procession – go round and round, because they know that we are trying to show that they are either illegally street trading or they just keep going round and round and we just end up with a mass of these very large trolleys, and the pictures in here show the size of these trolleys.
1165. MS LIEVEN: Mr Champeau, can I just be clear, what you are saying is that they congregate, or focus, not on Queen Victoria Street itself but on the area of Broad Street at the junction of Queen Victoria Street?
(Mr Champeau) Yes.
1166. LORD STRASBURGER: Which picture shows that?
(Mr Champeau) Queen Victoria Street? It does not actually show that. Let us have a look where can we best see it. Picture 16 is Broad Street with the end of Queen Victoria Street and you have the balloon seller in the middle, there.
1167. Where is Queen Victoria Street?
(Mr Champeau) It is at the top of the picture if you were looking at the picture on the right-hand side.
1168. MS LIEVEN: So this is a picture ----
(Mr Champeau) Up Broad Street with Queen Victoria Street, yes.
1169. Looking west with Queen Victoria Street running north?
(Mr Champeau) Yes.
1170. But you have to imagine where Queen Victoria Street is. I just want to come back to this point because you are not suggesting, are you, that the pedlars or unlawful street traders, whichever they should happen to be with their trolleys, are blocking Broad Street, it is more that they are forming a congregation in that area which impacts on the urban environment, is that a fair comment?
(Mr Champeau) Yes. Yes, it is.
1171. In terms of the urban environment, how much effort or attention does Reading Council put into how Broad Street is planned, in terms of all the other things that go on in a street, pavement cafes, lighting, CCTV, trees, anything else? Are those things the council thinks about?
(Mr Champeau) The council has been developing the town centre for 15 years now and it started with the pedestrianisation of Broad Street, and over time that pedestrianisation has spread across the town centre. Every time anybody wants to put anything fixed, in any of the areas of the town centre, there has to be a lot of work to find out what problems it is going to cause for the various users who want to access or use the town centre. As somebody in licensing, we could easily put more street traders in the town centre but the reality is the pressure is on Broad Street and the town centre. It is not practical to put more licensed street traders. We do not have the space, even though this is a very wide area. The demand for charity collectors, promotion units, all the different things a council has to do to promote a town centre, it is quite difficult to accommodate extras without causing problems to other people.
1172. LORD BLAIR OF BOUGHTON: Mr Champeau, just looking at picture 16, and I take the point Lord Strasburger made to the previous witness; it is very hard to say from that photograph that that balloon seller is obstructing the street. If I could just ask this, and I am going to put it to you rather than me telling you, is it correct there is a kind of pecking order here? That the pecking order is the retailers, followed by the retailers who want to put stuff on the streets, that is Costa Coffee, and you said there were tables and chairs, followed by the street traders, and what you find difficult here is the moving of the pedlar activity?
(Mr Champeau) Yes.
1173. What do you want to do with the pedlars then?
(Mr Champeau) Ultimately for us the trolleys, we want them to go back to being pedlars without these massive trolleys. We can cope with people carrying – for Reading Festival, which is one on the events held at Reading, they tried to bring the big trolleys to Reading Festival. It is not pedestrianised around that area, and they soon find out they cannot push those trolleys because we have 90,000 people there. So they peddle, they carry their wares, and they do it legally; they are perfectly able to act as pedlars with a pedlar’s certificate and carry their wares. They do it at Reading Festival, they can do it here. They do not need these big trolleys.
1174. CHAIRMAN: So you are not bent, as it were, on getting the pedlars out of the city?
(Mr Champeau) No, no, we are not. We are quite happy to have pedlars peddling their wares, what we want is to try and reduce the size of these things that have just become – I heard yesterday in evidence comments about a small car in terms of size. I have seen them bigger than that. Some of these are pushed. They cannot actually see where they pushing them to. They cannot actually physically see. They are that big, they are pushing them blind.
1175. Yes, there is two separate points here and you have made them very clear. What would have helped me is to have a clearer picture of which of these areas are pedestrianised and which are normal roads.
(Mr Champeau) Okay, I think that ----
1176. MS LIEVEN: If you go to the second ----
1177. CHAIRMAN: I have the second one in front of me.
(Mr Champeau) The whole of Broad Street is pedestrianised.
1178. MS LIEVEN: From West Street all the way done to the triangle in the east, is that right?
(Mr Champeau) Yes.
1179. CHAIRMAN: West Street, did you say?
1180. MS LIEVEN: West Street on the left.
1181. CHAIRMAN: That is a pedestrian street?
1182. MS LIEVEN: No, Broad Street from the junction with West Street, all the way down to the triangle of land with, I think it is called, King Street in the east. The whole of Broad Street there is pedestrianised, is it not, Mr Champeau?
(Mr Champeau) Yes, and Queen Victoria Street is now pedestrianised and Cross Street, which is the one next to it, is pedestrianised. The top road, Friars Street, has recently been completely changed due to the redevelopment of Reading Station. So that used to be one-way restricted traffic, it is now two-way restricted traffic. So Friars Street has slightly changed.
1183. CHAIRMAN: Very clear, thank you.
1184. MS LIEVEN: Just to give the context in Reading, the large Reading shopping centre known as the Oracle lies to the south of this plan, does it not?
(Mr Champeau) Yes, it does.
1185. So that is a major draw.
1186. LORD GLASMAN: This is just to ask a question of your judgment. Do you see Lord Strasburger’s bag down there?
(Mr Champeau) Yes.
1187. Is that a good size for a pedlar’s bag?
(Mr Champeau) Yes.
1188. Because you could open that up and keep things in there?
(Mr Champeau) Sure.
1189. Yes. I am just checking where your judgment is. Thank you very much indeed.
1190. MS LIEVEN: Mr Champeau, I think the only other thing I want you cover because it is Reading–specific, is you have mentioned the Reading Festival already, Reading in its Bill has retained provisions to stop ticket touting. Can you just explain the problems that occur around the time of the festival with ticket touts?
(Mr Champeau) Reading Festival is quite unique in that it is in the town centre. Anybody who has been there will know that it is within a quarter of a mile of the town centre, so consequently Reading Festival attracts a lot of street traders and a lot of ticket touts because it is also normally sold out. It is very rare that Reading Festival is not sold out. One of the issues we have is ticket touts.
1191. Ticket touts are not nice people. I cannot put it any other way. They have links to illegal street trading; they have links to copyright issues. We, during Reading Festival, put on a huge amount of work with Trading Standards to try and sort out issues of copyright but we also have these ticket touts who are selling tickets and they are not just selling tickets, they are selling laminates, wristbands, anything that can make them money to get into the festival. It causes security problems for the festival, and it causes problems for our festival goers. Because if a ticket tout sells a number of tickets at Reading Station, by the time those people have walked down to the festival or taken the bus and started to go through the processing, where they turn a ticket into a wristband, the first time that person will know that that ticket is a forgery is when it is refused, and that may be an hour after the person has gone from Reading Station.
1192. For us, stopping ticket touts is an important part of this Bill. Reading Festival has a buyback scheme – so that anybody who has tickets, for whatever reason they have not been able to use or wish to sell back to the festival so that they can resell them – in place. So we really do not need ticket touts.
1193. CHAIRMAN: A tout is not a pedlar?
(Mr Champeau) No.
1194. Thank you, I wanted to make that absolutely clear because we have been talking so much about it.
(Mr Champeau) Yes.
1195. CHAIRMAN: Lord Blair, did you wish to put a question or did I misjudge your eye?
1196. LORD BLAIR OF BOUGHTON: No, I merely smiled at the memory of Reading Festival in my previous professional life.
(Mr Champeau) Good memories, I hope.
1197. MS LIEVEN: Can we just be clear, Mr Champeau, that the legal problem that the Bill tried to deal with is not just that ticket touts sell tickets, but that they can also purchase tickets and they can claim to be purchasing tickets?
(Mr Champeau) Yes.
1198. That is not caught by the existing legislation. So the enforcement issue is that an officer goes and challenges a ticket tout and he or she – probably usually he – says, "Oh I am not selling, I am buying", and this legislation is intended to pick up that problem. I do not think that part of the legislation is controversial but it is just important the Committee understand the nature of the power.
1199. LORD GLASMAN: First of all, it is always wonderful to meet a public officer so clearly knowledgeable of committee. It is great. But I have a conceptual difficulty, if you are in favour of pedlars then why is this Bill trying to remove them?
(Mr Champeau) We are trying to control the issue.
1200. But I am just pointing out that there is a little bit of a mismatch between your intention and the instrument.
(Mr Champeau) It is my understanding that we are allowing pedlars that carry their wares.
1201. MS LIEVEN: To the degree that there was a mismatch, my Lord, I think we would now say that mismatch had been addressed by the proposed amendment, and just to remind the Committee Reading was, of course, accepting before today an amendment to allow them to carry their wares in any event.
1202. LORD STRASBURGER: Can I ask the questions I ask everybody? How many licensed street traders do you have? How many pitches?
(Mr Champeau) About 35. I say "about" because at the Reading Festival we never know who is going to apply so the numbers go up and down.
1203. Are there any vacancies?
(Mr Champeau) No.
1204. I am not applying.
(Mr Champeau) No, okay.
1205. How much do those traders pay for those licences?
(Mr Champeau) In the town centre it is just under £6,000 per annum, outside the town centre it is just over £2,000, or it is prorated depending on how many days. If somebody wants to trade once as week, 52 occasions, then it is prorated down.
1206. How many certified pedlars do you think are operating in Reading?
(Mr Champeau) On an average week, it depends. Probably five or six a day; it will probably go up at Christmas. It has started climbing obviously.
1207. How many illegal traders do you think you have?
(Mr Champeau) Hopefully, not many because as soon as we see a pedlar either us or the police verify that they have a valid pedlar certificate and if they do not they are advised to leave, and they do. It is very, very rare these that ----
1208. Lastly, what powers do you have already regarding ticket touts?
(Mr Champeau) None.
1209. You have rather suggested that touts explain that they are not selling they are buying, so do you have powers against touts who are selling?
(Mr Champeau) It is very, very unclear. We have never been able to get our legal people to take it up as a case.
1210. CHAIRMAN: I am very anxious to close for lunch now but I do not want to stop you, Ms Lieven, in any way.
1211. MS LIEVEN: I have just one question, my Lady. What is the peak number of pedlars/unlawful street traders - whatever you chose to call them - you have seen?
(Mr Champeau) Fourteen.
1212. Thank you. That is all, my Lady.
1213. CHAIRMAN: Thank you. I propose to give Mr Campbell-Lloyd his opportunity to question the witness after lunch, and bearing in mind that he already has the homework to do over the amendments, point (a); point (b), I will ask him, please, if he could, to bear in mind the points we had to make earlier to Mr Casey that when you speak at this stage you will be questioning Mr Champeau. You will not be putting forward your Petition and you will have an opportunity to do that later. There has been too much of a mix up between one and the other, and we would be very grateful if you would stick to the questioning and then it can go smoothly.
1214. We must work on finishing this Committee, however long it takes. I fear it will not be very convenient for any of our attendees, as well as Members, if we go on and on into December, which looks distinctly possible at this stage in the proceedings. We will resume at 2 o’clock. I have given you a little extra time, which I hope you will find useful.
1215. MR CASEY: My Lady, may I just ask one very quick question, I just need some direction with regards the amendments to Canterbury and Nottingham Bills. After lunch would you like me to make a submission on my objections to the amendments? Is that what you are seeking?
1216. CHAIRMAN: You will have your opportunity to do that. I think we will hear, first of all, Mr Campbell-Lloyd and I presume, since you are working together, that he will say what you want said. Is that clear?
1217. MR CASEY: He may, but I think there are some differences between Reading and Leeds and Canterbury, Nottingham. Most of the amendments appear to be specific to myself.
1218. CHAIRMAN: I am going to ask my clerk to discuss that with you during the break and then we will come to the conclusion at her professional advice.
1219. MR CASEY: Thank you very much.
1220. CHAIRMAN: Thank you, I will see you all again at 2 o’clock.
The Committee adjourned from 12.49 pm until 2.00 pm
1221. CHAIRMAN: Good afternoon, everybody. I hope you have been enabled, in this short time, to have something to eat and I want to start straightaway and to remind you that we are still listening to the evidence of Mr Champeau, who does not seem to be there. You alarmed me for a moment there. I am so pleased to see you and we had reached the point where it was Mr Campbell-Lloyd’s opportunity to cross-examine the witness. Now, could I say, Mr Campbell-Lloyd, that again you are questioning and not making your speech on your Petition, as point 1. Secondly, there is this point about the question of amendments that has been put forward. The view of the Committee is that it would be easier for you and easier for us if you were to confine your remarks to your Petition section as to what your views on the amendments are and how they may not be very beneficial or perhaps definitely not beneficial, however you feel about them, but we think it is better if you confine the comments on the amendments to your statement on your Petition. All right?
1222. MR CAMPBELL-LLOYD: So we are not having the separate section we spoke about before we broke.
1223. CHAIRMAN: No. It seems to be easier for the smooth running of the Committee to ask that it should be dealt with in this way.
1224. MR CAMPBELL-LLOYD: So my response to this will come within my submissions.
1225. CHAIRMAN: Yes. We are not in any way seeking to stop you making responses such as you make but now would you cross-examine Mr Champeau.
(Mr Champeau) May I just ask one question? For the sake of not having to repeat our arguments, would it be all right for Robert, in his submissions, to cover our objections to the amendments proposed by the Promoters because we had agreement between ourselves that all the Bills and our objections to the amendments are similar? Would that be acceptable that Robert can, rather than for the sake of me having to repeat?
1226. CHAIRMAN: This is why we think it better to do that at the end when he is presenting his Petition and there will be ample opportunity for him to discuss the amendments then.
(Mr Champeau) Yes, I just wanted to make sure he could cover Nottingham and Canterbury as he was not the agent for those. That was all.
1227. LORD STRASBURGER: You are asking him to speak for Nottingham.
(Mr Champeau) On my behalf, yes. Thank you; that is what I wanted to know. Thank you very much.
1228. CHAIRMAN: All right; I hope that is clear. Thank you.
(Mr Champeau) Yes, great.
1229. MR CAMPBELL-LLOYD: Chairman, is it impolite to take off a coat in this House? May I take my coat off?
1230. CHAIRMAN: Of course you may. Please feel comfortable and be comfortable.
Cross–examined by MR CAMPBELL–LLOYD
1231. MR CAMPBELL-LLOYD: Mr Champeau, we have a set of photographs that I will refer to and they are well numbered and well organised. In fact, I will very quickly run through from where the photographs themselves begin. We have discussed these, I know, but from a preparation point of view, I did not know what was going to be said before, so we can very quickly run through them. I would be very grateful if you could respond. This is the trader that we know nothing about, apart from he is a large trader; on page 9, the first image. This is just a large trader but we know nothing more about him.
(Mr Champeau) We would have checked that he has a certificate.
1232. So he would have had a Pedlar’s certificate.
(Mr Champeau) Yes.
1233. All right, good. So that would go consistently throughout?
(Mr Champeau) Yes.
1234. And we do not have any that you would call "rogues"?
(Mr Champeau) No.
1235. All right. If we come on to photograph 12, is there any competition in the town for the sort of products that this gentleman is selling?
(Mr Champeau) Yes.
1236. There is. All right, fine. It is quite a large scale. Is that the normal size? It looks like some are quite small and some are large but this looks like on the larger side. Probably the size of a licensed trader’s pitch? Would he be likely to change?
(Mr Champeau) No.
1237. He would not, all right, fine. So that is a good point. I wonder perhaps whether the other supplier in the town has formalised any complaints about this man’s operations.
(Mr Champeau) No, there is more than one supplier in town.
1238. So there a number of suppliers in town.
(Mr Champeau) Yes.
1239. Has the council received any formal complaints from those other people who sell these products?
(Mr Champeau) No.
(Mr Champeau) No.
1241. All right, fine. We are looking at perceived problems, not necessarily actual problems. There is a perception here because they are trading lawfully, is that correct?
(Mr Champeau) Yes.
1242. All right. So the council has generated a perceived problem by its observation of this.
(Mr Champeau) No.
1243. How has that come about? It is perceived; it is not unlawful act. It is a perceived problem.
(Mr Champeau) No, it is a problem. It is an actual problem in that if council officers are there, these pedlars will keep moving because they know we are there or the police are there but as soon as we leave, they then stop moving. They then become street traders.
1244. Of course but it is a perception from the council; it is not a perception from the people who sponsor these traders. From their point of view, their perception is that is great; had a good deal there, moved on. Is that correct?
(Mr Champeau) From the public?
(Mr Champeau) I assume so; I do not know.
1246. LORD STRASBURGER: How do you know they stop moving when you are not there?
(Mr Champeau) CCTV.
