1

 
HOUSE OF LORDS

MINUTES OF EVIDENCE

taken before the

SELECT COMMITTEE

on the

BOURNEMOUTH BOROUGH COUNCIL BILL (HL)

 

MANCHESTER CITY COUNCIL BILL (HL)

Tuesday 3 July 2007

Before:

Boyd of Duncansby, L

Brougham and Vaux, L

Coussins, B

Harrison, L (Chairman)

Methuen, L

 

 

MR PATRICK CLARKSON QC appeared on behalf of the Promoters.

SHARPE PRITCHARD appeared as Agents.

The following Petitions against the Bill were read:

The Petition of Mr Alexander Campbell-Lloyd.

MR ROBERT CAMPBELL-LLOYD appeared as Agent.

The Petition of Mr David Murphy.

MR NICHOLAS McGERR appeared as Agent.

Ordered that Counsel and Parties be called in.

1. CHAIRMAN: Good morning, ladies and gentlemen. My name is Lord Harrison. I have the pleasure of chairing this Opposed Bill Committee today, but I am joined by colleagues from the House of Lords, Lord Boyd of Duncansby, Lord Methuen, Lord Brougham and Vaux and Baroness Coussins.

2. Just a few house-keeping points. First of all, if you hear some bells ringing, it will not be a fire alarm, it will be a division in the House of Lords. We do expect to have some of those votes this afternoon. If it does happen and interferes with the proceedings here I will simply adjourn for ten minutes and then we will reconvene and carry on. Secondly, there is a fire alarm, but it does not sound like a bell, it is a two-toned siren, so, again, if it is just a practice, I think we will be alerted. If not, if you would follow the door-keeper who will advise us of where to move to. May I also say to you at the beginning that I have consulted with my fellow members on the Committee and have asked them whether they have any interests to declare, so to have a fair view of this case. They tell me that they do not have, but I pause now just in case any of my colleagues wish to declare any interests that they fear might disqualify them.

3. Secondly, regarding the sittings today, as I have indicated we have now started, but I will adjourn for lunch at an appropriate time, somewhere around 1 o' clock just for 60 minutes, so I would ask you to be back here promptly. We are due to go on until about four o'clock this afternoon, but I hope you will understand if I feel that another half hour or an hour or so might mean that we could bring the matters to a close, I will indeed do so and prolong it. I hope that does not inconvenience any of you and I hope you have been given notice of that. However, should we need to reconvene at a later date, we have indicated the date of 12 July, in a week's time. We have a slight problem, Baroness Coussins cannot be with us after 12:15 pm on that day but, again, that might be sufficient time to finish off consideration of these two opposed Bills.

4. I wonder if I could also ask for your indulgence that should we need to go on to that second date, 10 July, if it would be convenient for everyone if we could start, perhaps, half an hour earlier. If that really is a difficulty, perhaps either now or later on you could tell me. I also need to secure your consent that should we go beyond 12:15 pm on that day that you are happy for us to sit as four members. The quorum of this Committee is indeed four. It might provide the occasional inconvenience if we have to have a comfort break or whatever, when I would then have to bring matters to a halt for that period or, indeed, if we did lose one of our other four members, then we would have to stop the proceedings altogether. I do know and understand that many of you have set aside 10 July in your diaries as have we here in the Committee and our officers as well. I hope we can proceed on that basis. Is there anyone who would have difficulty either with that or, indeed, with meeting perhaps at ten o'clock rather than 10:30 am. Good. I have introduced the Committee, so what I would be very grateful to you for, especially because we have the person taking the minutes of this, is if you would be kind enough on the first occasion that you speak to say who you are and who you represent. Before I start, is there anything else that anyone else wishes to know? Thank you very much indeed. What I am now going to do is to turn to Mr Clarkson and I think he is going to give us the Promoter's case in both the case of Bournemouth and Manchester, but perhaps I could indicate at this early point that I think we will try and deal with the Bournemouth case just in case we do have to lose out on a day later on.

5. First of all, we will try and complete that, not the consideration but the hearing of the Petition's cause and examining the witnesses and so on and so forth. Mr Clarkson, please?

6. MR CLARKSON: Thank you, my Lord. I appear for the Promoters, instructed by Mr Lewis of Sharpe Pritchard and perhaps I can assist by introducing the Petitioners. Mr Robert Campbell-Lloyd appears for the Bournemouth Petitioners and Mr McGerr appears for the Manchester Petitioners. Bournemouth Borough Council is the authority for the Borough of Bournemouth and Manchester City Council is the local authority for the City of Manchester. Identical bills are presented, save for minor changes resulting upon their names and status of the two councils. I am going to open both of those together and anyone in due course seeking understanding of how we put our case in statutory terms for Manchester can look at the minutes of this opening for Bournemouth.

