Memorandum submitted by Marion H Gettleson
Senior officers from Royal Borough of
Kensington & Chelsea; Southwark & Westminster outlined
proposed legislation, now in its second reading in the House of
Lords, giving Councils powers to alter the governance of London
markets. The proposed legislation removes various protections
from street traders. The Westminster officer said that given a
choice, WCC would have no markets at all. Under the new legislation
this appears a possibility. The chairmen of street traders
in RBKC and Southwark attended the Committee hearing. Neither
had any previous knowledge of the proposed changes in the law.
London Councils have almost completed
the process of changing Parliamentary legislation on street trading:
effectively in secret. No information was provided to street
traders; communities; nor was any consultation process followed.
London Councils have circumvented the
democratic process in matters that affect not only street traders,
but large sections of the wider community.
In 1985 legislation on the same matter
was promoted by RBKC & WCC. It was rejected by Parliament
on its third reading in the House of Commons, on the grounds of
the lack of public consultation. The event is recorded in Hansard.
The London Local Authorities Act 1990 s.34 was the eventual legislative
response to this matter.
In 1985 street traders engaged parliamentary
agents to co-ordinate their efforts. The same agents are now believed
to be promoting the current bill. Street traders no longer have
a forum to debate their concerns; so are effectively helpless.
Please help London markets.