1247. MR CAMPBELL-LLOYD: I suppose CCTV can be pretty good for surveying the entire street.
(Mr Champeau) CCTV generally for a town centre is used by the police and you get snapshots of the town. You cannot use it that well for surveillance, if you see what I mean? You need it for those purposes.
1248. Under CCTV, if somebody was idle for more than 20 minutes or so, it would be picked up on camera, so the evidence is quite easily co-ordinated.
(Mr Champeau) No, not the way the CCTV systems generally work because the cameras are panned around. Unless you specifically ask an operator to focus on a street trader, which they are reluctant to do because the cameras are there to do other things as well; they are not just there to focus on a trader. If we want evidence of traders not moving, we have to video it.
1249. Is that with a different surveillance camera or is it with cameras?
(Mr Champeau) With our CCTV camera, with our ----
1250. You have CCTV.
(Mr Champeau) We have a camera.
1251. All right; that you take out on the street. All right, thank you. On picture 15, we have one of those possible people that there is a conflict of interest in town where Phones 4u are identified. You said there has been no complaint from this person about a street trader who is also selling probably the same goods. Is that right?
(Mr Champeau) To be fair, I was not comparing Phones 4u to that trader. I was talking about other shops that sell similar goods to what that trader had, not necessarily Phones 4u, side shops because there is a number of those. There is O2 Phones 4u and a whole range of them.
1252. All right and there is another large sign saying "John Lewis". They were complaining about street traders selling products that perhaps conflict with what they have.
(Mr Champeau) Yes.
1253. In what form is that communication sent through to you and why and in what terms?
(Mr Champeau) Normally a phone call.
1254. A phone call saying?
(Mr Champeau) If you look, it is not very clear on the picture, but there is a canopy. From the John Lewis store, there is a canopy that goes out about six feet and when there is heavy rain, the pedlars go under the canopy to stay out of the rain.
(Mr Champeau) And stop and block up their entrances, so we get a phone call saying, "Come along and move them".
1256. Do you get calls saying there are too many at the doors and please come and clear them?
(Mr Champeau) Yes.
1257. And the council moves pedestrians out of the way.
(Mr Champeau) No; we move the pedlars out of the way.
1258. I was asking a different question. Do pedestrians on the street ever find shelter in the rain?
(Mr Champeau) Yes.
1259. Do you have the responsibility to move them out of the entrance?
(Mr Champeau) No.
1260. No; so some congestion is okay. It is just what you are focusing on is that these traders do what is quite normal in a rainfall, they simply take shelter and, at that moment, there is a problem that you can come and deal with.
1261. I think I recall correctly that you have never done a survey of public response to pedlars in the street or traders in the street other than licensed.
(Mr Champeau) I am not aware that one has been done, no.
1262. Does it surprise you that the Durham Report, which was a Government Report, found that people on the street absolutely loved pedlars?
(Mr Champeau) I cannot comment because I do not ----
1263. You are not aware of that report?
(Mr Champeau) I am aware of the Durham Report but I cannot comment on how they did the survey.
1264. They surveyed with the deduction that the people on the street loved traders but you are not aware of that.
(Mr Champeau) No.
1265. On your submission to the Committee, you have pretty much decided that you only want approved traders on the street, either licensed traders or those certified pedlars who are acting within the regime of the Pedlar certificate. Is that right?
(Mr Champeau) Yes.
1266. You are not opposed to pedlars who carry their goods, go about their way.
(Mr Champeau) No.
1267. So the whole notion of pedlars being a problem would not concern you and you would not have to bring forward this Bill if they were doing what they were meant to do; carrying their goods and doing their business.
1268. Are you aware that the council has designation capacity to designate pretty much whatever it wants, wherever it wants?
(Mr Champeau) Yes.
1269. Is the whole of Reading designated?
(Mr Champeau) Yes.
1270. What are the categories of designation?
(Mr Champeau) Consent streets.
1271. That is it?
(Mr Champeau) That is it. There is two very small bits that are licensed streets but they are literally the length of this table where there were existing licensed traders. They are not consent streets. Those small pieces are licensed streets but they are literally the length of a unit.
1272. All right. So of the designation, you have consent, you have licensed; do you have any prohibited streets?
(Mr Champeau) No.
1273. But you could do that?
(Mr Champeau) It is possible, yes.
1274. And how would that occur?
(Mr Champeau) It depends on whether or not the legislation is changed but if it is changed, we would then potentially put it through the council, whatever procedures, to have them prohibited.
1275. So currently, you can alter designations at the whim of the council and under the Bill, you can also designate streets according to whatever category you wish but there are additional provisions now being proposed that we will come to in a minute.
1276. If there is an offence in this Local Government Miscellaneous Provisions Act, which is any person who engages in street trading in a prohibited street is guilty of an offence, so if a pedlar who has a certificate comes into a street, is he committing an offence if he is on a designated street?
(Mr Champeau) So far as I know, if he is peddling, he is not a problem.
1277. If he is peddling, not a problem, so it would not constitute an offence if a pedlar came into any designated street in any category.
(Mr Champeau) If I have understood your question right, yes.
1278. We are seeing a lot of photographs here of what constitutes peddling. Can you provide the Committee with what does constitute acceptable peddling by some photographs? Could you maybe point to anything in this list that shows what an acceptable pedlar does, what form he takes?
(Mr Champeau) No.
1279. Nothing but we have agreed that perhaps something like that, you would accept.
(Mr Champeau) Yes.
1280. All right, fine. So within the terms of the Bill as it is, you are absolutely sure in your mind that pedlars coming into any designated street, carrying some such size equipment that we are yet to agree on, will not be impacted by the offences that are in the Local Government Miscellaneous Provisions Act? That is trading in a street without a licence.
(Mr Champeau) I think so.
1281. All right. When you do have somebody that you are going to summon, what is the charge normally in these circumstances? How does that charge operate?
(Mr Champeau) It is illegal street trading.
1282. Under what legislation?
(Mr Champeau) Well, 1982.
1283. Under what clause?
(Mr Champeau) I would not know.
1284. All right. We have a difficulty here, in that it is usual, in my experience, that a trader who is being summoned to court has traded for illegal street trading under the Miscellaneous Provisions Act, clause 10, trading in a prohibitive street without a licence. So there is scope currently for you to prosecute everybody who does not have a licence in a street. Do you follow that?
(Mr Champeau) No.
1285. You do not follow it.
(Mr Champeau) If it was that easy, we would be doing it, to be honest.
1286. I will be bringing evidence that it is that easy. I will move on from that point.
1287. LORD BLAIR OF BOUGHTON: Sorry, can I just take a question there, Mr Campbell-Lloyd? You said "in a prohibited street".
1288. MR CAMPBELL-LLOYD: In a designated street; I will change that word because there are no prohibited streets. So in any designated street, there is currently the possibility of bringing a summons, a prosecution against somebody who is acting without a street trader’s licence. Is that correct?
(Mr Champeau) Not if he is a pedlar.
1289. He does not carry a licence, so he is acting without a licence.
(Mr Champeau) I would have to ask for legal advice on that.
1290. MS LIEVEN: My Lady, I hesitate to rise but we are getting into legal issues. Let me make it entirely clear; if I understand Mr Campbell-Lloyd’s questions right, he has the law wrong, but the reason I am rising is that this really is not a question for a witness to be answering. These are legal issues that should be dealt with through a submission.
1291. MR CAMPBELL-LLOYD: Mr Champeau, could you just remind me what your job is? Do you go out on the street and talk to pedlars or street traders?
(Mr Champeau) Yes.
1292. You do. So to do that, you need to know something about the law.
(Mr Champeau) Yes.
1293. All right. This was the reason that I was raising that. An enforcement officer, as Mr Champeau is, would need to know something about the law. I will move on from there.
1294. If we can go through to photograph 17; it looks like a stall with flowers, is that correct?
(Mr Champeau) Yes.
1295. It is an evening shot by the look of it and it is a good time to sell flowers. Does that trader have a licence?
(Mr Champeau) What; a pedlar’s licence?
1296. No. A certificate would be for a pedlar; a licence would be for a street trader.
(Mr Champeau) No.
1297. All right. So that is not a licensed pitch.
(Mr Champeau) No.
1298. All right, fine. If that person approached you, would they be eligible for a licence?
(Mr Champeau) If we had a spare spot, yes.
1299. All right but if you had only an option of a pedlar’s certificate, then he would be trading here creating a problem for the council.
(Mr Champeau) Yes.
1300. All right. So the problem is really down to the obstacle once again and circulation.
1301. We have another photograph at 18 and could you perhaps tell me what that photograph illustrates from the point of view of the Bill?
(Mr Champeau) Yes; just how busy Broad Street is.
1302. So it is only showing busyness.
(Mr Champeau) Yes.
1303. All right but there seems to be something else going on there and I wondered perhaps whether that was the feature of this particular photograph, the fact that there is a man there with something opened on a chair, a couple of black boxes on the ground. Do you know what that is?
(Mr Champeau) I think he is a busker.
1304. He could be a busker.
(Mr Champeau) He could be a busker.
1305. How does the council feel about buskers?
(Mr Champeau) We have a permit system for buskers.
1306. A permit system?
(Mr Champeau) Yes. We authorise, we try and make sure that they do not clash too much otherwise they all turn up on Saturday, so we have an authorisation system where they can come along and book a pitch but not in the middle of the road.
1307. CHAIRMAN: What sort of a permit do they have to have?
(Mr Champeau) It is a permit that says they can come along at a given time in a part of Broad Street and busk.
1308. MR CAMPBELL-LLOYD: It is okay for them to trade.
(Mr Champeau) No, they cannot trade. Sorry, they cannot sell.
1309. They cannot sell and what about those briefcases there? It looks like that is exactly what he might be doing; a stock of CDs ready to go, £5 each.
(Mr Champeau) I am not aware that is what is in there.
1310. It could be by donation of course and is that a way round the busking or the peddling issue or the street trading issue that something done for donation is different to something done as a trade? What I am trying to work out here is whether buskers are caught under the Bill.
(Mr Champeau) I am not aware that they are.
1311. You are not aware but anything done in a street for gain or reward is caught by the Bill. Are you aware of that?
(Mr Champeau) No, I am not. I am not aware that is the case.
1312. That is a legal point. I will come back to that if I have permission.
(Mr Champeau) That may be a legal point you may wish to clarify.
1313. All right. We will move on to the next photograph. Could you perhaps explain to us what the significance of photograph 19 is?
(Mr Champeau) A busy street.
1314. A busy street. Could be anywhere in the world really; Tokyo, Hong Kong, New York, anywhere. It is just a busy street scene.
(Mr Champeau) No, it is Reading. It is Broad Street; it is Reading.
1315. But you have been to other cities?
(Mr Champeau) I believe so, yes.
1316. All right, fine. So that is just a normal street scene. So there is no problem which you identifying in that shot.
(Mr Champeau) I am showing that Broad Street is a busy street.
1317. Good, but there is busy and busy. In Tokyo, people are shoulder to shoulder, absolutely rammed in.
1318. CHAIRMAN: We are not talking about Tokyo.
1319. MR CAMPBELL-LLOYD: Indeed, I will move along.
1320. CHAIRMAN: Please confine yourself to what we are talking about.
1321. MR CAMPBELL-LLOYD: Thank you. On photograph 20, this one particular pleases me. Could you tell us why you took this photograph?
(Mr Champeau) A busy street again.
1322. A busy street. I can see people dressed in this one in old-fashioned costumes. What are they doing there?
(Mr Champeau) Yes. It is a promotional event. It is a market.
1323. So there is something else going on here, so you would have permitted this marketplace presumably.
(Mr Champeau) Yes.
1324. It seems to be that it could have been an re-enactment of the legislation that enabled Mr Mark, who features in that picture also, as to why the Pedlar’s Act came into existence and how it supported not only the people who have started on the street as to prosecute these people, but they move into the High Street premises.
1325. CHAIRMAN: I am not sure it is helpful to conjecture what on earth it is. Here it is and I imagine it is meant further to show a pretty congested street.
1326. MR CAMPBELL-LLOYD: The reason that I raise that, Madame Chairwoman, is that from very humble beginnings, great things come and I wondered whether Mr Champeau was aware of how such a grass roots’ beginning, for a pedlar, can rise to quite a significant icon. You are aware of how that operates from grass roots up.
(Mr Champeau) Yes. That is very normal.
1327. CHAIRMAN: But these people are not pedlars, are they, Mr Champeau?
(Mr Champeau) No.
1328. MR CAMPBELL-LLOYD: Photograph 21 looks like this blonde lady just bought a pair of sunglasses. Is she getting a receipt from that man who has sold them to her?
(Mr Champeau) No. That picture relates to Reading Festival where somebody has turned up with one of these large stalls. If you look at the footway, well, it is not a footway, it is the verge; it has turned to mud and it is an example of what sometimes happens at Reading Festival where somebody turns up with one of these large trolleys believing that they will be able to move as a pedlar and very quickly because the place turns to mud, they cannot physically move it and that is why a lot of them, even if they come with one of these trolleys, very quickly resort to carrying their wares to carry on peddling because they physically cannot keep moving the thing; it is too big on the muddy mud.
1329. If we look into the distance of that shot, would it be the same for the man who is doing beer, cider and vodka?
(Mr Champeau) No; he is on private land. He is not on the public highway.
1330. All right, good. Thank you very much. If we go on to exhibit 22 in your bundle, the nine-year summary from 2001 to 2010, yes?
(Mr Champeau) Yes.
1331. In the first entry, this person was found not guilty but he was trading for 25 minutes. It looks like 25 minutes is greater than 15 minutes and it is quite acceptable to do that from a Magistrate’s point of view that dismissed this case. So 25 minutes is okay?
(Mr Champeau) No, not from my point of view. It may be from the Magistrate who looked at the evidence and came to that conclusion.
1332. All right. So did all of these traders have Pedlar’s certificates that are listed here?
(Mr Champeau) Some of these cases I was not personally involved in, so I cannot be sure whether they have a Pedlar’s certificate or they did not.
1333. So we do not know whether they are 100 per cent or 100 per cent Pedlar certified people.
(Mr Champeau) Yes.
1334. So that is not much help to us really. You do not what the charge on the next entry, do you? That would be 12/01/02 where the person seems to have been fined £200, awarded £50 costs. You do not know anything about that charge?
(Mr Champeau) Probably illegal street trading.
(Mr Champeau) Probably, yes.
1336. We have no evidence to say that it was and we could conclude that there is no evidence against any of these entries that could conclude that they were certified pedlars, acting as certified pedlars.
(Mr Champeau) I have said that, yes.
1337. All right. There is a quick summary that we can look at of 22 cases taken against perhaps rogues pretending to be pedlars or pedlars being street traders. We also do not know what charges have been brought against the individuals involved. We also do not know why most of them were simply cautioned or given a conditional discharge. So there are lots of things we do not know about this information that is put before us as evidence. What we can say is that in nine years, there have been nine convictions. If you just quickly run through that, you will see nine years, nine convictions and that is what we can deduce from it. Would you agree with that?
(Mr Champeau) Yes.
1338. It is vaguely something to do with pedlary but we cannot be specific. Is that right?
(Mr Champeau) No; it is to do with ----
1339. But we do not whether they are pedlars or whether they are rogues.
(Mr Champeau) Yes.
1340. All right, fine. If we go now to exhibit 3, it has "Reading" as the title at the head of it but it has more than just that. It says, "Pedlars frequenting Reading observed to be illegally street trading". Now, it seems quite a thorough list. There are seven pages, lots of pages there with entries.
1341. LORD STRASBURGER: Sorry, where are we?
1342. MR CAMPBELL-LLOYD: We are on exhibit 3, the Reading schedule. Do I have my numbering wrong? I have page 3.
1343. MS LIEVEN: My Lady, I think it is exhibit A, which is the Reading exhibit, page 3 in the schedule, "Pedlars frequenting Reading observed to be illegally street trading".
1344. MR CAMPBELL-LLOYD: Do you have it?
1345. VISCOUNT ECCLES: Yes.
1346. MR CAMPBELL-LLOYD: As I said, it seems to be quite meticulously prepared, well done. Did you produce that schedule or was it prepared for you?
(Mr Champeau) It was prepared for me.
1347. All right. How do you convey this information back? Say it happens tomorrow; do you convey this sort of information back to your officers where it is entered into this data?
(Mr Champeau) No. My officers will convey the information back. It will go on to a database.
1348. All right. On this summary here, again a quick analysis shows that we do not know if these 22 cases that you have asterisked throughout them were pretending to be pedlars or again, just rogues in the street.
(Mr Champeau) No.