7. The short purpose of the Bills is to prevent pedlars using their pedlar's certificate to get around the street trading regulations and, in effect, act as street traders. These are not new approaches. Exactly a year ago today there were presented similar Bills for Leicester, Liverpool and Maidstone and they successfully went through the process last year. The same control has been granted to the City of Westminster in the 1990s and all other London local authorities. Newcastle-upon-Tyne, Medway and the Royal Parks by the Government Act have a seizure procedure. The Northern Ireland Assembly has picked up the point for Northern Ireland. This flags up, I have no doubt in the Committee's mind, why is it being done by local legislation rather than public general legislation. That was a question that was asked in the mid-1990s and still has not been answered. The Committee may be aware that there was a Private Member's Bill that promoted this in the other place recently (but it did not get anywhere). It tried to achieve the homogeneity of approach that has not been done. Bournemouth and Manchester both have vibrant shopping areas and both have licensed street trading. Those shopping areas are affected to varying degrees by unlawful street traders claiming the protection of a pedlar's certificate. The essence of a pedlar is that he is itinerant - I will come to the statutory definition of that in due course - whereas a street trader has a pitch and does not move about. Straightaway the Committee can see that there are advantages in having the device of a pedlar's certificate to trade in the street and the advantage is that it is infinitely cheaper.

8. The pedlar is an historical creature, probably medieval, and before he would have travelled the country on foot carrying wears and selling them as he went. It is not a concept that is easily grasped, he would suggest, in 2007, whereas, maybe we would all grasp it quite easily at the time the Pedlars Act in 1871. My Lords, I am going to have circulated copies of the legislation just to inform you as to the elements to it, the elements of the legislation which are important. (Same handed)

9. Can I ask you to turn to the first tab, tab 1, which is the Pedlars Act. As you go through two or three pages to Section 4: "No one is to act as a pedlar without a certificate". Over the page at Section 5, this is how you get a certificate. Section 5(i): "Subject as in this Act mentioned, a pedlar's certificate shall be granted to any person by the chief officer of police, for the police area, in which the person applying for a certificate has, during one month previous to such application, resided, on such officer being satisfied that the applicant is above 17 years of age, is a person of good character, and in good faith intends to carry on the trade of a pedlar". It is granted by the police, not by the council.

10. In sub-section 3, there is the fee set out. I think it is now 12.25, but that is all it costs and the exercise of getting a certificate is easy. Street trading, on the other hand, is more difficult. If you go to tab 3, you have schedule 4 to the Local Government (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1982. We get there - you do not have it but it does not matter - by a resolution under Section 3 of the same Act which says that this schedule 4 shall apply to a local authority district if a district council so resolves. Here there are some concepts which are relevant.

11. The interpretation section of schedule 4. First, under paragraph 1: "A consent street means a street in which street trading is prohibited without the consent of the district council. A "licensed street" means a street in which street trading is prohibited without a licence granted by the district council". Then we go on to prohibited street, which means a street in which street trading is prohibited. You will see in both Manchester and Bournemouth there are streets where there is prohibition. A consent street is more a passive casual approach, whereas a licensed street is more restricted with a licence, tighter qualification and enforcement. A street is defined in the same section: "Any road, footway, beach or other area to which the public have access without payment; and a service area as defined in section 329 of the Highways Act 1980".

12. Over the page to 2(a)(1): "A district council may by resolution designate any street in their district as (a) a prohibited street, (b) a licenced street or (c) a consent street".

13. Going back to the previous page, the exemptions are set out and I will read out the critical one: "(2) The following are not street trading for the purposes of this Schedule: (a) trading by a person acting as a pedlar under the authority of a pedlar's certificate granted under the Pedlars Act 1871". So the simple position is that, if I pay my 12.25 and I am over 17 and have a four-week residential qualification and the police have given me a certificate, I can act as a pedlar on any of those streets where street trading is qualified.

14. What the Bill proposes is that which has been done before, which is to add a qualification to that exclusion that I have just identified with the words, adding in, "if the trading is carried out by means of visits from house to house", and I will show you this in a minute, so a pedlar is allowed still to act as a pedlar if his trading in those streets is carried out by means of visits from house to house. The differences between street trading and a pedlar's licensed approach is that a street trading consent is not transportable. If I have a pedlar's certificate, I can go anywhere, save for the prohibited streets of those towns I have identified already, I can go anywhere I like as a pedlar.

15. Next, the Council, when they are issuing street trading licences, are careful to check and understand whether that person is a fit and proper person and whether there are any issues as to transgressions historically in the street trading field in that area. On the other hand, a pedlar's licence can be issued on the other side of the country, so Bournemouth can be dealing with a pedlar's licence issued in London or the north of the country and they will have no idea whether there is any history of transgression behind the certificate.

16. Next, fees are very significantly higher for street trading licences; they are in the hundreds as opposed to this 12.25.

17. Next, a street trading licence can be revoked by a council if the standards fall below what the council expect.

18. Next, street trading licences are the product of consultation, for example, with a highway authority to understand whether there are obstruction issues if a street trading stall is placed in an area where there is high pedestrian footfall, and obviously there are implications that a highway authority would be interested in.

19. Next, trading standards can supervise on quality control complaints and can identify the trader. They know where the trader is, they know who the trader is and they can make sure that there is some sort of redress in circumstances of breach of trading standards. At last, under the street trading supervision, a council can supervise, so to speak, by making sure that the type of goods that are sold maintain a fair balance between existing street traders and others who want to become street traders and existing retailers in their council's area of interest.

20. One of the backgrounds of concern historically is that there has been a difficulty in prosecuting persons acting as street traders without a licence, but acting with a pedlar's certificate. I do not propose at this stage to burden the Committee with the detail of this, but if you go to tab 4, you get set out there a number of cases and our simple submission, in summary, is that there is no clear approach as to what is a breach and what is the appropriate time to look at them. The questions that have to be asked are: are they transient; and how does a council prove they were there not as pedlars, but as street traders? There have been occasions where supervision for 20 minutes or so, courts have found not to be permanent, and even longer periods have revealed that too. There is no certainty of continuity of approach in interpretation, and you will hear from the Bournemouth evidence that it is considered to be a hazard of the exercise, as far as the pedlar acting as a street trader is concerned, that if he is prosecuted, the fine is such that it is treated as a business expense and it is not a sufficient imposition to cause any concern certainly in one street trader's approach.

21. May I now take the Committee to the scheme of the Bill, and I can do this reasonably quickly because it is a one-issue Bill and much of what I have said has introduced it already. I have taken out the Bournemouth Bill because of what we lead with and of course I hope you will accept that the Manchester Bill is very much alongside it, so to speak, at this stage. It may be helpful to have alongside you tab 3, which is the Local Government (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1982, Schedule 4, because this is of course an amendment of it. The first clause I invite attention to is clause 4:

22. "Provision of Services - In their application to the borough, the provisions of Schedule 4 to the 1982 Act shall apply...with the following modifications, for the definition of 'street trading' there is substituted: 'street trading' means, subject to sub-paragraph (2) below: (a) the selling or exposing or offering for sale of any article (including a living thing) in a street;" and next, and importantly, "(b) the supplying of or offering to supply any service in a street for gain or reward", and then the addition apart; that is the first addition apart in the filled-up Bill. There are consequential amendments all the way through after articles to include the concept of services and goods, so what this is picking up is the modern phenomenon of not just selling goods, but also providing services. A simple example of that, and you will hear more from the witnesses, is that in Manchester you can have your teeth whitened in public in the street in central Manchester currently. That is a service that is a useful service, but it is the ingenuity of "street trading".

23. The next important clause is, as I have identified, clause 5: "Pedlars - In their application to the borough", which is the Borough of Bournemouth, "the provisions of Schedule 4 to the 1982 Act", which we have looked at, "shall apply as if in paragraph 1(2)(a) of that schedule there were inserted, after the reference to the Pedlars Act 1871..., the words 'if the trading is carried out only by means of visits from house to house'". That is familiar in the sense that it is in the previous Acts that I have identified and it is what we would seek here.

24. There are the following clauses that deal with the powers consequential on a breach and the first is seizure, 6(1): "Subject to the following provisions of this section, if an authorised officer or a constable has reasonable grounds for suspecting that a person has committed a relevant offence, the authorised officer or constable may seize" an article. I am not going to read all that out. But I think I will emphasis this point, that he can seize the article and at 1(c), "any receptacle or equipment being used by that person". If you go across the page to the interpretation of clause 2, a receptacle includes any vehicle, trailer or barrow, and that is where we have got to, as you will see, that some of these goods are moved about at least on barrows or wheeled trolleys, and then it includes any basket, bag, box, vessel, stall, stand, easel, board, tray or other thing.

25. Clause 6(3), these are the conditions of seizure. "The conditions are that the article, receptacle or equipment (a) may be: (i) required to be used in evidence in any proceedings in respect of the suspected offence; or (ii) the subject of forfeiture; and (b) in the case that an article is not of a perishable nature."

26. Over the page, and again we can return to it if more detail is required, there is the exercise under clause 7 of the return and disposal of seized items. This is to make sure that, if there is a seizure, there is a mechanism by which it can be got back to the owners or the person from whom they are seized in circumstances where the proceedings do not go forward, so 7(1): "The following provisions of this section shall have effect where any article, receptacle or equipment is seized...and references in those provisions to proceedings are to proceedings in respect of the alleged offence in relation to which the article, receptacle or equipment is seized. (2) Subject to subsections (3) to (6), following the conclusion of the proceedings the article, receptacle or equipment shall be returned to the person from whom it was seized unless: (a) the court orders it to be forfeited...; or (b) any award of costs to the council by the court, which may include removal, return and storage costs, have not been paid within 28 days..."

27. Then going to 7(3), and there is an addition A apart, which is the second sheet: "If (a) a fixed penalty notice has been given to a person under section 10...in respect of the alleged offence and the fixed penalty is paid before the expiration of the period mentioned in section 11(2); or", and then we go back to (b) on page 4, "(b) at the end of the period of 56 days beginning with the date of seizure: (i) no proceedings have been instituted; or (ii) any proceedings instituted within that period have been discontinued; or (c) at any time after the end of that period any such proceedings are discontinued, the article, receptacle or equipment shall, at the appropriate time, be returned to the person from whom it was seized unless it has not proved possible, after reasonable enquiry, to identify that person and ascertain his address." Then there is a time section, the appropriate time.