1349. We also do not know what charges were brought up against those individuals in the left-hand column.
1350. CHAIRMAN: I wonder could you clarify a point that I am puzzled about. I gather you are speaking about page 3. I thought we were on the part where it did show plain numbers that you spoke of but this does not show how many were ----
1351. MR CAMPBELL-LLOYD: It does, Madam Chair. They are asterisked on the left beside the first name with an asterisk and they total up 22 and we may find the schedule that follows this at the back, there is a listing of those cases.
1352. CHAIRMAN: Yes and they are repeated in the other list in greater detail.
1353. MR CAMPBELL-LLOYD: Yes.
1354. CHAIRMAN: All right, thank you. It was a bit fuzzy.
1355. MR CAMPBELL-LLOYD: It does not strike you that more than half of those entries are foreigners. Is that something significant that we should register?
(Mr Champeau) No.
1356. But we can say that 89 of the 137 are foreigners or foreign nationals.
1357. CHAIRMAN: I think he might have to be careful about that because there are all sorts of regulations.
1358. MR CAMPBELL-LLOYD: Indeed and this is why I raised it because it has been noted here and it is a very sensitive issue to note in any analysis like this.
1359. CHAIRMAN: But I think all the witness can do is to say that the law has been adhered to and he is not singling out anyone.
1360. MR CAMPBELL-LLOYD: Indeed. Now, a quick deduction could be that pedlar is a choice of foreign nationals; quite an easy summary of half the people here.
1361. VISCOUNT ECCLES: Could I just ask why that is relevant for the Bill?
1362. MR CAMPBELL-LLOYD: I am just wondering why it is relevant to be entered in here, the country of birth. What has that to do with street trading legislation?
1363. VISCOUNT ECCLES: I am sure we can all make up our minds. I cannot see that it is relevant myself; that is my opinion. I am wondering why you think it is relevant.
1364. MR CAMPBELL-LLOYD: I do not believe it is relevant at all and I do not know why ----
1365. VISCOUNT ECCLES: Then I think it is not a point you want to question on. If it is relevant to the Bills and it is not relevant for consideration of this Committee, it seems unnecessary to pursue the point.
1366. MR CAMPBELL-LLOYD: I am examining evidence put before me. I am not responsible for the evidence.
1367. VISCOUNT ECCLES: Yes but you have to have a reason. With respect, you have to have a reason for examining the evidence. It is not just a sort of cosy chat. It is about building up for your final statement as a petition against a Bill. Yes. Well, if this relates to the Bill, let us be hearing how it relates to the Bill but if it does not, it seems to me that you are spending time unnecessarily.
1368. MR CAMPBELL-LLOYD: It will come up in my submission in the Bill and it is to do with discrimination and discrimination is an issue that we have to address, whether it be national discrimination or one type of economic activity compared to another but discrimination will come up in my submission, so in evidence, I am just wondering whether this has any degree of discrimination in it.
1369. CHAIRMAN: This has no connection whatsoever with what the witness said.
1370. MR CAMPBELL-LLOYD: I will leave that and move straight on.
1371. LORD BLAIR OF BOUGHTON: Can I interrupt? Mr Champeau, was this material, this actual piece of paper that we are looking at, was this produced for this hearing or is this a standard piece of paper that sits around your office?
(Mr Champeau) Initially, when the Bill started or we were considering looking at a Bill, we were told to start gathering information and one of the things that we implemented was to collect information and that is what we do.
1372. LORD BLAIR OF BOUGHTON: The reason I was asking that question was because there a number of things on this piece of paper that are not necessarily of relevance to the Bill but may have been collected for a legitimate purpose.
(Mr Champeau) Yes. It is information.
1373. MR CAMPBELL-LLOYD: Mr Champeau, I just want to go back to the title of the page 3 document, which says, "Pedlars frequenting Reading observed to be illegally street trading".
1374. LORD GLASMAN: I think it is interesting that 69 of the 135 people were licensed by Thames Valley which means they were local pedlars and not working on that national area. It is interesting that over 50 per cent are, in fact, local people.
1375. MR CAMPBELL-LLOYD: Are you able to explain something of an anomaly in that title? "Pedlars frequenting Reading". Was it established that each of the listings carried a valid certificate? This was established that each of the entries was carrying a valid certificate?
(Mr Champeau) No, they may not have.
1376. They may not have.
(Mr Champeau) They may not have had a valid certificate.
1377. But some may have.
(Mr Champeau) Some may have, yes.
1378. LORD BLAIR OF BOUGHTON: No, a lot of them have. There is only one that has not.
1379. MR CAMPBELL-LLOYD: Of those registered with asterisks.
1380. LORD BLAIR OF BOUGHTON: With asterisks; sorry; as they are all.
1381. MR CAMPBELL-LLOYD: What we do not know is of 137 ----
1382. LORD BLAIR OF BOUGHTON: They all have certificates except for one. That is what this list says. I have found two that have no asterisks.
1383. All right. It could be construed to be quite misleading that all of those traders were acting illegally because basically there were only 22 prosecutions out of 137 but this is titled "Observed to be illegally street trading".
(Mr Champeau) No, they will have been spoken to about being pedlars and it may be that these people had not realised that they were supposed to keep moving and they have decided to carry on moving, therefore, no action would have been taken apart from their details.
1384. The title there is that they were illegally street trading.
(Mr Champeau) Observed to be, yes.
1385. Yes but there is no evidence to say that they were. Only on 22 which come to court.
(Mr Champeau) Well, just because they have not been prosecuted, does not mean to say they were not illegally street trading.
1386. All right, thank you. So you did not make that judgement at the top. This is not your document. This has just been sent through to you. Is that correct?
(Mr Champeau) Yes.
1387. All right. In the word "illegally street trading" to avoid any confusion, could you explain what legal street trading is that is outside of these people being observed? Legal street trading; what do you call that? What is that? Could you define that for us as an enforcement officer? What is legal?
(Mr Champeau) They have permission to trade on the streets.
1388. And pedlars also have that same legality.
(Mr Champeau) Yes.
1389. All right. Pedlars also trade in the street, do they not?
(Mr Champeau) Yes.
1390. They do not just trade at houses.
(Mr Champeau) No.
1391. Good. So this sort of confusion affects our Petitioners and their right to be treated with some dignity and this is an issue that all my Petitioners have about how these Bills are coming forward that it is somehow affecting the dignity that they carry with them by way of their authorisation of a certificate. You could perhaps put yourself in their position and understand that it is quite an oppressive Bill that comes towards them and, therefore, their concerns go quite deeply.
(Mr Champeau) I could comment on their concerns.
1392. CHAIRMAN: I wonder could I bring you back, Mr Campbell-Lloyd. We are dealing with the Reading Bill. Please could you recollect that it is best to stick to that, the Reading Bill, and the evidence we have had. There will be plenty of time for you to elaborate on your own difficulties with what is suggested. We fully understand that. No one is trying to make you shut up before you have said what you wish to but we must keep in order of what we are doing. All right?
1393. MR CAMPBELL-LLOYD: Yes. Thank you. The last comment on this is that this schedule was drawn up to reflect the period 2006 to 2010. Is that correct?
(Mr Champeau) Yes.
1394. Why was that? Because you did not have previous information before 2006?
(Mr Champeau) Yes.
1395. You are sure of that?
(Mr Champeau) Reasonably sure.
1396. I think we have to put this evidence to one side, to a certain extent, as unreliable because there were only seven in that period, 2006 to 2010, but they all appear on the back schedule being prosecutions that occurred between 2001 and 2010. How does that come about?
(Mr Champeau) I am not sure.
1397. You cannot explain that.
(Mr Champeau) No.
1398. But it is put forward as evidence for the Reading Bill but the evidence is not accurate.
1399. I am coming to the end of this examination. On page 3, there is a column. Page 3 would be of the same bundle, which cites "Under goods sold" some quite interesting market research information; the nature of each of the goods, the type of goods that were being sold and I wonder perhaps what relevance that has to the evidence before us today. Is that of any significance?
(Mr Champeau) It is information on the type of goods that are sold using Pedlar certificates in Reading.
1400. But the biggest issue on the scale and proportion of obstacles we have heard on the list, so it is not really about the goods that are being sold but nonetheless, quite a good piece of information.
(Mr Champeau) From our point of view, they can sell whatever goods they wish as long as the goods are legal.
1401. It is a long list of consumer goods. You said earlier that you would not give a licence to the flower lady, for example, or the flower man, whatever he be, on the street because it would not suit you, or you had other pictures or something else, and the reason for not giving that person a trading licence.
(Mr Champeau) There is no room.
1402. There is no room. Does the council dictate what is sold in a shop?
(Mr Champeau) No.
1403. Does the council dictate how many shops sell coffee or t-shirts?
(Mr Champeau) I am not aware they do but I could be wrong.
1404. And your council cannot be said to be stopping competition.
(Mr Champeau) I do not believe so. I know there are rules on what developments, through planning law, on what types of shops there are but the detail of that is planning and that is not me.
1405. But it does have extreme controls over licensed pitches such as what is sold, who sells what, distances apart, so the total control on licensed pitches is on all those elements.
(Mr Champeau) No, that is not correct. If somebody finds a place where they believe they can trade and make money and have the right customer base, as long as what they are proposing to sell is approved in terms of the residents do not object to it and it is legal, whether they are selling food or selling goods, we are not restrictive in that way. If they come up with a scheme where they believe they can trade and make money, the council does not say no. What we have done in the town centre is to try to spread the type of goods on the limited street trader concessions we have but outside the town centre, they can sell what they want when they want within certain parameters.
1406. All right. The research we have here perhaps enamours the commercial decision on the part of Reading Borough Council on placing its licence pitches in town. Would that be fair?
(Mr Champeau) No.
1407. It would not be. There is discretion on what goods are sold ultimately; rests with the council. Is that correct?
(Mr Champeau) If councillors choose to, yes, they could.
1408. All right. If we can go to map 1, I think that is the first page of that particular bundle. It locates six static pictures. I think these are already allocated pictures. Is that correct?
(Mr Champeau) Yes.
1409. Okay. There is a little box on the left-hand corner of the page. Could you read out the information that is in that box? It is quite small.
(Mr Champeau) Jewellery, flowers, there is one proposed trader that is now filled, coffee, ice cream, hot dog, potatoes and bags, handbags and stuff like that. "Bags and accessories", it says.
1410. Pretty much all the same sort of stuff that those goods listed on these 137 illegal street traders are selling, a bit of all of that, is it not?
(Mr Champeau) Yes.
1411. It is fair to say that if you got rid of competition the licensed people would be very happy because they are selling the same products?
(Mr Champeau) Oh, they would be, yes.
1412. There we are. I think you have given us the reasons why these Bills could be pursued. If I can go on to the Bill itself, which is here, on page 2 of the Bill at line 29; maybe you do not have a copy of that.
(Mr Champeau) No, I do not.
1413. I can talk you through it. It is pretty straightforward. It has under "interpretation" "relevant offence" at line 29, I think. A relevant offence is defined as ----
1414. LORD BLAIR OF BOUGHTON: So what page?
1415. MR CAMPBELL-LLOYD: This would be page 2 of the full Bill. I am not sure where that appears in your bundle. So a relevant offence means under paragraph 10 of Schedule 4 to the 1982 Act ----
1416. MS LIEVEN: Can we just be clear we are not talking about page 2 of the explanatory memorandum. I think we are talking about page 2, clause 2, of the Bill.
1417. MR CAMPBELL-LLOYD: Of the full Bill.
1418. CHAIRMAN: Which are we speaking of, the explanatory ----
1419. MR CAMPBELL-LLOYD: I do not know the language but I think it is called the full Bill, the Bill itself, not the preamble.
1420. MS LIEVEN: The Bill itself, my Lady, not the explanatory memorandum.
1421. CHAIRMAN: Page 2, yes, I have it.
1422. MR CAMPBELL-LLOYD: Clause 2, line 29, where it lists the meaning of a "relevant offence". A relevant offence is anything that is listed in paragraph 10, Schedule 4. I would have to just quickly turn to what that offence is. I may be repeating myself here, but it says, "A person who engages in street trading in a prohibited street - but also in the next paragraph it says a licensed street or a consent street - is committing an offence if there is no licence". Essentially, you can be had, summoned to court and prosecuted, for not carrying a licence. Now, we have difficulty with that because it is such a wide scope that regardless of whether a pedlar is acting as a pedlar should and you have approved that, there is still scope already here under this to catch a pedlar, my Petition is.
1423. LORD BLAIR OF BOUGHTON: Excuse me.
1424. MR CAMPBELL-LLOYD: Am I moving into legalities again?
1425. LORD BLAIR OF BOUGHTON: (a) You are moving into legalities, and (b) why would you say it is logical? It is only logical until you read paragraph 5. If you read paragraph 5, then this is the exemption for pedlars. We understand the point you are making that pedlars are a legal activity. That is understood, as long as they are acting within the rules of the certificate. What we are debating here is whether this Bill will change any of the rules around certificates. I just think you are labouring a point which we ----
1426. MR CAMPBELL-LLOYD: Have already got, okay.
1427. LORD BLAIR OF BOUGHTON: We are also aware that buskers have permits, pedlars have certificates, street traders have licences, and there are several levels of jurisdiction going on with that. So, just so you know we are with it.
1428. MR CAMPBELL-LLOYD: All right. Do pedlars normally contact the Reading Borough Council before they come and see what the law is and how they should operate?
(Mr Champeau) Yes.
1429. How do you deal with that? What do you do? You give them a piece of paper; you tell them what they can do?
(Mr Champeau) No, we can tell them over the phone.
1430. Over the phone. Is there perhaps a website that describes the activities of a pedlar that are acceptable?
(Mr Champeau) No, it is something that we plan to do but we have not done it.
1431. Okay. Currently, you are quite happy for pedlars to come and operate under their pedlars’ certificates?
(Mr Champeau) Yes.
1432. You do not drive them out of town?
(Mr Champeau) No.
1433. LORD GLASMAN: Although most of the pedlars are from that area in Reading. Most of the pedlars on that list have Thames Valley licences. So that is interesting.
1434. MR CAMPBELL-LLOYD: Reasonable to deduct. (After a pause). Excuse me for a moment. I am just deciding how to conclude this. It will not take me very long. Thank you very much. So pedlars who have approached you are verbally told how they can operate. Have any of them entered into any sort of correspondence with you about the legalities of how they trade, what size, scale, proportion, anything like that?
(Mr Champeau) I think so. I cannot offhand point my finger to somebody. I have certainly had correspondence with one of your witnesses about various issues, about ----
1435. Would that be Mr Fernando?
(Mr Champeau) That was Mr Fernando. So I certainly receive emails from him on various issues to do with peddling.
1436. How is it left with Mr Fernando in Reading? Is he quite happy? Is it the policy of Reading to accept Mr Fernando coming into town?
(Mr Champeau) We accept pedlars who peddle, whether they ----
1437. There has never been an issue between you and Mr Fernando?
(Mr Champeau) Oh, yes, we have had issues.
1438. What were the issues about?
(Mr Champeau) The methods of his pedlars.
1439. What are his methods that ----
1440. CHAIRMAN: I am not sure that it is right to permit you to go into individual cases. I think that is not quite acceptable.
1441. MR CAMPBELL-LLOYD: What I was endeavouring to establish is that there is a policy of on the one hand saying that pedlars are accepted in Reading, but on the other hand I think Mr Fernando would be an example of somebody who has a completely other sequence of evidence to bring forward to show the difficulties that are created for genuine pedlars in Reading.
1442. CHAIRMAN: That may well ----
1443. MR CAMPBELL-LLOYD: If that comes later ----
1444. CHAIRMAN: I am sorry, indeed it does.
1445. MR CAMPBELL-LLOYD: Okay, right. I have no further questions for you. Thank you very much, sir.
1446. CHAIRMAN: Thank you. I wonder, Ms Lieven, you have a right ----
1447. MS LIEVEN: No re-examination, my Lady.
1448. CHAIRMAN: Members of the Committee, have you any comments to make? No, thank you. That concludes that section of our work.
The witness withdrew
1449. CHAIRMAN: We now get on to the actual cases that Petitioners wish to make. I am going to call first - unfortunately he does not seem to be there - Mr Casey, who is going to deal with both of the Bills that he has petitioned against at the same time. But I must wait until he comes back in. (Mr Casey returns). Please, Mr Casey, we are now putting you on the stand. You want to deal with both of the Bills against which you have petitioned, of course. Your submission to us was precisely the same in both cases, word for word. What I want to make quite clear is that you will not be permitted to repeat exactly the same things you have already said, which are very clear and set down for us all to read. I am sure you do understand that point. So, would you please bear that in mind that we are recognising that you are backing both of the statements you have been making, but since they are identical we would hope that you would confine yourself to commenting on the whole thing as one statement.
1450. MR CASEY: My Lady, sorry, I did not actually quite understand what I am being asked to do. I have heard what you said but in the context of what? What do you need me to do now, sorry?
1451. CHAIRMAN: No, what I am saying to you is that you have the right now to put your Petition in front of this Committee, but that you are speaking about two separate Bills.
1452. MR CASEY: May I ask a question? Are you asking me for my final submission? Oh, you are now ready?
1453. CHAIRMAN: Yes.
1454. MR CASEY: Oh, sorry, I did not realise.
1455. LORD GLASMAN: This is it.
1456. MR CASEY: I understand that. Okay. I did not realise that was going to happen already. Where would you like me to stand, here?
1457. CHAIRMAN: Well, all I am saying is that you have submitted two statements which are identical. So, please do not repeat one after you have finished the first, the second after you have finished the first. That is all I am saying. Otherwise, please put your Petition now.
1458. MS LIEVEN: My Lady, I am sorry to rise but I think, to be fair to Mr Casey, there is a little bit of confusion going on here. As I understand it, this is the stage where Mr Casey presents his case and calls his witnesses. I am not sure that Mr Casey understands that. I am trying to be helpful. I think we have got to the stage where you make your statements and call your evidence.
1459. MR CASEY: Oh, I see. I am sorry.
1460. MS LIEVEN: Not your final submissions.
1461. MR CASEY: Thank you. That is a relief. Okay, may I call Frankie Fernando for Canterbury?
1462. CHAIRMAN: Yes. You are dealing with both of the Bills at the same time, is that clear? Yes, good afternoon.
MR FRANKIE FERNANDO, called
Examined by MR CASEY
1463. MR CASEY: I will be brief. I have, I think, a series of seven questions. Let me just find them. I am absolutely rattled there. I will just compose myself now.
1464. Frankie, when did you become a pedlar and why?
(Mr Fernando) Sorry, when did I become a ----
1465. When did you become a pedlar and the reasons why?
(Mr Fernando) Why did I become a pedlar? Okay. Why did I become a pedlar? Without going into too much detail of my personal life as a child, I grew up in a one-parent family in south London in a tower block. My mum was put into a mental hospital when I was 11 years of age, so I did not get the best of educations but I was gifted to have a good business head on me and I got my first pedlar’s licence at the age of 17. I worked several years as a pedlar in the streets of London, which then enabled me to purchase my first ice cream van, which I also worked in London. And then by the age of 26 I had eight menswear shops. I had two car showrooms. I had a burger bar. Unfortunately, we had a bad recession in the late 1980s. I was a bit foolish with my money, not being brought up with money, so I was not very wise with money. So when the recession came I lost it all, basically. Now I run a business which I started in 2005, which between me and my family we operate. We have about 150 pedlars working for us. We run a business called "sharealittlelove.co.uk". Share a little love; sharealittlelove.co.uk. The way we operate, we sell competition tickets and we sell key rings and we work all over the country. As an incentive to buy our goods, I give 300 holidays away to disadvantaged children - I own the holiday home as part of my business - to disadvantaged children, women that are in refuges that have been abused by men in previous relationships, and I also work with Worthing & District Scope, who distribute the holidays on my behalf. So it is an incentive to buy our goods. We are selling our products and we are doing a bit of good as well. It is very transparent on my website exactly what we are about, if you care to view my website.
1466. This is from yourself, is it not? Would I be able to hand that to the Committee just to have a look? Yes.
(Mr Fernando) That is just a reference from the charities to what I ---- how kind I have been to them. (Document circulated)
1467. Do you think that you – yes, so how you became ----
(Mr Fernando) I would like to say loads.
1468. You want to carry on, do you?
1469. LORD BLAIR OF BOUGHTON: It might help if you asked the questions.
(Mr Fernando) Yes, if you ask the question I will answer it.
1470. MR CASEY: Why is this important, this letter?
(Mr Fernando) Why is the letter important?
1471. Yes. That is the first time I have seen it but I just wanted to ----
(Mr Fernando) Well, not so much why the letter is important but why is it important for me that this Bill does not go through would be really more of a question. For me, you know, we have approximately about 150 pedlars that work for us. I am able to ----
1472. Frankie, can I just ask, just to clarify things, you do work in Canterbury, do you not?
(Mr Fernando) Yes. The charities I do a lot of work with. I am always in the local newspapers. It would have a big effect if these Bills go through because we plan to expand the business and we plan to buy more holiday homes so we can do a bit of good. So that would seriously affect our operation.
1473. LORD STRASBURGER: How would this Bill affect your operation?
(Mr Fernando) How would it affect? Well, if we are not allowed to go into towns. Durham University: I took part and I was the actual person who carried out the surveys for Durham University to the public, whether they wanted door to door or town to town, and 100 per cent of the public said they do not want people knocking on their doors. I am sure there is none of us in this room this evening would want to go home and people knocking on their doors trying to sell them tea towels. So if pedlars were not allowed to town to town, it would affect me; well, my business. If these Bills keep going through then eventually I will have no business. At the moment, let me tell you, I am working with a probation officer in Eastbourne. There is a young black man who started work with me who has been in foster care all his life. His parents were on crack cocaine, okay, and I met him and I thought, "I could turn this boy’s life around". I wrote to the superintendent because he did have a small criminal record so it is very difficult to obtain a pedlar’s licence if you have a criminal record, but it was very minor. But if someone did not grab him by the horns and look after him he was going down a slippery road. Then the superintendent issued him with a pedlar’s licence and he has been working for me now for the last four months and every day he rings me and thanks me and he has become my best salesman because I gave him a chance and because of the pedlar’s licence.
1474. VISCOUNT ECCLES: In effect, you are running in one sense, is this right, a buying group?
(Mr Fernando) A what, sorry?
1475. A buying group. Because you ----
(Mr Fernando) Sorry, I do not follow you.
1476. Well, you have economies of scale in the way that you buy the goods which are then
(Mr Fernando) We have key rings manufactured. The way we operate is very simple. We ask the members of the public, "Would you like to buy one of our key rings or competition tickets?" We sell competition tickets and every year I do not pick the winner because the licensing officers have said to me before now, "Well, how do we know that you are genuinely giving a prize?" So I give it to the charities to pick the winner.
1477. Sorry, I am trying to understand your business model.
(Mr Fernando) Yes, okay, it is very simple. I sell key rings and as an incentive to buy my goods ----
1478. No, sorry, you employ 150 pedlars, you say?
(Mr Fernando) Correct, yes. I have 150; I do not employ them, they work for me as self-employed agents, okay, and they work under my name.
1479. Are you determining what it is that they peddle?
(Mr Fernando) Correct, yes.
1480. So one of the advantages that you can give to these 150 pedlars is your buying power because you are buying on behalf of a sizeable group of people?
(Mr Fernando) Yes, correct. We import from China.
1481. Then the next question is what other business opportunities do those 150 pedlars take other than going to city centres? Because, for example ----
(Mr Fernando) How can they progress you mean?
1482. May I give you an example?
(Mr Fernando) No, I understand the question now.
1483. A very large market on the Catterick Racecourse in North Yorkshire which is very, very busy every time it is open and people are selling every single kind of thing you can imagine. So with a group of your size, it is not only the business centres, pedestrianised business centres, which are the opportunities for the markets. I would be very grateful for a slightly broader description of the marketplace that you are ----
(Mr Fernando) Sorry, I really still do not understand the question.
1484. I will put it another way. Do your 150 pedlars only operate in city centres?
(Mr Fernando) Yes, because the ----
1485. That is it?
(Mr Fernando) Yes, but I do not send 150 to one town in one day. No, no, they are spread out.
1486. All over the country?
(Mr Fernando) Correct, yes.
1487. Your choice of city centres follows from your business model?
(Mr Fernando) All according to where the pedlars live. Last week, for instance, I went with some pedlars, we went to Cardiff. We left at 3.30 in the morning and we did not get back until 11.00 at night. Then the following day we wanted an easy day so we went to Canterbury.
1488. CHAIRMAN: Could I ask what is puzzling me? At one stage you said you worked as a probation officer.
(Mr Fernando) No, no, I did not. No, no.
1489. I must have misunderstood.
(Mr Fernando) I said at the moment I am friends with a probation officer and I was introduced to this young black man who wanted a job. That is what I said.
1490. LORD BLAIR OF BOUGHTON: Can I just check something? What you said about your business model presumably you are applying to pedlars as a whole? It is not just your 150 pedlars; it is the other 4,000 pedlars as well? If they are driven out of town, because that was your expression ----
(Mr Fernando) Yes, not just mine, correct.
1491. I know, but the one you used just sitting in the chair, if they are driven out of town. The crux of the debate that this Committee is attempting to produce is a situation in which they are not driven out of town. The real deal here is, again, I am afraid we keep coming back to the size of the trolleys that they push.
(Mr Fernando) Well, I ----
1492. Can I get to my question? My question is: are you opposing this Bill because the size of the trolleys will get reduced or for some other reason? Because it seems to me that that is in essence where this conversation would go and while I admire what you are saying, Mr Fernando, we have to concentrate on what is the problem you are trying to avoid.
(Mr Fernando) Okay.
1493. MR CASEY: Frankie, may I ask you another question?
(Mr Fernando) Shall I answer your question?
1494. LORD BLAIR OF BOUGHTON: Please do, yes.
(Mr Fernando) Well, the Bill has been amended now, has it not, with the size of trolleys. My agents actually carry their wares. We do not use trolleys. We carry our wares. But I do agree there has to be – I have not seen it personally when you say trolleys the size of cars, I have yet to see trolleys that big – but I do think that there has to be a limit on the size of the trolleys, absolutely, but not as small as what the amendment is saying, which is ridiculous.
1495. LORD GLASMAN: Very good to meet you, Mr Fernando. I have always thought of pedlars as independent traders and so I am quite surprised to hear that it is kind of organised in this way. What is the nature of the payment between you and the pedlars?
(Mr Fernando) Okay. My pedlars keep 50 per cent of what they take. They keep 50 per cent and they return to me 50 per cent. That is how it is ----
1496. You are franchised as a sort of key rings and holiday ----
(Mr Fernando) Correct, and as an incentive to buy our goods we do a lot of good.
1497. To what extent is peddling organised in this way?
(Mr Fernando) How do we organise it?
1498. How many cartels are there or how many operations?
(Mr Fernando) You sound like a licensing officer.
1499. Yes, I am.
(Mr Fernando) I have mini buses. I have team leaders who get a percentage, so they have a target to hit. They hit the target and they get extra.
1500. Have you ever disciplined any of your pedlars for breaking the pedlary law?
(Mr Fernando) I had one. I had one back in 2002 I had one. I have had one rogue trader back in 2008 who was going round selling my key rings claiming it was a charity. The police contacted me. I backed the police all the way. The police came to my house. I invited my pedlars to my house while the police were there to say, "If you sell our goods claiming we are a charity this is what will happen" and I supported the police all the way and secured a conviction in Brighton Court. So I am very strict with my pedlars, but I do not know if I am allowed to say this but ----
1501. We will judge that.
(Mr Fernando) With the exception of Mr Vick, to be honest, 99 per cent of licensing officers are bullies, the way they talk to us, the way they look down on us. They are complete bully boys and that is the truth.
1502. CHAIRMAN: Well, I am sure we are all very sorry to hear that, but can I attempt to shorten this because is it or would it be correct to say that your message to us is that if this Bill went through it would not be possible to raise money for Scope, which supports people with cerebral palsy?
(Mr Fernando) I do not raise money, I am not a fundraiser, but it would be very difficult. It is a bit like going into Tescos, my business ----
1503. MR CASEY: Frankie, can I just put a question to you?
(Mr Fernando) Can I finish answering?
1504. CHAIRMAN: No, let him finish his answer.
(Mr Fernando) My business works like this. I will put it very simply. It is a bit like going into Tescos and you have two bottles of water. One bottle of water says, "If you buy me, I will give so many fresh gallons away". So it is an incentive to buy my goods.
1505. I see. But you are still saying that ----
(Mr Fernando) It would be difficult to do so, to give the holidays, correct. Of course.
1506. LORD BLAIR OF BOUGHTON: If I may, Lord Chair, the amendments that have been put forward actually go further than your current business model because it actually allows for a small trolley. You say in your business model all your pedlars carry their own goods.
(Mr Fernando) Correct.
1507. So, effectively, nothing in the Bill, provided all four Bills are the same and allow for the carriage of goods on the person, will not affect your business model?
(Mr Fernando) Well, today they will not, but yesterday the Canterbury Bill would have affected me, yes.
1508. Yes, so the ones that would not ---- so if we aim for a position in which you are ----
(Mr Fernando) I will be safe.
1509. You will be safe?
(Mr Fernando) Correct.
1510. That is all I needed to know.
1511. LORD GLASMAN: Is this okay? Is that okay, that kind of size of bag?
(Mr Fernando) No, that is too small.
1512. MR CASEY: Frankie, may I ask ----
(Mr Fernando) Sorry, he is asking me a question.
1513. LORD GLASMAN: That size of bag, is that too small for your business?
(Mr Fernando) For me?
1514. For the pedlar?
(Mr Fernando) For my pedlars?
(Mr Fernando) No, my pedlars would have a bum bag and they manage to fit 150 key rings in their bum bags.
1516. It is not a case that you have ever been involved with anything like obstruction of ----
(Mr Fernando) Well, I have had a lot of difficulties and I can show you emails. I have had a lot of abuse from licensing officers but I have stood my ground and the licensing officers know not to interfere with my staff because I will serve a summons on them for harassment.
1517. LORD STRASBURGER: Have any of your pedlars been prosecuted?
(Mr Fernando) No.
1518. MR CASEY: You are aware that the Canterbury Bill as it stands will not allow you to trade in Canterbury at all? Are you aware of that fact?
(Mr Fernando) Yes, as it stood yesterday, but I am not sure how it stands today. I believe they are making amendments to enable me to work.
1519. Yes, but if you were to use a trolley, and we will come to the amendments later in our final submission, there is, in fact, a very – should I mention it now? I did not want you to get misled, but there is a very, very small detail that if you were to use a wheeled trolley they can be displayed but not for sale. Now, how would that affect you if you had a small trolley, a means of assistance to carry your badges?
(Mr Fernando) This just proves and goes to show how difficult licence – why would it be necessary for a pedlar to keep his bag zipped up so the public cannot see his goods? What harm would it cause for a pedlar to keep his bag open? It is ridiculous.
1520. I agree, and that is one of the proposed amendments. Have you managed to read them yet? You are aware of them?
(Mr Fernando) I quickly flicked through.
1521. Okay. So in future if you decided to use a trolley, as some pedlars do, and this amendment was agreed to, effectively would you still be able to work in Canterbury or not?
(Mr Fernando) No.
1522. I will just move on a little bit. Do you send your workers door to door at all?
(Mr Fernando) No, because the public do not want door to door.
1523. Thank you. Why do you think Canterbury actually want this Bill? Let us not talk about the amendments, the Bill as it is.
(Mr Fernando) Why?
(Mr Fernando) There is one reason why, competition. The shops, the markets, town centre managers are very friendly with shopkeepers and market traders and licensing officers are very friendly because they are in town all the time and they know each other, and it is a fact they do not like pedlars full stop.
1525. LORD STRASBURGER: What do they not like about them?
(Mr Fernando) They are competition. Maybe a pedlar does undercut, but that is business. Why should the British public not get a deal? Why not? That is business.
1526. MR CASEY: I will just continue to the next question. Did you assist in the Durham University response questionnaire? I believe is it true that you went into the streets of Canterbury with the questionnaire ----
(Mr Fernando) No, no, I did not go to Canterbury, but I am quite happy to go to Canterbury this weekend and send some of my pedlars to Nottingham and do the same questionnaire, which I done for Durham University and Manchester.
1527. Okay, but you are aware of what the results were of the Durham ----
(Mr Fernando) I carried out the – yes.
1528. What did the public say?
(Mr Fernando) The public said they do not want people knocking on their doors. They like pedlars ----
1529. Yes, but do they like pedlars? Oh, yes.
(Mr Fernando) Can I finish?
1530. Sorry, yes.
(Mr Fernando) They like pedlars and they bring colour to the town and they would not want pedlars knocking on their door. They prefer to meet a pedlar in the town. To be honest, we peddle all over the place and I know Nottingham. You could put 10 pedlars with trolleys of this size and you would not cause obstruction. It is absolutely a nonsense. It is the only way they can put through the Bill and they are using this as an excuse.
1531. That was just going to be my last final question for you, actually. I think you have answered it. You have never seen an obstruction in all the years you have been working on the streets as a pedlar?