28. Then at (5): "Where the article", et cetera, "is not returned because it has not been proved possible to identify the person from whom it was seized and ascertain his address, the council or chief constable (whether the article or thing was seized by an authorised officer or a constable) may apply to a magistrates' court for an order as to the manner in which it should be dealt with". Then there is a process of disposal if the costs have not been paid, and at paragraph 7 they have to get the best possible price.

29. There is a forfeiture procedure under 8: "Subject to subsection (2), the court by or before which a person is convicted of a relevant offence may order any article, receptacle or equipment: (a) produced to the court; and (b) shown to the satisfaction of the court to relate to the offence, to be forfeited and dealt with in such a manner as the court may order", and then there is a number of balances really to make sure that the forfeiture is appropriate in the particular circumstances.

30. Then at 9, to protect those who have had their goods seized in unlawful circumstances, there is a compensation process. (1) Subsection (2) shall have effect where (a) any article, receptacle or equipment is seized under section 6(1); and (b) any of the following applies: (i) not less than six months have passed since the date of seizure, no information has been laid against the person for a relevant offence in respect of the act or circumstances which occasioned the seizure and, in the case where a fixed penalty notice was given under section 10 in respect of such an offence, no fixed penalty has been paid in accordance with the notice".

31. "(iii) Proceedings for a relevant offence have been brought and the proceedings ... have been withdrawn. (2) Where this subsection has effect a person who has or at the time of seizure had a legal interest in the article, receptacle or equipment seized may recover compensation from the council or (where it is seized by a constable) the chief constable by civil action in the county court in respect of any loss suffered by him as a result of the seizure. (3) The court may only make an order for compensation under subsection (2) if satisfied that seizure was not lawful ..."

32. Then a fixed penalty approach is introduced which allows, in summary, a usual vehicle, in the sense that (it is in other legislation, of course) if you pay within a fixed period the liability for conviction for the offence is discharged. Ten and 11 is the mechanism for that. The levels process appears at 12 and there are reserved powers under 13 for the Secretary of State.

33. Fourteen, the Committee may want to be aware of. This is the product of the fixed penalty offences: "14(1) The council shall keep an account of their income and expenditure in respect of the administration and enforcement of sections 10 and 11. (2) At the end of each financial year any deficit in the account shall be made good out of the general rate fund, and (subject to subsection (3)) any surplus shall be applied to purposes connected with the improvement of the amenity of the borough or any part of the borough". That is, really, just to keep it consistent. This is a background to this approach that is brought forward in the Bill; the amenity of the central areas of Bournemouth and Manchester. Then there are consequential mechanisms thereafter.

34. May I move from those matters in the Bill to the last heading I will introduce to you, and that is the Petition against Bournemouth. Perhaps taking it up, the first paragraph which we shall take account of (I can, again, summarise it because Mr Campbell-Lloyd is here) is that he tells us that he lives in Oxford (paragraph 4) and carries a current Pedlar's Certificate issued in the North Downs. He tells you what he sells: his own handicraft. The second bullet point: "he is concerned that the Bill impinges on his right to enter the borough of Bournemouth and can lead to seizure and forfeiture of his goods."

35. Then, at paragraph 5, he identifies, at the first bullet point his concern that "the Bill seeks to stop him from trading in the streets of Bournemouth", it "prevents him from making 'visits from house to house' because it stops him on the street where he is required by the Bill to have a Street Traders Licence. The Bill with its seizure and forfeiture stops him from going on to the streets." It does not; it stops him from trading on the streets.

36. Then there are a number of matters raised in the following bullet points which I will deal with once because they are raised in the Manchester Petition, and they are human rights points. The Standing Order 38(3) requires a statement of opinion be given as to the issue of the European Convention on Human Rights. If you look at page 3 of the filled Bill that formality is complied with. At the bottom of the page: "In the view of Bournemouth Borough Council the provisions of the Bournemouth Borough Council Bill are compatible with the Convention of rights." Exactly the same exercise has been done in respect of Manchester. That is not the Borough Council acting wholly on their own self-advice. They, as is the usual process, take advice from independent counsel; and independent counsel has advised that there is compatibility with Convention rights, subject to a point that I will make shortly.

37. Then, in turn, and pursuant to Standing Order 98(a), that advice was supervised by Mr Ian McCartney, the Minister for Trade, Investment and Foreign Affairs, who reported on 19 January 2007. I will just, if I may, read it out (if the Committee does not have it) so that the Petitioners hear it.

38. "Private Business Standing Order 98(a) of the House of Lords requires me to report on these Bills in respect of the statement of opinion required by Standing Order 38(3) relating to the compatibility of the proposals with the European Convention on Human Rights. I believe the Promoters have undertaken a full assessment of the compatibility of their proposals with the European Convention on Human Rights, and I see no need to dispute their conclusions, subject to one point. The Promoters have received legal advice on compatibility which says that this is dependent on establishing the restriction on the right of a person to supply or offer to supply services in the street; the restriction on the rights of a holder of a Pedlar's Certificate and the powers of the seizure of articles from illicit street traders are in accordance with the general interest." So the Committee will have to find in accordance with the general interest.