(Mr Fernando) I have never seen an injury ----
1532. Something that is genuinely ---- you know what I am trying to get at?
(Mr Fernando) I have never seen an injury. I have never seen Trading Standards take anyone’s goods away. I have from markets. There is a lot of counterfeit going on in the market because I know this because I have ice cream vans and I also work the markets. A lot of counterfeit goods in boot fairs, and when they say pedlars sell inferior goods, there is no special place that a pedlar goes and gets his goods and says, "Oh, this wholesaler is for pedlars, come and buy your inferior goods here so you can sell to the public". It is absolutely nonsense.
1533. LORD BLAIR OF BOUGHTON: Can I just ask another question?
(Mr Fernando) Yes, please do.
1534. In terms of the Durham survey, when you say you conducted the Durham survey ----
(Mr Fernando) Correct.
1535. Do you mean the people you employed as pedlars were doing it?
(Mr Fernando) I done it; me and my wife.
1536. You were the questioners asking the questions?
(Mr Fernando) Correct, yes; me and my wife stood there.
1537. Okay, that is fine, thanks.
(Mr Fernando) Yeah, no, and I am quite happy to do it this weekend in Canterbury.
1538. MR CASEY: Can I just say I also contributed as well, asking. I probably sent in about 20 or so responses, but that is beside the point, really. Not just Frankie, there was a group. There was a few other people, was there not?
(Mr Fernando) Sorry?
1539. There was a few other people that sent in some responses as well?
(Mr Fernando) I believe so but I done approximately 100.
1540. VISCOUNT ECCLES: Can I just ask, Mr Fernando, we have been presented with a lot of photographs. You may have had a chance to look at them.
(Mr Fernando) I have not, but I had a brief look but they are very ---- they are taken very close up. Are they superimposed? I do not know.
1541. Would I be right in thinking that there is none of your pedlars in any of those photographs?
(Mr Fernando) No, no, no, no, no. No.
1542. MR CASEY: Are there any further questions you would like me to ask you?
(Mr Fernando) Do you want to swap seats?
1543. I do not know. Confuse matters, yes.
(Mr Fernando) No. I would just like to add, and I have evidence of this, emails upon emails, yes, and I cannot stress enough how arrogant 95 per cent of licensing officers are. They look down on you – it is unbelievable – and there are a proportion of them - and I know this for a fact - that are racist as well and that is a fact.
1544. CHAIRMAN: Well, we are very sorry to hear that but it is not in the Bill.
(Mr Fernando) But it is just ----
1545. So I do not think, actually, whether they do take this attitude or not is something with which we need concern ourselves at the moment.
(Mr Fernando) Right, okay. Well, I am just stating a fact.
1546. Yes, of course.
1547. VISCOUNT ECCLES: Do you think your business model is unique, Mr Fernando?
(Mr Fernando) I think it was quite clever business, yes. I enjoy helping others. I used to do this; I used to do the soup run and feed the homeless in Brighton. I am not a wealthy man otherwise I would just give my money and help people. So I set up a business where I can make a living and help people as well, very simple.
1548. I think it would help the Committee, you see, the evidence that we have been given is that there are somewhere between 3,500 and 4,500 pedlars operating in the Kingdom. You have told us that you have 100 to 150.
(Mr Fernando) Between me and my family we have 150 pedlars, yes.
1549. If your business model is unique or the only one of its kind, then you represent a proportion of the pedlars but in the total seem quite a small proportion of the pedlars?
(Mr Fernando) Correct, yes.
1550. We have all enjoyed your evidence enormously.
(Mr Fernando) Thank you.
1551. But I think it would benefit from your appraisal as to how representative you and your business are of pedlars as a whole.
(Mr Fernando) Sorry, how what? Sorry, could you put it in layman terms for me?
1552. Well, there are 4,000 pedlars.
(Mr Fernando) Correct, yes.
1553. You have direct knowledge of 150 out of the 4,000 because they work with you. The question is how representative would their experience be and your experience be of the experience of pedlars as a class?
(Mr Fernando) As a whole?
(Mr Fernando) The experiences of pedlars; I talk to pedlars all the time and I encourage pedlars to go on the . See, what happens is a lot of licensing officers, they bully pedlars and the average pedlar will just pack his stuff and he will go. But I will not, and my staff know that. My staff know that they will get my full backing if they are bullied by any licensing officers, whether it mean legal fees. So the licensing officers – for instance, I will give you an example, a town centre, Waldron’s(?) in Brighton. They walk past my agents, they say, "Oh, they are Frankie’s guys, leave them alone" because they know I will not tolerate the abuse. Because it is rife, it is absolutely rife.
1555. CHAIRMAN: Forgive me, I have already made the point that this matter is not dealt with in the Bill. We have listened with interest to what you have said.
(Mr Fernando) He asked me the question, my Lady.
1556. Well, yes, but I think it is certainly relevant to point out that this does not affect the case which we are hearing. It is a very interesting point and we are sorry to hear it, but as far as the actual effect on our discussions can be drawn from that, it does not seem to me that we can draw very much, interesting though it be. But thank you for telling us.
(Mr Fernando) I hear what you are saying.
1557. Thank you. Would you like to continue?
1558. MR CASEY: I have one last question for Mr Fernando, my Lady, which is in your travels around – well, let us talk about Canterbury because we are talking about Canterbury. Do the majority of pedlars you know who operate there carry their goods or use a means of assistance?
(Mr Fernando) A means of assistance ----
1559. As a percentage, would you say what, half and half or just give us an idea?
(Mr Fernando) I would say my business is a unique model, but 90 per cent, 95 per cent of pedlars use some form or means of trolley.
1560. Actually, this is the very final question. You would say that they are genuine pedlars?
(Mr Fernando) Absolutely.
1561. Thank you. I have no further questions.
1562. CHAIRMAN: Thank you. Could I point out that at this stage Ms Lieven is to be asked whether she has any questions for the witness?
1563. MS LIEVEN: I have a couple of questions, my Lady, but can I just make it clear to the Committee that I am, in the light of the Committee’s guidelines and my own principles, very much going to stick to things that I think will assist the Committee in the passage of the Bill rather than debating issues about the behaviour of Trading Standards officers or street managers. I do not think that is going to assist the Committee and I am not going to go there. My clients may not accept what Mr Fernando says, but that does not mean this is the appropriate time to challenge it.
Cross-examined by MS LIEVEN
1564. So there are just two things I want to ask you about, Mr Fernando. First of all is to make entirely clear what I think you have said already. As far as the pedlars who work for you or work ----
(Mr Fernando) They are agents that work as self-employed.
1565. I was about to say work under your auspices. They do not have trolleys. They carry their goods on what you described as bum bags, so in the form of the Bills as being promoted to the Committee now with the amendments they would not be impeded by these Bills?
(Mr Fernando) My business would not be affected but perhaps 3,500 other pedlars will.
1566. Can I just be clear on the charitable aspects of what you are doing? Is your business a charity?
(Mr Fernando) No, no, no, it is not a charity. As I said to you, it is an incentive to buy our goods. So if I say to you now, "Would you like to buy this from me and I will give XYZ away from it", which I am entitled to do.
1567. I am not implying any criticism with the question, Mr Fernando, but so far as charitable collections are concerned, are you aware that they are exempted from the street trading regime under the 1982 Act?
(Mr Fernando) Absolutely. We are not collecting, we are selling goods. We are not street collectors. We are not a charity. We are not fundraisers.
1568. Those are my only questions, my Lady. Thank you.
1569. LORD BLAIR OF BOUGHTON: Can I just ask one further question? This model of one person – in this case yourself – overseeing the work of more than 100 pedlars, forgetting the charitable and the key rings and everything else, are there other people who have businesses that run lots of pedlars?
(Mr Fernando) Yes, there are; yes, not just me.
1570. So it is not uncommon?
(Mr Fernando) I know, for instance, there is a guy in – the licensing officer from Nottingham probably knows him. I am not sure of his name but he operates two minibuses and he does tea towels and that. He has about 40 pedlars that work for him. No, there are a lot of people but, you know ----
1571. That is very helpful, thank you.
Re–examined by MR CASEY
1572. MR CASEY: My Lady, can I just have one last question in response to Counsel for the promotion, if I may? Ms Lieven mentioned that at the moment you do not use trolleys in your business model, but who is to say in the future you might want to. Is that a possibility?
(Mr Fernando) Who knows?
1573. You may need to?
(Mr Fernando) I was looking to do hot dog trolleys but at the moment I went and bought ice cream vans, so, you know, but who knows next year or the year after. There is a possibility, yes.
1574. Yes, okay.
1575. CHAIRMAN: Any further questions?
1576. MR CASEY: No, that is it, I think, thank you.
1577. CHAIRMAN: No. Then I must ask Members of the Committee if they wish to say anything more to this witness. In that case, I invite you, Mr Fernando, to stand down and to say that I am sure we all send you good wishes for the good work that you do with the charities.
(Mr Fernando) Much obliged, thank you very much.
The witness withdrew
1578. CHAIRMAN: Thank you. Then, Mr Casey, it is your turn again for you to call your second witness, who I understand is Mr Nicholas McGerr.
1579. MR CASEY: On this occasion, I have decided to not call him because he is appearing for Robert and to save repeating anything I think it would be better if Robert dealt with him.
1580. CHAIRMAN: Yes, thank you. We appreciate that. Then there is no cross-examination there.
1581. MR CASEY: Although I must say that there was a particular person who I would have liked to have been a witness, but unfortunately he could not come today because of the market that he is trading on. I did include a letter from him of some of his experiences, which is in the bundle, my bundle, at tab 7. I would invite the Committee Members to read that just if they would like to.
1582. CHAIRMAN: Well, I think what would be proper is to certainly draw Members’ attention to the letter, but since the person who actually wrote it is not able to be here I think I must leave it just to ensure that my colleagues will read that letter, and this we promise you.
1583. MR CASEY: Thank you. That would be most useful.
1584. LORD BLAIR OF BOUGHTON: Do we know his name?
1585. MR CASEY: Simon Bandred(?).
1586. CHAIRMAN: Yes, he already said Nicholas McGerr. Oh, that is another ----
1587. MR CASEY: Simon Bandred. He trades in Leeds and also Nottingham, he tells me.
1588. CHAIRMAN: Right. Well, we will all read Mr Bandred’s letter. That we promise you.
1589. VISCOUNT ECCLES: I have already read it.
1590. CHAIRMAN: Yes, you see, the Viscount has already read it.
1591. MR CASEY: Oh, have you? Excellent.
1592. CHAIRMAN: So we are ahead of the game here. This is excellent. Do you wish to call any further witnesses?
1593. MR CASEY: No, I do not, my Lady.
1594. CHAIRMAN: No, right. Would you like to make your closing statement, then, at this point?
1595. MR CASEY: Which submission is this, my full submission?
1596. CHAIRMAN: Yes.
1597. MR CASEY: You are asking me to give you my full submission to the Committee now?
1598. CHAIRMAN: Yes.
1599. MR CAMPBELL-LLOYD: If there is some confusion there, my Lady, maybe I can assist Mr Casey. He was asked by you if he would make his concluding submission, but in fact he has not even submitted yet. He will make his full submission and that will have its conclusion. That is how we understood this to run. The full submission has not yet begun. He has only called on his witnesses, and now the submission begins.
1600. CHAIRMAN: Well, the closing statement is the submission but you are saying ----
1601. MR CAMPBELL-LLOYD: It is the full submission. We were unsure whether that was the case.
1602. CHAIRMAN: Yes, it is the submission. Could I make it clear to you, Mr Casey, that this is your chance to make any other point that you wish to make to this Committee and that you feel has not been covered sufficiently up to this point.
1603. MR CASEY: I had prepared something earlier that I was going to read to you and I will be brief, I think, or try to be.
1604. My Lordships, on the Canterbury and Nottingham Bills we have heard the evidence from the Promoters, although I have unfortunately not had the opportunity to cross-examine the witness from Nottingham. Yes. My contention is that the evidence we have heard is scanty and often at times pure anecdote with very little prima facie evidence. I believe that the evidence and the matters of fact, which were the criteria required to fill the justification for a service activity, which includes any pedlar, under article 9, authorisation schemes 1B, namely that the authorisation scheme can be justified by an overriding reason related to the public interest, I contend that the evidence that has been heard from the Promoters is that it is insufficiently persuasive to argue that there are, in fact, overriding reasons and that the rights of the individual pedlar, myself, in comparison to the interests of the Canterbury and Nottingham City Council Bill, the former is more important based on what we have heard.
1605. The piecemeal legislation is rather unfortunate. It is rather unfortunate that I am here again petitioning against these Bills, especially that the Government is apprised of the new street trading regime in the near future which will be fully screened for Services Directive compliancy. I contend that the Bills should not proceed and I firmly believe that they have not proven their case. There cannot be proved to be a sound evidential basis. I would ask, though, that if the Committee does not agree with my position and contentions I would ask them to consider the amendments that Robert Campbell-Lloyd will table later in his submission. I have agreed with him that anything that he has could, in fact, apply to Nottingham and Canterbury should the case need be.
1606. Going back to my major concerns of the seizure and the Fixed Penalty Notices, if both of those clauses were to remain, which I sincerely hope they do not, there should at least be a clause which I fail to observe within the provisions on seizure, a clause which allows one to be able to challenge the rights of that person who has the reason to believe – well, at the moment the reasonable grounds of suspicion, to be able to challenge that judgment in a court before the expiry of 56 days, which I think is a disproportionate amount of time for any individual to endure without their receptacle or goods and could have a rather detrimental effect on perhaps their family life and their general wellbeing. If Fixed Penalty Notices again are to also stay within the Bill, if the Committee sees fit, I would ask them also to consider that clause that allows, again which I could not observe within the clause that relates to Fixed Penalty Notice, to allow a clause that allows a person to challenge the Fixed Penalty Notice, as in virtually every other Fixed Penalty Notice I have ever come across, for example, a parking fine, to be able to make representations to perhaps a tribunal or some other body that allows a fair decision to be granted on whether or not a fixed penalty is justified or not.
1607. I take issue with the Morton’s Fork that is presented with the Bill at present because it is in my Petition that you are presented with two equally ----
1608. CHAIRMAN: Unsatisfactory?
1609. MR CASEY: Sorry.
1610. CHAIRMAN: Could you give Mr Casey some ----
1611. MS LIEVEN: My Lady, would it be appropriate to adjourn for five minutes?
1612. MR CASEY: No, I can continue; I am okay. The Morton’s Fork, yes, you have two equally not very nice situations. You have the Fixed Penalty Notice and the choice of paying that fine, and if you pay it, well, all well and good, they have your money and then you cannot challenge it and then you have the seizure as well. Possibly as an extension the seizure can – you can have a Fixed Penalty Notice and a seizure both together. That does not seem right to me at all. (Aside)
1613. CHAIRMAN: Would you like to have a few minutes quietly?
1614. MR CASEY: Yes, please.
1615. CHAIRMAN: I think I will adjourn the Committee for five minutes.
After a short adjournment
1616. CHAIRMAN: Thank you, Mr Casey. The very last thing any of us would wish to do is put you under pressure. We have a very good deal of sympathy for you.
1617. MR CASEY: Yes. Thank you.
1618. CHAIRMAN: I am going to say, at this stage, you have made the case you wish to make very strongly. There will probably be other things you wish to say, but do not feel that you have not already had the opportunity and made your points. So deal with it as you wish.
1619. MR CASEY: If my understanding is correct, are you saying that you pretty much know what all my points are that I want to make?
1620. CHAIRMAN: No, I am not saying that.
1621. MR CASEY: No. Sorry, I misunderstood.
1622. CHAIRMAN: No, not at all. The last thing I want to do is suggest that you ought not to speak further. All I am saying is that, if you are feeling a little upset and it is an ordeal for you, we have no wish to prolong the ordeal, and in suggesting that – merely suggesting it, you have every right to say what you wish – we have I think got a very great deal of your picture, so do carry on.
1623. MR CASEY: Thank you very much. All right. Just bear with me one second please, I just want to find something. (After a pause). So, I think I left off with seizure and Fixed Penalty Notice. I think I have more or less covered all the points I wanted to make there. The only thing I did not mention, perhaps, was compensation where on the Canterbury – I am not sure of the numbering, but I will not talk about the numbering – the actual concept of the clause, the compensation where the seizure is unlawful. In the original wording of the Bill I was concerned with the use of the words "reasonable grounds of suspicion". I did do some research into the meaning of that, which is why I had in tab 1 of my bundle O’Hara v The Chief Constable of the RUC  UKHL 6 , which gave a very good understanding for me as to what it meant, and I am happy to hear that if seizure does stay "reason to believe" is what the Committee are considering.
1624. I do also have concerns about the actual procedure where if they were seeking compensation – there is a very plain statement under 10(3) in Canterbury, "The courts may only make an order for compensation under (2) if satisfied that the seizure was not lawful under section 6", which was the seizure itself. What concerns me there is the person is going to have to prove to the satisfaction of the court that the person who seized the goods did have – well, in the original Bill you would say reasonable grounds of suspicion which is, in my opinion, almost impossible to disprove from what I have read in case law. Whether or not the test is a little easier to fulfil for the appellant or the person who has the complaint with "reason to believe" I am not clear on, because I do not have any understanding of what that entails in terms of case law in the High Court, or the Supreme Court for that matter.
1625. The compensation clause directs the person who wants to be compensated to a court. I am rather concerned that for the average person that is going to be rather difficult for them. They may not understand the process, and in fact looking at the clause it does not really seem to explain to me how one goes about that. Perhaps ignorance is not an excuse in the eyes of the law, but that is more probably the case.
1626. (After a pause). Going to the original Bill, quite obviously you are aware that I am not content that a person, a pedlar, myself included, is restricted to trading – well, trading only means a visit from house to house. For me, as a pedlar, it is a means of assistance, which I have had for the last 10 years, actually, as a pedlar. It just does not work. I would not be able to work in Canterbury. I would never be able to go there, ever.
1627. LORD STRASBURGER: What do you pedal?
1628. MR CASEY: Jewellery in the summer and then at the moment I am selling winter hats I import from Nepal. They are called "animal hats". I have a little website as well.
1629. LORD STRASBURGER: Thank you.
1630. MR CASEY: But I will not mention it.
1631. LORD GLASMAN: It is duly struck from the record.
1632. MR CASEY: So I will not go into too much detail with my objections to clause 4, or was it clause 5? I get confused. I am sure you are aware of why I object and I will not bore you with those details because I think they are quite obvious.
1633. CHAIRMAN: Have there been at any point in this discussion matters that you have heard, which possibly have been able to cheer you a little? For instance, you did mention – quite rightly, and I took it up – this question of selling from house to house, and the Bill was not clear whether you could also sell in the streets. Do you remember that?
1634. MR CASEY: Yes, I do.
1635. CHAIRMAN: In that instance, I took it up and made a case – a neighbour who bought something – and we were assured by the Promoter that although previously it seemed as if it would have been an illegal act it would not be. Were there occasions like that where ----
1636. MR CASEY: You mean when Ms Lieven gave an assurance that if a trader was to sell in a street with the Bill as it stands they would not be prosecuted. Is that what you ----
1637. CHAIRMAN: I fancy it was Ms Lieven that said this.
1638. MR CASEY: She did, and I completely disagree with her statement. In fact, we have a woman – is she coming? What is her name?
1639. MR CAMPBELL–LLOYD: She will not be here today.
1640. MR CASEY: She will not be here today, no. It is not the understanding of the Magistrates, in our experience at all. They take it as a literal interpretation. If you are not at the house and trading in your inner street you are prosecuted, simple as that.
1641. CHAIRMAN: It may be that the Bill would need an amendment on that point as well, but we have had quite a long discussion and I was hoping that there may be one or two things because ----
1642. MR CASEY: That I have heard that please me?
1643. CHAIRMAN: Well, that would indicate to you that points which you make – and have made – some of them have been discussed and we have tried to deal with them, and of course we have to consider them much more than we have already. All right?
1644. MR CASEY: Yes.
1645. CHAIRMAN: But we have heard very carefully what you have said.
1646. MR CASEY: Thank you very much.
1647. CHAIRMAN: So do you ----
1648. MR CASEY: Sorry, I was just about to continue but please carry on.
1649. CHAIRMAN: I thought you were saying you have just about finished?
1650. MR CASEY: Probably just two more points I would like to make, if that is possible, and I will probably be there.
1651. CHAIRMAN: Please do.
1652. MR CASEY: I am a little bit concerned with Fixed Penalty Notices. If Fixed Penalty Notices do stay I was concerned with, in Canterbury 14 – it just occurred to me – looking at 14(4) in Canterbury that the ----
1653. LORD STRASBURGER: Clause 14.
1654. CHAIRMAN: Clause 14?
1655. MR CASEY: Yes, clause 14, the levels of fixed penalties, if they were to stay. (After a pause). But that is read in conjunction with the Secretary of State. I was just wondering, they could just fix them at any level and you could have some quite astronomical fines.
1656. CHAIRMAN: It is on the fixed penalties?
1657. LORD STRASBURGER: Yes.
1658. MR CASEY: Perhaps if I just turn to my – give me one moment, please. (After a pause).
1659. MS LIEVEN: I do not know if it is going to help Mr Casey if I just explain how this works? Would it help?
1660. CHAIRMAN: Yes.
1661. MS LIEVEN: Under 14, the local authority – Canterbury in this case – sets the level of the Fixed Penalty Notice, but then the Secretary of State under 15 has the power to require it to be reduced if he thinks that is appropriate. I summarise, but that is the way the two clauses work. So there is a clear safeguard there.
1662. LORD BLAIR OF BOUGHTON: There are levels of fixed penalty that are normally set by law. You have level 2 offences and level 3 offences. It cannot just go on as I understood it?
1663. MS LIEVEN: No. Absolutely not.
1664. MR CASEY: (After a pause). Okay, I will move on from that point then. I think the last issue was the provision of the information (clause 17) to an authorised officer. I had some grievances that if someone did by any chance give the wrong name that they would be guilty of a level 5 offence, which I think is – is that quite high? I believe that the Promoters reduced that. Is that correct? But you should not be giving a wrong name anyway. That is my opinion.
1665. The last issue was Canterbury, which I did not have a chance to ask their witness about, and it was clause 18 Powers of Community Support Officers. Under this clause I fail to see how that was possible for a Community Support Officer, under the Police Reform Act 2002, to be actually allowed to issue a Fixed Penalty Notice for a street trading offence. From what I understood, the Police Reform Act 2002, which they refer to in clause 18 – Powers of Community Support Officers, refers to the 2002 Act, but I just do not think there has been the scrutiny of that at all. The powers that it confers have nothing whatsoever to do with street trading offences. There are things like Dogs (Fouling of Land) Act, Road Traffic Offenders Act, Highway Act, Criminal Justice and Police Act 2001, et cetera, but as far as the Local Government (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act is concerned, which these Bills are amending, there is no relationship to that. I am not sure if the Promoters can clarify that for me or not.
1666. MS LIEVEN: My Lady, I have to admit I do not entirely understand the point being made. The powers are given to Community Support Officers and they are commensurate with the other powers of Community Support Officers.
1667. LORD BLAIR OF BOUGHTON: Did I understand you to say it is clause 12?
1668. MR CASEY: Clause 12, Fixed Penalty Offences. Yes.
1669. LORD BLAIR OF BOUGHTON: It is where on the occasion the authorised officer, constable or by virtue of section 18, that is section 18. If section 18 is passed then the Community Support Officer. Section 18 then brings Community Support Officers into the power of dealing with the offences under this Bill.
1670. MR CASEY: Precisely and I ----
1671. LORD BLAIR OF BOUGHTON: From what I understand, Community Support Officers have powers under the Police Reform Act.
1672. MR CASEY: Yes.
1673. LORD BLAIR OF BOUGHTON: What this Bill is providing is that, if this Bill is passed, then section 18 will provide that they can deal with the same kind of offences that are under discretion in this Bill. That is all it is, it is allowing Community Support Officers to do what council officers and constables normally do.
1674. MR CASEY: Yes.
1675. CHAIRMAN: Does that help?
1676. MR CASEY: I am trying to understand it, really. It is just that I thought that if they had a descriptive list of what they can already issue Fixed Penalty Notices for under the powers of the Police Reform Act, then this seems to add an additional extension.
1677. LORD BLAIR OF BOUGHTON: Section 12 empowers ----
1678. MR CASEY: So it can amend the primary statute?
1679. LORD BLAIR OF BOUGHTON: Yes. This will be an Act of Parliament and like any other Act of Parliament it can amend previous acts of Parliament.
1680. MR CASEY: Okay. Obviously I do not understand legislation very well.
1681. VISCOUNT ECCLES: I can assure Mr Casey we will be considering this matter when we deliberate as a Committee on the Bill as a whole, and it will not have escaped your notice that two of the Bills have this clause in and two of them do not. So we will be, I am sure, having a careful look at the point you have raised and we will read the transcript of what you have said very carefully and give it due consideration.
1682. MR CASEY: Yes. Thank you. (After a pause). I think that then is everything I wanted to say. Thank you very much.
1683. CHAIRMAN: Thank you, and we certainly wish you well.
1684. MR CASEY: Thank you.
1685. CHAIRMAN: You do have a right of reply, Ms Lieven.
1686. MS LIEVEN: My Lady, I think it would be a lot neater from my position, and probably the Committee’s, if I make points in support of the Bill at the end in their totality, because otherwise I am going to be saying on many occasions the same thing twice.
1687. CHAIRMAN: I see.
1688. MS LIEVEN: I could go through the powers now on seizure, PPNs and Community Support Officers, but I anticipate that I will have to go through the same thing in response to Mr Campbell–Lloyd, so my preference, quite strongly, would be to deal with all the issues that arise at the end.
1689. CHAIRMAN: Yes. I think that is a very wise suggestion and I certainly accept it. Then could we go straight to Mr Campbell–Lloyd who actually has indicated that he will be making an open statement now. Mr Campbell–Lloyd.
1690. MR CAMPBELL–LLOYD: Thank you, Lady Chairman. (After a pause). I am covering two Bills, the Reading Borough Council Bill and the Leeds City Council Bill, and any amendments that we have heard deliberated already I will hold over for comment towards the end of my submission.
1691. In the preamble to the Bill, the councils are seeking certain powers relating to street trading in the borough and in the city under the Local Government (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act – which I will probably refer to as the "LGMPA" for future reference – and for their better enforcement, and in Reading there is an additional provision in respect of touting.
1692. As a forward to this submission I give a brief summary of the adoptive LGMPA referred to in the preamble, and also to the national statute, the Pedlars Act, that the Bills affect, followed by what differentiates the words "street trader" as a licensed street trader and a pedlar as a street trader, because there seems for me to be confusion over the differentiation between the common expression of "street trader". The Promoters for the Bill have now made their submissions, and rather than enter into a point–by–point response, I will submit the case on behalf of the Petitioners that these Bills go against fundamental principles that they consider constitute fair and proportionate law–making.
1693. First of all, the Bills refer to the LGMPA. In 1982 this adoptive national Act was introduced for local councils to license and regulate approved static pictures on designated streets. Approval is required from the Highways Department, and perhaps the fire brigade, for static obstacles to be erected on the highway because such obstacles cause a liability for the council. The criteria for application for a licence is that the applicant be above 17, has a residential address and be approved by council. The restrictions include where they trade, where the trade may occur, what time of the day the licence operates, what day of the week and what articles may be sold, together with any other controls that the council attaches to a licence. These control measures ensure public safety from liability caused by stalls, barrows and wagons allowable under the terms of the licence, and I am sure you have seen for yourselves just how large and cumbersome they are and, indeed, the evidence has shown that.
1694. Within the LGMPA there are exemptions. I will take you straight away to exhibit 1 in my bundle that I am not sure has been handed around. Have we handed those around?
1695. LORD STRASBURGER: Yes.
1696. MR CAMPBELL–LLOYD: Yes, we have. Okay. Thank you. All my exhibits are referenced by numbers on the top right corner in a circle. So, on this particular page we see what constitutes a list of trades that are regarded as not street trading for the purposes, and of course it begins with trading by a person acting as a pedlar under the authority of a pedlar’s certificate. It is interesting to note, though, that there are also nine other exemptions. So quite a lot of things can be exempted under the LGMPA. In that first exemption, trading by a person acting as a pedlar is a key element to this exemption. I am going to the significance of acting as a pedlar later in my submission. But the primary purpose of static trading legislation is to prohibit unauthorised trading and obstruction. The principle now we can therefore summarise is, "To provide local criminal law control of licensed static trading pitches with specific exemption for, among other street trading activities, that of pedlary". The principle, though well intentioned, did not right the failings of a particular loophole established when the licensing for hawkers was abolished in 1966. The LGMPA in 1982 intended to plug that hole but failed. Unlicensed hawkers with large trolleys and carts, equal to that of licensed street traders, had no lawful authority to obstruct the highway and were prosecuted for the offence of obstruction, until they somewhat deviously obtained a lawful authority and a pedlar’s certificate claiming, rightly, that the term "pedlar" includes "hawker" by description contained in the Pedlars Act. This gives us a brief background to consider why councils seek greater powers to control this problem, and I hope that the Promoters will agree that this constitutes the main identifiable problem with regard to the issue of street trading and pedlary.
1697. It is consistent with the justification brought forward by the Promoters in the first of this type of private Bill in the City of Westminster where – and I quote from their own report – "a number of illegal street traders, including sellers of hotdogs, have obtained pedlar’s certificates to try and avoid prosecution for illegal trading."
1698. I would now like the Committee to hear why the Petitioner has chosen the profession of pedlary and what in fact is the pedlars’ legislation under the Pedlars Act. I will turn to exhibit 2. The Pedlars Act contains various descriptions attributed to term "pedlar" and were many and varied when drafted in 1697, revised in 1871 and continue evolving even today. The historic language and continue evolving even today. The historic language and descriptions so derided by the Promoters should not concern this Committee because the meaning of this term "pedlar" includes in the description the words "or other person", which is today’s language means what it says, "or other person". Such a description allows potential for many other descriptions of a pedlar but none of those descriptions should be taken by the Committee to be a definition, merely possible descriptions.
1699. The criteria for application for a pedlar’s certificate is similar to that for a street trader in that the applicant be above 17 and further requirements include to have a minimum one month’s residential address, be of good character and in good faith intend to carry on the trade of a pedlar. The restrictions on the trading activity are that the person travels and trades, carrying goods as a pedestrian while selling or exposing any goods for sale. The purpose of the Pedlars Act can be found possibly in section 13, exhibit 3, "To differentiate genuine authorised traders from other undesirables operating in the street". We can, therefore, encapsulate in today’s language the principle of the Pedlars Act as, "To provide common law privilege to any eligible pedestrian person to trade with complete freedom based on purely individual decisions".
1700. It is this principle that attracted your Petitioners to this profession and I use the word "profession" purposefully for not only do your Petitioners self-regulate and, in good faith, carry on the trade of a pedlar but their itinerant activities constitutes a regulated profession within the nomenclature of the European directors. I shall come to the European directors later in my submission.
1701. LORD GLASSMAN: Could you tell us what is the name of the organisation that enforces pedlars’ mores, like the Law Association or the BMA?
1702. ROBERT CAMPBELL-LLOYD: Every profession -----
1703. LORD STRASBURGER: How do you self-regulate?
1704. LORD GLASSMAN: What is the Pedlars Association self-regulation?
1705. ROBERT CAMPBELL-LLOYD: I declare that I will act in good faith as a pedlar.
1706. LORD GLASSMAN: That is a form of active association that enforces internal ethics? Like the BMA, the British Medical Association, is a professional association. So one of the definitions of profession is having a profession that self-regulates.
1707. ROBERT CAMPBELL-LLOYD: It has no organisation.
1708. LORD GLASSMAN: Yes, that is what I thought. Carry on, please.
1709. ROBERT CAMPBELL-LLOYD: I will come back to the service of director when I address the recent report of the Secretary of State for Business Innovation & Skills that we have here before us. The principal of pedlary has enjoyed unhindered continuity for 314 years and has given rise to such iconic names as Marks & Spencer, Duncan Bannatyne from Dragon’s Den and Lord Sugar, The Apprentice. Each career was begun by peddling on the street and, in these deliberations that directly affect such people; we must have some sense of what can actually be achieved from such humble beginnings.
1710. There is interplay between these guiding principles of the LGMPA and the Pedlars Act and that interplay has a profound effect on how each is interpreted and then applied in the Bill. There is a difference between street trading and pedlary. Your Petitioners would like the Committee to be very clear about what distinguishing a street trader from a pedlar because these Bills seem to confuse and mix generic language with legal terminology such that the two concepts are blurred into one and this could not be further from the truth nor the law. It has also been an issue raised by your Petitioners in the consultation process between the stakeholders and Government and much correspondence is publicly available of pedlars online at the pedlars.info website but I shall summarise what distinguishing them from each other.
1711. It can be said that a pedlar is a travelling trader as distinct from a static trader. A pedlar is certified whereas a static trader is licensed. A certificate entitles a trader to move about whilst trading. A licence to trade in the street has a limit on a place to trade. A certificate does not limit the goods that may be traded. Both certified and licensed traders may sell or expose for sale goods and articles. Acting as a pedlar provides exemption from licensed trading regimes. Pedlars not only trade at houses but they may trade any place.