39. "The legal advice states that the Promoters will be in a position to call evidence to demonstrate why these matters are in the general interest. I regard it as for the appropriate Committee in the Lords to consider the justification for these provisions." Might I say that similar advice was given on the three Bills last year, and they passed into law on the basis that there was demonstration of "general interest".

40. I do not believe the Joint Committee have yet reported on the Bills. They reported on three Bills last year. I can give you what they advised. I could summarise that, if I may, my Lord. Is it in the Committee's papers? No, it is not. (Same handed)

41. LORD METHUEN: I think they have reported. I have a document here which is Legislative Scrutiny, First Progress Report, which mentions these two Bills. It is House of Lords Paper 34.

42. MR CLARKSON: My Lord, thank you. Is that last year's ----

43. LORD METHUEN: No, it is this year's.

44. MR CLARKSON: I beg your pardon. You have it and you have their report, my Lord, thank you. So I need not rehearse that.

45. CHAIRMAN: Do you want to just ----

46. MR CLARKSON: My Lord, it is very stark. I think it is starker than it was last year where it was slightly more fleshed-out. Just for fairness, I will read out what was said last year. They invoked what had been done on the Medway Bill last year. They say this: "The substantive content of these Bills (this is the Leicester, Liverpool and Maidstone Bills) is identical to the provisions of the Medway Council Act. The Medway Council Bill which preceded that Act was amended in Committee to meet the concerns expressed by our predecessor Committee about compatibility."

47. "These Bills contain the additional safeguards inserted into that Act to meet those compatibility concerns. In all but one respect, our predecessor Committee accepted that those amendments met its compatibility concerns. We see no reason to differ from the judgment of our predecessor Committee.

48. "The one respect in which our predecessor Committee continued to have reservations concerned whether removing a pedlar's right to trade in the street had been shown to be proportionate to a legitimate aim and therefore a justified interference with the right to peaceful enjoyment of possessions in Article 1 Protocol 1." (I am going to deal with that, my Lords, in a minute.)

49. "It drew its concern about this matter to the attention of each House, but said that ultimately this would be a matter which the Unopposed Bills Committee could take into account when deciding whether the Promoters have established the case for the Bill.

50. "The Unopposed Bill Committee on the Medway Council Bill heard evidence from the Promoters about the justification for removing a pedlar's right to trade in the street. The principal justification was that holders of pedlar's certificates were effectively circumventing the street trading regime, without paying the same licence fee, and exposing members of the public to inferior quality goods. In the light of that evidence, the Committee was content to let the Bill proceed without amendment.

51. "We have considered the evidence given to the Unopposed Bill Committee on the Medway Council Bill, subsequently to the report of our predecessor Committee on that Bill. In light of that evidence we do not consider that the provisions in the Bill concerning pedlars' exemption from the street trading regime carry a significant risk of incompatibility with the right to peaceful enjoyment of possessions in Article 1 Protocol 1 of the ECHR."

52. Clearly, my Lords, as Lord Methuen has pointed out, there is an up-to-date report. The Joint Committee is more robust in 2007 and they are saying, one suspects, on experience, that the following Private Bills do not raise human rights issues of sufficient significance to warrant us undertaking further scrutiny of the Bournemouth Bill and the Manchester Bill.

53. For the Minutes, it may assist the Committee if I identify Article 1 of the first protocol, and I will read it out so it is in the Minutes and can be referred to in due course. "Every natural or legal person is entitled to the peaceful enjoyment of his possessions. No one shall be deprived of his possessions except in the public interest and subject to the conditions provided for by law and by the general principles of international law. The preceding provision shall not, however, in any way impair the right of a state to enforce such law is it deems necessary to control the use of property in accordance with the general interest or to secure the payment of taxes or other contributions or penalties."

54. The economic benefit which derives from a licence to carry out a particular economic activity is capable of constituting a possession within the meaning of Article 1. The economic benefit that is derived by the holders of a pedlar's certificate would be capable of amounting to a possession. That Article that I have just read out comprises three distinct rules: the first is of a general nature; announcing the principle of peaceful enjoyment of property; the second covers deprivation of possessions and subjects it to certain conditions, and the third rule recognises that states are entitled to control the use of property in accordance with the general interest.

55. The three rules are not distinct in the sense of being unconnected. The second and third are concerned with the enjoyment of property and should, therefore, be construed in the light of the general principles enunciated in the first rule. Restrictions on the right of a person holding a licence to exercise that right are likely to be held to fall within the third rule, namely the control of the use of property.

56. For a measure constituting a control of use to be justified it must be in accordance with law and in accordance with the general interest. The measure must be proportionate to the aim pursued and states how a wide margin of appreciation in determining the existence of a problem of a general public concern and the implemented measures designed to meet it.

57. We say that the provisions of the Bill comply with the first requirement, the control of use in accordance with law. There is a wide margin of appreciation: if the Promoters are able to establish that the restriction on the holder of a pedlar's certificate is in the general interest and Parliament accepts the contention the second requirement will be fulfilled. The Promoters will call evidence to demonstrate why the restriction on trading by pedlars is in the general interest. Indeed, matters have been found before in similar circumstances by Parliament. The third requirement, that the interference is proportionate to the aim, requires a fair balance to be struck between the means employed in furtherance of the general interest identified and the protection of an individual's fundamental rights. A wider margin of appreciation is permitted in cases concerning control than in case concerning deprivation. The means employed in the general interest, namely, a restriction on pedlars trading in prohibited streets or in consent or licensed streets it is submitted is proportionate and strikes a fair balance. I have dealt with that at some length so that it is in the minutes. It has not been a major issue in the other Bills but it is raised by the Petitioners so I thought it appropriate to explain exactly how we present it and how we seek to persuade the Committee in due course.

58. My Lords, that is all I lay before the Committee in opening and if the Chairman agrees I will call my first witness.

 

MR MARK SMITH, sworn

Examined by MR CLARKSON

59. My Lord, I am just having circulated a number of bundles of exhibits which are not as formidable as they look (same handed). The Petitioners have these, my Lord. I shall introduce Mr Smith. Are you Mr Smith?

(Mr Smith) My name is Mark Smith.

60. What is your job?

(Mr Smith) I am Head of Tourism for Bournemouth with responsibility for town centre management.

61. Let me take you to the character of the borough. Would you tell us please about Bournemouth borough, particularly as a tourism destination?

(Mr Smith) Bournemouth, my Lords, as I hope some of you will know, is an established tourist destination. We get over five million visitors every year and over one and half million of those are staying visitors. It is the mainstay of the local economy and tourism is vital to the overall business in the town, the employment and the benefits for local people, so it is very much at the heart of what Bournemouth is and does.

62. How many people visited in the last year?

(Mr Smith) 5.2 million visited last year as staying visitors or day visitors.

63. How key is tourism to the economy?

(Mr Smith) It is crucial and, if I can also explain, the image of the town has to be better than other places. That is purely because no-one will want to part with their money, or should part with their money, to go on a holiday anywhere unless it is offering something better than the experience at home. So the overall appearance and image of the town is vital to the success and the long term success of the tourism industry in getting people to be happy with what they find and to come back again and tell others about it.

64. What about the town centre and immediate surroundings?

(Mr Smith) Bournemouth town centre is very lucky in that we have gardens that go from the seafront and stretch right into the heart of the town and those gardens link with the main town centre streets. Those streets are where the retailing is. You can walk between the seafront, through the gardens, right into the town centre. So it is very much one and the same. The town centre is joined up with the seafront and the gardens.

65. I would like to go to street trading in Bournemouth now. What is the position? Are there any lawful pitches or is it prevented?

(Mr Smith) We have in the map that you will see in front of you ---

66. Tab 1.

(Mr Smith) That is right, behind reference tab number one.

67. Pause there. We must correct something. On that map am I right, Mr Smith, that where we have "Commercial Road" printed on the map that should be a road up, so to speak, should it not?

(Mr Smith) That is correct.

68. The legend is in the wrong place?

(Mr Smith) It is. I apologise for that. Commercial Road should be the street above that; and in fact runs into the red area on the right hand side, actually runs down to the square.

69. So what have we got here? We have got purple which are prohibited streets. Is that right?

(Mr Smith) That is right, and the areas marked in red are the main concentrations of people. They are the main thoroughfares that are used by visitors and local people either in the town centre or on holiday and enjoying that general environment. So the areas of red are on the seafront and the connecting gardens, which are the web of smaller red areas there that link up with the square in the centre.

70. Let us go back to contemplate this question of street trading. In those consent streets is there permitted street trading?

(Mr Smith) Yes. We allow licences in those areas. We give consent to certain traders in areas where we know that there is not going to be an issue in terms of restricting access. So this was carefully looked at by our own highways team to make certain that where we did allow people to trade it was not going to obstruct people and cause a hazard to people using that area.

71. I am going to return to that more broadly in a minute, but let us consider the converse for a moment. Do you have any problem with unlawful street trading?

(Mr Smith) We do have a problem with unlawful street trading in that we have traders coming in who do not have in their possession an authorisation from the local authority to trade in that area, so they do not have the necessary consent. They usually use the pedlar's certificate as their permission to be in that area.

72. When do they come? What time of the year?

(Mr Smith) They come throughout the year. In fact, the only time we do not get them in large numbers is between January and March, but for the rest of the year from Easter onwards they are there in large numbers.

73. Where are their favoured locations?

(Mr Smith) The areas that are marked in red are obviously the places, given that they are the highest numbers of people around, where they like to go, so it really is predominantly in those areas marked in red on the map. Particularly around the square and the streets leading on to it, some of those being prohibited streets as well, so the area of Commercial Road and Old Christchurch Road leading to the square are the areas that are not marked in red that are very popular with pedlars.

74. Where do the visitors to Bournemouth gravitate to?

(Mr Smith) To those same areas. Just to make the point, the sad but true fact is that shopping is the number one activity by people on holiday. So it is vital that that area is clear, is attractive, is free for people to use and, as I say, at the moment we do have difficulties with unlawful traders who are in that area in an unrestricted manner.