1712. I will turn now to exhibit 4, which is often left out of any reference to the Pedlars Act, being the 1871 Act, but this particular Act that came out 10 years after the limited jurisdiction for a pedlar’s certificate was introduced to enable a pedlar to act in any part of the United Kingdom, "Pedlars trading place to place may also trade between places. Pedlars may trade in the street. Pedlars provide competition for consumers and, finally, door-to-door sellers do not require a certificate nor a licence and, therefore, are neither a pedlar nor a street trader. That was a brief but, I think, essential introduction and I can now move on to the Petitions.
1713. LORD GLASSMAN: Is there a difference between the pedlar, in your view, and the travelling salesman?
1714. ROBERT CAMPBELL-LLOYD: They are one and the same. A travelling person trading from place to place as they go, wherever they go, is a pedlar. This is why the 1697 Act was introduced, to collect a tax on hawkers and pedlars who were not local but were travelling from town to town. Your Petitioners contend that the Bills go against the principle of both the LGMPA and the Pedlars Act and, therefore, petition against the whole of each Bill now proposed. They contend that the Bills are being bulldozed forward as expedient but show no signs of being fair public policy in the general interest and, instead, in every clause, show signs of seeking to victimise pedlars through increased burden. The potential victim status will be addressed later in this submission.
1715. As a contingent possibility that the Committee determines the Bill should proceed with alleviation of some of the many burdens then your Petitioners will propose amendments at the conclusion of this submission and, at that time, I will also address already proposed amendments. The Private Bills have a lineage that requires some background to understand where and why they have come into existence and hence submit a very short summary of your Petitioner’s understanding and context of Private Acts.
1716. Your Petitioners are aware of other Private Bills and Acts that began in 1996. The City of Westminster determined to promote a Private Bill to promote existing street trading legislation. Part 3 of the Local London Authorities Act 1990 is exhibit 5 and it was amended in 1994 as exhibit 6, but it was modelled originally on the LGMPA. The grounds for bringing forward a Private Bill were that some of the provisions of the London Local Authorities Act were ambiguous and difficult to interpret. The council - that is City of Westminster Council - report, at exhibit 7, goes on to state, "Bona fide pedlars have never caused a problem in Westminster but in recent years a number of hotdog sellers have obtained pedlar’s certificates to try to avoid prosecution.
1717. The original draft of the City of Westminster Bill included exceptions for several trades as per the London Local Authorities Act but specifically made no mention and, especially, no exemption for the trade of pedlary. By July 1998 a report from the Secretary of State for the Home Office on the City of Westminster Bill rejected the omission of an exemption for pedlars on the grounds of principle, causing conflict between national and local legislation and that any decision to change the way pedlars are regulated should be taken as a matter of national policy. The Secretary of State does not consider that it is appropriate to deal with controls on pedlars through ad hoc changes brought about through local legislation. This is in exhibit 8, if I can find exhibit 8, and exhibit 8A. The elements that are highlights are for you to read and I do urge all of these highlighted elements to be read.
1718. In response to the Government report, the Promoters’ Agent, Sharpe Pritchard, replied that the removal of the pedlars’ exemption would have, in practice, no detrimental effect on genuine pedlars. That is at exhibit 9. The full document does exist in the pile should anybody be interested. In a further memorandum from the Promoters’ Agents addressing the distinct grounds of objection raised by the Secretary of State, they admit, "The problem appears to be restricted to pedlars who are acting as unlicensed street traders", exhibit 10, and, again, the full Committee meeting where that was a deduction, the identification of the main problem is available should you wish me to provide that as a further exhibit.
1719. Pedlars were never considered stakeholders and never consulted on the effect on the City of Westminster Bill and contend that the original intention of the Promoters of these Private Bills was to disenfranchise pedlary by granting no exemption from prosecution. When that failed and the Promoters were obliged to include an exemption for pedlary, the argument supporting their case shifted from a number of hotdogs sellers who have obtained a pedlar’s certificate to try to avoid prosecution to a different problem, generalising the fact pedlars were acting as unlicensed street traders.
1720. Your Petitioners contend that the result was a cleverly-drafted draconian Bill that circumvented a national statute through a mechanism of an amended local Act to attack pedlary and achieve the original objectives of removing pedlars’ civil rights exemption from the street-trading regime. Several copycat Bills have found their way into statute but they all rely on textually amending the Pedlars Act by altering the lawfully acceptable activities of a pedlar through a local Act.
1721. In the second reading in your House, Lord Bilston, in moving the Bill to be read a second time, introduced then, "It is all dealing in the main with one general issue, that of street trading", and, whilst declaring his APPG and LGA partisanship, led the House to the main area of contention, being pedlars. In this way he confused pedlary and street trading and your Petitioners consider that this was intentional. Indeed your Lord Lucas recently spoke in second reading on these Bills, column 771 on 19 October, "I do not think that the Private Bill process was ever designed to be a substitute for public legislation in this way, to restrict the right of people", that is pedlars, "to make a living by selling out in the open."
1722. In recent times we have heard much debate and media frenzy about blurring between private and public. Your Petitioners contend that the Bills before this Committee affect public policy in that they attempt to outlaw a statutory civil right through codified criminal law. They propose to amend a public Act, namely the description and allowable activity of a trader or pedlar, through the mechanism of an adoptive local Bill. The magnitude of the geographical area affected leaves no place where a pedlar because councils can and have already extended designations to the whole jurisdiction, for example, in Reading. Exhibit 11 indicates that Reading Borough Council has extended its designation of streets to the entire area.
1723. The multiplicity of interests involved is not limited to the Petitioners but every person above the age of 17 and, given the fact that there are some 68 million people in the United Kingdom, these Bills have an effect on the rights of about 48 million eligible people. The Bills, though partly of a private nature, have as their main object a public matter in their effect. Your Petitioners contend that such mischief of blurring of Private Bills as Public Bills should never have been permitted by the Speaker at second reading. Pedlars have written to the Speakers to that effect.
1724. The floor of your own House has heard of the inappropriateness of using the Private Bill process as a substitute for public legislation, but procedurally I am informed that the Petitioners must accept that we have moved past the point into which this Committee can correct what your Petitioners consider is an abuse of parliamentary process by those who could afford such privilege. The blurring between private interests and the public interest persists and affects deliberations on whether or not these Bills are in the general interest or something more sinister. This has been some very condensed by essential background to these Petitions.
1725. LORD GLASSMAN: When you say that, are you saying that the councils are representing private interests or they are the private interests?
1726. ROBERT CAMPBELL-LLOYD: Moot point.
1727. LORD GLASSMAN: I do not get. That is what I am asking you to clarify. If that council thinks it is in the good and that is what they have practically decided, then that is their view.
1728. ROBERT CAMPBELL-LLOYD: The general interest includes the people. I know it is process but the people elect the council to make decisions for them, but we common people have an ----
1729. LORD GLASSMAN: Voters, in other words.
1730. ROBERT CAMPBELL-LLOYD: That is what I regard to be the general interest more specifically than what elected people would determine is the general interest. This has been some very condensed but essential background to these Petitions. When I was doing the last round of Select Committee hearings on the Bournemouth Borough Council and Manchester City Council Bills I was asked by the Chair how long my submission would take. I requested five days to present full scrutiny of all the evidence but was thrown into an on-the-spot turmoil of being allowed just two hours. With this in mind, you will appreciate that all I have to say is very condensed and I am happy to expand on any of the issues that you find unclear.
1731. The Petitioner against the Reading Borough Council Bill is Mr Andrew Carter who lives in Yatton Keynell, Wiltshire. He is the holder of a pedlar’s certificate and has held one for 14 years. He, under the authority of such a certificate granted by statute, practises his trade of pedlary through much of the southern half of the United Kingdom, including the Borough of Reading. In the other Bill, the Leeds City Council Bill, your Petitioner is Mr Tony Furnivalis who lives in Manchester. Your Petitioner is the holder of a pedlar’s certificate and has held one for eight years. He also acts under the authority of his certificate and he acts throughout much of United Kingdom including the City of Leeds.
1732. Your Petitioners contend that their rights, interests and property are injuriously affected by these Bills and further contend that they have no alternative other than to petition against the Bills for reasons, amongst others, that I shall now submit. Your Petitioners, when acting as a pedlar under the authority of a valid pedlar’s certificate, rely on a lawful exemption from street trading regulation under the Local Government (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act which states, "Trading by a person acting as a pedlar is not street trading for the purposes" of that schedule. As I said earlier, the LGMPA provides legislation for local authorities to licence and regulate static street traders with 10 sections and some 190 subsections and the Act makes reference to pedlars in one section only. It just states, "Acting as a pedlar is not street trading."
1733. Your Petitioners contend that the purpose of the LGMPA was not intended to regulate pedlars because the Pedlars Act does that adequately with 27 sections and 38 subsections. If the actions of a pedlar are to be modified then the Pedlars Act is a more appropriate place than the LGMPA, unless there is a hidden purpose, to altering an alleged civil offence to an alleged criminal offence. The Promoters have not declared this intention but it has been found in fact to be the general effect on genuine pedlars. Evidence will be brought before the Committee of this effect on others who are qualified to speak of genuine pedlars and know the effect and heavy burden of that hidden purpose.
1734. I have already submitted, but it is worth repeating, that the principle of the Pedlars Act is to provide common law privilege to any eligible pedestrian person to trade with complete freedom on purely individual decisions within any part of the United Kingdom. Any offence under the Pedlars Act has civil consequences such as an endorsement on the certificate, deprivation of the certificate and for those not carrying a valid certificate, a financial penalty, even imprisonment. So the penalties are very severe for not acting as a pedlar.
1735. Since the introduction of the LGMPA, those trading without certificate or licence are rightly caught by that Act. The difficulty for your Petitioners lies in local authorities’ tactical change from correctly issuing a summons for an alleged civil offence under the Pedlars Act - that is, not acting as a pedlar - to issuing a summons for an alleged criminal offence under these new forms of legislation - that is, acting without a licence.
1736. Whereas the burden of proof previously lay with prosecution providing beyond reasonable doubt that the certified trader was not acting as a pedlar, what now occurs, and will be shown, is that the pedlar invariably has to prove that the activity was not that of an unlicensed street trader. When councils take a pedlar to court they usually have skilled barrister advocates and so, with a lay pedlar rarely winning in the Magistrates Court, probable success is only found in a Crown or High Court but with considerable financial burden for legal representation. The reversal of the burden of proof has not been tested and, therefore, remains a matter of public importance.
1737. Your Petitioners contend that the Bills create anomalies because of confusion and misuse of language, especially in the use of the word "street trader" and "street trading" in the LGMPA such that the Promoters seem to intentionally confuse pedlary with street trading to catch the activities of street traders regardless of their exemption. More careful scrutiny finds that genuine pedlars are not static traders in the formal sense of local authority licensing but are mobile traders in the street or travelling traders. It goes without saying that in common parlance both are traders in the street or street traders but without the capital S and the T, a fact that is too often overlooked.
1738. The Promoters have previously submitted in other places that pedlars are free to operate anywhere outside designated streets, arguing a wide margin of discretion under the Human Rights Act form limited control. Those arguments fail closer scrutiny because all of the streets in Reading Borough are designated and I am not sure but I would consider that it is possibly the case in Leeds. Depending on interpretation of this Bill, your Petitioners may be prohibited from all streets in the jurisdiction, this given the fact that we have not yet discussed the amendments that have been proposed and I cannot do that until I come to amendments that the Petitioners will discuss later. So we have to take the Bill as it stands without amendments.
1739. In designating all streets and depending on interpretation of the Bill, your Petitioners may be prohibited from all streets in the jurisdiction and it is their contention that such is the disproportionate and unreasonable effect of these Bills. Your Petitioners contend that the prohibition is unlawful and does not meet the criteria control under the Human Rights Act. Human rights infringement on pedlary have been a recurring issue with these Private Bills.
1740. Your Petitioners, at exhibit 11A, draw the Committee’s attention to Standing Order 98 in the House of Lords in which the Minister states, "Save in respect of the restriction on pedlars’ activities, mounting evidence shows that human rights continue to be infringed." Scrutiny of these bills reveals a Private Business Standing Order report - see exhibit 12 - on the compatibility of these proposal with the European Convention of Human Rights. That report, signed by Lord Young, is based on a non-scrutinised and, therefore, unjustified belief that the Promoters have taken a full assessment of the compatibility and she sees no reason to dispute their conclusions that the Bill is compatible.
1741. He admits to not having seen the evidence upon which the Promoters rely to establish that the proposed restriction on certified pedlars’ activities is in the public interest but understands that the matter was considered by the unopposed Bill Committee in Commons. That Committee sat on 15 January 2010 and heard a five-paragraph uninterrupted monologue from Mr Lewis of Sharpe Pritchard for the Promoters and there was no scrutiny, not even a single question, from the Committee.
1742. Your Petitioners were not aware nor consulted in November 2007 that the Bills were introduced into the other House but, had they been given the opportunity as they are today, then they would have opposed the Bills on the same grounds that they submit today, namely that the Promoters’ submission to the unopposed Bill Committee lacked any careful consideration and await further scrutiny. At point 84 on the unopposed Bill Committee, which I will reference for you, the Promoters in that particular comment there admit the Bills engage Article 1 Protocol 1, Protection of Property, of the Convention because a pedlar’s certificate constitutes a possession.
1743. Your Petitioners are aware from recent case law of a six-point justification test to determine if an interference with possessions is in the general interest or not. They have also found that every single condition must be met. Firstly, there is the scope test, "Does the complaint refer to an interference with his possessions?" Your Petitioners say, "Potentially". The interference test asks, "Is there an interference?" They say, "Potentially". The lawfulness test asks, "Is the interference provided by law?" They say, "Yes, but only by way of the Bills".
1744. The general interest test asks, "Does the interference pursue the general interest?" They say, "No. It is a local interference with a national civil right". The fair balance test asks, "Does the interference strike a fair balance with the right to peaceful enjoyment of possessions?" They say, "No. The interference amounts to prohibition of a national civil right". The proportionality test asks, "Is the interference proportionate to the legitimate aim?" They say, "No. The aim is to resolve a perceived problem of the misuse of a pedlar’s certificate by traders who do not act as genuine pedlar and there are less restrictive measures available to achieve this aim".
1745. Your Petitioners contend that they have a legitimate expectation to be entitled to operate under the Pedlars Act 1881, at exhibit 4, within any part of the United Kingdom but they find that the Bills introduce the notion of potential victim status if they should attempt to trade on any street in Reading or Leeds, putting aside the amendments also that we have heard today. They accept that States may have a wide margin of appreciation of what constitutes the general interest but States do not have such a margin if the interference is manifestly without reasonable foundation.
1746. Your Petitioners contend that the Bills are exclusively of local interest and not in the general interest but having profound negative effect on all of the population of the United Kingdom. For them, the Bills seem to prohibit their economic interest in Reading and Leeds to the benefit of other economic interests such as street traders. The Promoters submit that the control is limited because the Petitioners can still be door-to-door sellers, but for this they would not require a certificate and the council does not have any licensing scheme for private businesses at the doors of houses. They contend that this is not a limited control but, in effect, a prohibition on the activities of a genuine pedlar. Your Petitioners contend that this infringement of their human rights should be resolved to enable their continued trade throughout Reading and Leeds. Provisions have been made in other private bill jurisdictions to achieve this and we have heard amendments put forward today.
1747. LORD GLASMAN: It is not just that it is outside the European directive. It is also a violation of human rights?
1748. MR CAMPBELL-LLOYD: Yes.
1749. I now come to the matter of paper 148. This is a House of Lords paper which I will refer to as exhibit 13. From the outset of these private Bills the term "genuine pedlar" has been specifically referred to as if it means something different to the word "pedlar". Your Petitioners respectfully refer ----
1750. LORD BLAIR OF BOUGHTON: Your exhibit 13 in my bundle does not say this.
1751. MR CAMPBELL-LLOYD: Exhibit 13 is paper 148. Let me explain. Paper 148 is the report made by the Select Committee on Bournemouth and Manchester to Lord Harrison in which there was a 10-point summary of what this Committee should consider in its deliberations today.
1752. LORD BLAIR OF BOUGHTON: Your exhibit only has some points.
1753. Indeed. It only has those particular elements because all the other points were introductory points, they being the most significant.
1754. So those two Bills referred to in paper 148 are similar if not identical to these Bills. They are the Bournemouth Borough and Manchester City Council Bills, in which at point 10 your Lords reiterate the Secretary of State’s strong reservations about the use – and your Petitioner suggested abuse – of private legislation’s parliamentary process. The Lords give direction that instead of Promoters addressing a national statute through private Bills it is for the Government to address perceived problems in national statutes. For pedlars this would be the Pedlars Act. But currently Government are considering policy on an adoptive national Act, which many councils have not adopted and so there may be constitutional questions if Government intends to force an adoptive Act on councils who have no desire for it.