75. I would like to go to Appendix 2. What is that showing, Mr Smith?

(Mr Smith) That shows where Bournemouth Borough Council sits within the conurbation of Poole and Christchurch, and Bournemouth is the heart of that area. We are looking at about a quarter of a million people resident in that area who use Bournemouth as the main centre for their shopping and that is apart from the additional visitors that I talked about earlier. It also shows that, in addition to where the square is, in neighbouring Boscombe which you will see there is marked to the east we have a market area as well that is available to people to come to on an ad hoc basis, another consent street where they can come for only 25 a day, so there is a low cost alternative that people can use. If they do not want to be there for a longer period as most of our consent traders are they can opt at a day's or an hour's notice to trade in that area legitimately.

76. We can see that, can we not, on your tab 17? We need not take time on it but that is just a flyer for Boscombe Open Air Market.

(Mr Smith) That is right. We think it is very important that we give people a choice of where they can trade legally and legitimately if they do come down to that area, so it is not that there is not a good alternative and it is a very popular regular market in that area.

77. On the second page of the Boscombe material we can see what is sold there, fresh fruit, veg, fish, meat and produce, clothing, jewellery, plants, flowers, furnishings and much more. It is all at Boscombe Open Air Market.

(Mr Smith) That is correct. One important point that perhaps I should let you know about is that if traders are operating in that market we still require to see from them evidence that they have public liability insurance which we think is critical to make sure that the public are protected, and that again is something that we do not have with the pedlars operating illegally.

78. Let us go forward from the points you have just made and deal with the problems associated with illegal street trading. Is the existing regime good enough?

(Mr Smith) No, unfortunately it is far from good enough. I suppose the problem is that when it was introduced in the 19th century it was not really there to cope with the evolution we have seen in town centres. Part of that is perhaps illustrated by the condition that pedlars can stop to trade, which is reasonable, so if you are going door to door and you are making a sale you can stop there while you are making the sale. Obviously, if you accept that pedlars can operate in areas of high concentrations of people, then you have a completely different scenario, do you not, because if they were stopping to trade there could be a constant queue of people and effectively they become permanently sited in that area. I am sure that when the original legislation was enacted it was never thought that this would permit people to go to where there was a high volume of people; otherwise they could not be moving on from one place to another to make their sale. So it is totally inappropriate for the situation we find ourselves in in town centres.

79. Do fines work?

(Mr Smith) No. The fines themselves are not a deterrent and we know that from talking to the pedlars and in some of the evidence that you have before -----

80. We will look at that in a minute, but go on: make the point.

(Mr Smith) The point is that they say the amount that they are having to pay in fines they can easily recover in a matter of hours, and the time taken to determine that somebody is not peddling means that the process is not only very expensive for the local authority or for the police to engage in but also to bring people to trial takes months and so they can have carried on trading just at the time when you do not want them there.

81. Give us a headline figure, would you, for the average cost of pursuing a prosecution?

(Mr Smith) A prosecution typically would take around 1,000 to bring to court. That is the legal cost. That does not take into account the initial costs of the surveillance that is needed to demonstrate that somebody had not been moving on as they should.

82. If you are successful what award of costs do you expect to receive?

(Mr Smith) Typically it would be of the order of 75.

83. Officer time?

(Mr Smith) Officer time is much more than that. We would be looking at anywhere between 400 and 2,000 of officer time.

84. Do you have enough officers?

(Mr Smith) No. What it means is that to try and deal with this, as we have in recent years, we have had to bring in extra staff in addition to our own just to have the proper monitoring done of pedlars in these areas.

85. What did you spend last year enforcing and prosecuting illegal street traders?

(Mr Smith) It came to around 12,000.

86. I am going to ask you to turn the Committee's attention to tab 18 and to look at two letters from the police, one of 7 November 2006 and another some four or five pages in of 11 May 2007. A general question first. What is the position of the police both as to their view and their resources?

(Mr Smith) The police are extremely supportive and co-operative in trying to sort the problem out. It is a big problem for them, but in terms of their resources, as you will see particularly from the third paragraph of the letter from Neil MacBean of 11 May, he says there that unfortunately the demands on the police are such that they deal with what are considered to be the higher priority issues and so they have this pressure on them to deal with those issues, issues like violence, and at the same time if they have to take officers away to try and help with this problem it means they cannot be dealing with those bigger issues, so they really feel torn on this one, that they want to be able to help but they do not have the resources to do that and they do not feel that they are mandated to do that either.

87. On the second letter of 11 May 2007?

(Mr Smith) He gives a feel there for the scale of the activity as well, with upwards of 15 individuals at any time. These often are habitual; they are people who come back because of the money that can be made there, but he also points out at the bottom of the page that they are aware as the police that they are being criticised by a number of the retailers and businesses in the town who do not feel the police are doing the job they should be doing in this area. You can imagine that it is very difficult for a police force that is committed to trying to help with the priority areas and yet they are being asked and expected to deal with this very complicated issue of monitoring and taking action against pedlars who are acting illegally.

88. My Lords, you will see at the back of the committee room a police officer in uniform. He is Chief Inspector Lee from Manchester. We are not going to call a police officer from Bournemouth because the point is made, and it is a good point in both areas, that police resources being such as they are we felt it was one that would be sufficient for the issue. Back to the theme of enforcement. Certificates now, please. How easy is it for any of us to get a certificate? Perhaps while you are answering that we can have a look at one at tab 3. How easy is it for us to get one?