1755. In that same point 10, and following directions given to the Promoters to make allowance for those pedlars who trade other than by means of visits from house to house, they rightfully identified two distinct types of trading: firstly, that of trading in the street. That includes both certified pedlars and licensed street traders. Secondly another category, that of door-to-door sellers who require neither certificate nor licence because trading at a house or at a door is a matter of exclusively private arrangement between the participating parties. Such a private business has nothing whatever to do with the likes of these Bills, and an anomaly before this Committee is whether or not it should allow a private Bill to impact on what occurs in private arrangements at a dwelling house by provisions in the Bills that a pedlar must take their trade only unsuspecting householders. That paragraph then concludes with the direction that the enforcement officers have adequate competence by way of training to ensure that genuine pedlars are not preventing from trading. Here again, we see the use of the words "genuine pedlar" as if it means something different from the word "pedlar".
1756. In the report’s letter to Lord Harrison from Bournemouth Council (exhibit 13a) regarding this obligatory undertaking, it is clear that Bournemouth Borough Council will only train officers about the LGMPA and the Bill. But they will not be trained to understand the Pedlars Act. The letter says that they consider genuine pedlars are only traders who call door to door, so this indicates that they have failed to understand the difference between trading in the streets and selling door to door and so the undertaking is worthless to genuine pedlars. In the undertaking from Manchester City Council (exhibit 13b), which also leaves out essential training about the Pedlars Act, it is clear that they consider only undesignated streets to be preserved opportunities for pedlars to freely operate but that in designated streets there are no opportunities except as door-to-door sellers. As with Bournemouth, this indicates that they too fail to understand the difference between trading in designated or undesignated streets and selling door to door. Again, this undertaking is worthless to genuine pedlars.
1757. Petitioners see in these letters the true intent of the Promoters to bring about an end to genuine pedlars by hook or by crook. When pedlars.info wrote of these concerns to Lord Harrison, shortly after paper 148 was published, he replied that the Committee had been disbanded and therefore could make no further comment. We will hear evidence about different interpretations of these Bills, by the example in Bournemouth that pedlars entering the town are allowed only to pass through the main street once and not return within 12 hours for fear of seizure. We have also heard that in Manchester there is a tolerance for pedlars trading in designated streets. My Lords and Lady Knight, this shows that the Bill has not made it easier to interpret what is allowed by pedlars acting as genuine pedlars. What it has shown is that the Bills are an open opportunity for abuse of genuine pedlars and that letters of undertaking are no guarantee of safeguard to genuine pedlars. That concludes my submission on paper 148.
1758. Your Petitioners are aware of High Court cases where pedlars have been judged as to whether they were acting as pedlars or not. From these judgments, case law has been formulated. In Shepway District Council v Vincent, Mr Justice Laws found "no provision in the Pedlars Act to exclude a person who has some small means of assisting the transportation of his goods" and this provides protection for your Petitioners’ means of operation. Clause 5 of the Bill specifically prohibits your Petitioners’ use of any means of support other than carrying goods and, in effect, prohibits their ability to trade because they trade in small but heavy items. We must remember that they have freedom to trade in any goods. The removal of their right to use a means to assist in the transporting of the goods, they contend, is unreasonable and disproportionate, favouring strong pedlars and discriminating against weak pedlars. This is noted in the latest report from BIS, which I will come to later. Petitioners are aware of the findings on similar Bournemouth and Manchester Bills in the other House, where the Select Committee found that the Bills that began with an identical text to these Bills should not proceed unless the Promoters accept certain provisions for carrying goods. These were that a pedlar’s goods or tools of handicraft must be carried on foot, on the person or in a trolley with a carrying capacity not exceeding 1 cubic metre which is pushed or pulled by the person. Your Petitioners contend that such provision – if made in this Bill – would satisfy their needs and the need for proportionality and fairness while at the same time fulfilling the needs of the Promoters to limit the size of oversize trolleys in the street.
1759. LORD STRASBURGER: You are saying that if the Bill were amended to specify the maximum size of a trolley as a cubic metre, you think that would be acceptable.
1760. MR CAMPBELL-LLOYD: As was accepted in the Bournemouth and Manchester Bills.
1761. LORD STRASBURGER: Was that pedlars as a whole or just to you?
1762. MR CAMPBELL-LLOYD: Pedlars as a whole. I do have quite a lot of correspondence come through to me because I am an administrator on the website pedlars.info that is there as an information portal. The correspondence that comes through there, I direct people to all our open communications and they are very much aware.
1763. I now draw the Committee’s attention to exhibit 14, which provides verbatim text by council for the Opposed Bill Committee on Bournemouth Borough and Manchester City Council Bills during which the Committee accepted that there are pedlars who may trade house to house but that there are also those pedlars who do not only trade house to house, with the implicit meaning that they may trade on the street including designated streets, among other places, with certain conditions. Subsequent to that ruling and shown on the right of this particular page, page 14, you will find what textual provisions were then enacted. Your Petitioners can understand the simple council draft on the left of this page, which was given to the Petitioners at the end of that Select Committee hearing, but feel absolutely lost in gobbledegook when trying to understand if they can actually operate in Bournemouth and Manchester or whether potential victim status will fall upon their every endeavour
1764. CHAIRMAN : Mr Campbell-Lloyd, I think I ought to tell you that I propose to finish this meeting at 5.30. We shall not go beyond that point.
1765. MR CAMPBELL-LLOYD: Fine. Is that by this clock?
1766. CHAIRMAN : By this clock,
1767. MR CAMPBELL-LLOYD : It is possible that with this clause 5 pedlars from Bournemouth and Manchester may be found to be unjusticiable. These Bills include seizure, confiscation, Fixed Penalty Notices that provide an arsenal of intimidating weaponry against the Petitioners that was raised in the other House on these Bills’ third reading, and I refer to Mr Chope in column 924 in the other House, 14 January 2010, where it was said that the whole tenor of these Bills, if not to harass pedlars, certainly is to make it abundantly clear that they are not welcome in these towns and to move on. The tenor of the Bills is rather sinister because everything in them is designed to make life as uncomfortable as possible for pedlars, even when they are not behaving in a manner that is of any concern to anyone and when they are just going about their legitimate business. We should not support this legislation that has such an edge to it.
1768. I intend to call evidence about two completely different interpretations of these Bills by local enforcement officers that have tried to apply the legislation, such that the definition of location is applied in Manchester to a particular spot on the street and in Bournemouth is interpreted to mean the whole of the town centre. Such difficulty with interpretation is evidence of bad law. Your Petitioners, among others, through ongoing consultation with Government, have prepared revised text for clause 5 that provides fair and proportionate amendment for consideration by the Committee. I will come to this in conclusion to my submissions.
1769. Clause 5 of the Bill refers to pedlars. Your Petitioners are quite clear about the meaning of the words, "only by means of visits from house to house" because the original private Bill in 1999 was never intended to affect genuine pedlars who have always operated from town to town or to other men’s houses, as per the Pedlars Act. The only difference in the Bills is the linguistic need to remove the town’s town element because the Bills are town-specific. They regard this with common sense and historical approach to mean that they are free to trade only by means of visits from house to house but not only obliged to trade by this method, and can also freely trade in the street as would make sense when going town to town or to other men’s houses. The Bills do not state that a pedlar may not trade in a street, designated or not. They are aware that this was a finding of the Opposed Bill Committee on Bournemouth and Manchester Bills that a pedlar trading house to house survives. For those not trading house to house, certain conditions were introduced.
1770. The Petitioners contend that, after many years of similar Bills coming before Parliament, the Promoters should no longer rely on the very narrow and restrictive construction of the text that the Bill attaches to secondary legislation and that it would be more helpful to them if legislation was consistent from town to town and borough to borough. They are aware that the Government is bringing forward such consistent national legislation as a matter of urgency, with draft legislation within a couple of months. We had been told that this would be by the end of this year but BIS indicate that it will be earlier next year.
1771. I have now made my submission on what your Petitioners consider are the most dangerous and harmful clauses that run throughout all of these private Bills, and if the Committee is still unsure that the Bills are in the general interest then the next part of this submission may convince you to determine that the Bills should proceed no further.
1772. I refer specifically to a sequence of recent Government-sponsored reports into street trading and pedlar law, and for derogation of the EU law into UK law of the European Services Directive 2006, in which the word "services" means any self-employed economic activity and which can be readily seen to include street trading and pedlary.
1773. I will begin with the executive summary of the Durham report, commissioned by the Department of Business Enterprise and Regulatory Reform – now BIS – at exhibits 15 and 15a. I will quickly read these out because they need to be read into the record and be there in full detail should you wish to read this later.
1774. In the first executive bullet point summary, "A considerable proportion of the evidence submitted by local authorities referred to illegal street trading rather than the legal activities of genuine pedlars".
1775. At point 2, "Many local authorities indicated that there were few, if any, difficulties stemming from illegal street-trading in their area". Where greater powers were desired the most common option was for seizure of goods, fixed-penalty notices and the ability to move the traders on.
1776. At point 5, "Pedlars reported some overzealous enforcement of laws. They believed, therefore, that they would not be treated fairly should they be brought fully under local authority control".
1777. There is little evidence that certified pedlars present problems in city centres nor are they generally in direct competition with shops or street traders. Indeed, consumers valued their presence in the town centres and regarded buying from pedlars a positive experience. Most complaints come from retailers concerned with competition. The most clearly evident concern was related to issues of destruction and public safety caused by large numbers of street traders gathering in small areas. Pedlars recognise the need to modernise and standardise rather than repeal or replace.
1778. Following the Durham Report for BIS the same researchers from Durham University produced a policy paper on pedlary as an entry route to entrepreneurship and this is exhibit 15c. I will read from that. "This paper aims to establish that many of this group can be classed as legitimate micro-entrepreneurs; how they form a class of trader distinct from those trading informally or illegally; and how the low entry barriers to pedlary might make it a rational choice for those with low capital endowments wishing to establish a fledgling retail business. It aims to show how pedlary can be a stepping stone to more mainstream trading, in particular for those engaged in selling goods in the informal economy."
1779. Then, under "Implications", "The study shows that licensed itinerant traders are distinct from illegal street traders in their operating methods, and can be a valuable (if small) part of an urban economy. It also points to a degree of overregulation and control among local authorities, and questions the reasons behind the tendency among authorities to seek greater regulatory powers over what might be called 'fringe' economic activity. It argues that what might, at first sight, seem to be informal economic activity is, in fact, a distinct form of trading, and a potential seedbed for the formation of more formally-constituted new enterprises. The low costs of entry (and exit) related to pedlary suggest it can be the basis for a distinct form of entrepreneurship, mixing elements from traditional conceptions of both formal and informal trading and as a possible component of portfolio careers. It may provide a potential routeway out of the informal economy or unemployment, particularly in the current economic climate".
1780. Next I refer to the executive summary of the Government consultation to formulate policy, begun in late 2009 and published in March this year; exhibits 16 and 16a. At exhibit 16 we have the executive summary on this particular report and I will just take some extracts from that.
1781. "In the debates on the revival of private Bills being sought by some local authorities in the House of Commons on 5 July 2010 Edward Davey MP the Minister for Employment Relations, Consumer and Postal Affairs made clear the Government’s view of pedlary as a legitimate business activity, which in general should be subject to the minimum of restrictions and that the rights of pedlars need to be protected."
1782. "There are approximately 4,000 pedlars in the UK who essentially trade on foot, moving around to customers, carrying their goods. Some use a small means of transporting and displaying their goods. Pedlars are usually sole traders, often selling small novelty items. Licensed street traders, on the other hand, are generally static traders operating in a specific location from a stall selling fruit, clothes, et cetera."
1783. "It seems clear from the Department’s earlier research, from debates on private Bills in both Houses of Parliament and from the responses to the consultation that traders who operate more like street traders, who should be licensed rather than pedlars, are most likely to be the cause of concern to those local authorities who perceive they have a problem with traders in the street."
1784. "Difficulties in establishing that a person certified as a pedlar is not in fact trading as a pedlar seem to be the main stumbling block to efficient enforcement of street trader licensing."
1785. "We have had to consider how the application of the Directive to the retail sale of goods by certified pedlars and licensed street traders impacts and what changes are now necessary to ensure compliance with the Services Directive."
1786. At point 5 we referred to the Services Directive and now I refer you to exhibit 17 which is a summary extract of the Services Directive on the internal market. Here we find, "The objectives of the Services Directive is to release the untapped growth potential of service markets in Europe by removing legal and administrative barriers to trade in the services sector. The simplification measures foreseen by the Directive should significantly facilitate life and increase transparency for small to medium-sized enterprises and consumers when they want to provide or use services in the single market."
1787. Under the Benefits title, "The Directive requires the member states to simplify procedures and formalities that service providers need to comply with, in particular ----"
1788. LORD BLAIR OF BOUGHTON: Mr Campbell-Lloyd, I wonder if we could ask the Counsel for the Promoters; you are about to read out the highlighted bits in the notes, five or six pages. It is very large.
1789. CHAIRMAN : There will not be time.
1790. LORD BLAIR OF BOUGHTON: I agree with that. The point I was just raising is when you are trying to enter a long document - this has nine pages - whether it is possible that both the Promoters and the Committee can accept that this can be on the record. I think this is a very long way of doing it.
1791. CHAIRMAN : Yes.
1792. VISCOUNT ECCLES: You are free to put written submissions at any time.
1793. MR CAMPBELL-LLOYD: This document has been out since 2006 and it has taken me probably two years to come to terms with it, to understand it. It is a rather massive document.
1794. LORD BLAIR OF BOUGHTON: That is all I am saying. Rather than read it out
1795. MR CAMPBELL-LLOYD: Exactly. I see. You would like those entered on the record rather than me read it out. Exactly what I required. Thank you very much. I understand that.
1796. VISCOUNT ECCLES: If it is on the record as a document it does not need to be spoken.
1797. MR CAMPBELL-LLOYD: For people who are very interested in what is going on here today – for their concern – I would hope to have read at least the highlighted elements of the extracts. I am not intending to read the full document but there are elements within it that give the gist of what this Services Directive is about. For that reason alone, I would like to make some elements of those highlighted remarks on the record.
1798. CHAIRMAN : It must be clear that what we are doing is not about giving outside people who may have an interest in the matter all the information they want. What we are dealing with here is you at the moment and others at other times giving this Committee and this Committee only – so I must point out that what has been said is perfectly acceptable to us. There will not be any point missed and anyone outside can read debates later on. So I must ask you now to finish, please. It looks as if you have a whole sheet which you intended to read out.
1799. MR CAMPBELL-LLOYD: And more.
1800. CHAIRMAN : And more, you say. I see. Then I can only tell you I am going to close the meeting now.
1801. MR CAMPBELL-LLOYD: Could I understand the meaning of that? Are we closing for this particular session and possibly discussing future dates?
1802. CHAIRMAN : Would you wait and permit me to do things in my own way. I am saying that at the moment we shall have to stop you in full flight. You will, of course, be allowed to finish what you want to say later, but please bear in mind what my colleagues have said and do not read out again things which we have in front of us as evidence.
1803. I want to tell you before we conclude tonight that all parties here will be interested to know that this Committee will meet at 2.00pm on Wednesday, 9 November in this room.
1804. MR CAMPBELL-LLOYD: I missed the date. Sorry.
1805. CHAIRMAN : November 9. That is next Wednesday. Is that clear?
1806. MR CAMPBELL-LLOYD: That will not allow me to participate.
1807. CHAIRMAN : Well, I am sorry but the Committee has the right to make the date. If you want to be here, this is the time we will be meeting and this is the time we will be hoping that you will conclude your evidence and call your witness and so on. Ms Lieven.
1808. MS LIEVEN: I was only going to ask, my Lady, was it the intention of the Committee to finish on that day. I think it would certainly help everybody if we were clear as to whether that was the last day.
1809. CHAIRMAN : How can I possibly say? Already we have heard that there is very much more to come from Mr Campbell-Lloyd. I have no control over the shortage or length, bearing that point in mind. I am sorry.
1810. MS LIEVEN: I understand that, my Lady.
1811. CHAIRMAN : The only thing perhaps I would say, which I hope may be helpful to Mr Campbell-Lloyd, is that it does not always make the best case to be as long as you possibly can.
1812. MR CAMPBELL-LLOYD: I am certainly not doing that. Thank you.
1813. CHAIRMAN : Good. I am pleased to hear that. I declare this meeting closed and we will meet again next week. Thank you.
The Committee adjourned at 5.28 pm until 2.00pm on Wednesday, 9 November