(Mr Smith) It is very easy for any of us to get a pedlar's certificate. If you can show that you are a person that has not had problems in the past then in the local authority where you live, and you only have to have been living there for four weeks, you can go to the police authority and ask them to issue you with a pedlar's certificate for 12.25, but that will allow you, interestingly, to peddle anywhere in the country, so it is not just the police force in that area. Even if there is a case where a police force in one area knows that you have a problem and you have a history that would make you unsuitable to get a licence, you can actually just move and have temporary residence in another area and pick up your pedlar's certificate to allow you to go back and peddle in the other location where you were not allowed to get a certificate, so it really is all so easy.

89. Looking at tab 3, a form of pedlar's certificate, this is issued by the Thames Valley Police and they have Marcelo Viana, who I think is also a Brazilian professor mathematics as well as a pedlar. Do we know whether that is the person's correct name?

(Mr Smith) What we are seeing here, you probably can gather from the way these are completed, is that this is not subject to any detailed check and in fact it is very difficult to even prove whether a certificate is authentic because of the way they are handwritten and hand completed.

90. Another example, over the page on tab 5, yours, when I say yours, it is your county, Dorset Police, issue one with a photograph, do they not, they require a photograph?

(Mr Smith) Yes, they do. That is correct.

91. They define it - I hope correctly - in the box, the case of the London Borough of Croydon V William Burden described a pedlar as: "Someone carrying and selling goods as they move around, stopping for the limited purpose of conducting a sale and then moving on, rather that someone who is stationary in a succession of different places for longer than is necessary to effect a particular sale or sales". Therefore, you must keep moving between sales until a customer stops you (if you stop to rest you must cover your goods and not sell) you are not permitted to set up pitches or stalls, you are not permitted to station yourself at a fixed point, even for a short time. I would like then, please, for us to go to tab 5 which contains an enormous number of log sheets. We are not going to look at them all, so I can lay your minds at rest.

92. CHAIRMAN: Mr Clarkson, I wonder before you move on, could you just clarify the implication of what you said about the name of Marcelo Viana?

93. MR CLARKSON: My Lord, it was a light remark. If you Google that name, he is a highly respected, successful and internationally renowned professor of mathematics in Brazil. I am not saying it is the same person at all, my Lord.

94. CHAIRMAN: What I am concerned about is you are trying to make a case that there is an ease of obtaining these certificates, you are not saying that this just happens to be a co-incidence?

95. MR CLARKSON: My Lord, I have no evidence to say it differently. It could be there is an A Einstein as well, but I cannot say that, no. It was a light remark. Bundle 5 contains a significant number of documents. Tell us how those were raised, please, Mr Smith? What are they?

(Mr Smith) These, my Lords, are records of the movements of pedlars within that area. What you have in front of you there is over 60 records just from a week and we were not able to cover all the hours every day. This needed extra staff in to do it, but unfortunately you need this degree of detail to be able to get a successful prosecution. Because of this factor of moving around, you have to be able to show quite categorically that people were given the right opportunity to move on and told that this was an area where they were not allowed to trade unless they had consent or a licence. If they were not acting as pedlars in the normal sense, then they were not allowed to trade there, so this is a record of what instructions they were given, the evidence we have of their location, and the fact that they were not moving out of the square.

96. Let us look at the first one to introduce the method. Who filled this in? Were they officers of the council or somebody else?

(Mr Smith) It was a combination of external staff who were trained by the officers of the council and brought in to carry out the surveillance work.

97. What we have is, a Mr Abithar Ben Israel was spoken to and he is from Edgware. He sells sunglasses and he was opposite the Obscura Cafe. Is that in the centre of Bournemouth?

(Mr Smith) That is right, it is. It is in the square right in the middle of Bournemouth.

98. "Ask what permission they have to trade in the square, do they have a pedlars licence?" "Yes". Mr Ben Israel has a pedlars licence, is that correct?

(Mr Smith) That is correct.

99. Then we go down, please, to the next paragraph: "If a pedlars licence is presented; hand letter from Dorset Police; hand letter - peddling in the square". One was not handed to this person but if we go over the page, one was handed to the same person on another occasion?

(Mr Smith) Yes, he already had the letter, it says at the bottom of that one. He had already been given the letter.

100. Yes, it is a timing thing. Then there is a box: "Pedlar exceeded time/refusing to leave - both", so what was this person doing?

(Mr Smith) He was basically in the same spot in the same location and the time being a 15 minute period, he was still there at the end of that.

101. If we go over the page to the reverse of that sheet, we have the "Pedlar Movement Log", do we not?

(Mr Smith) That is right, yes.

102. We can see that on that occasion between 13:16 and 17:32 he was in the square, is that right?

(Mr Smith) That is correct, for the four hours in the same area.

103. On a pedlars licence?

(Mr Smith) That is correct, yes.

104. The Committee will be pleased to hear that I do not propose to do the same exercise for all, but what I will ask the Committee to do is to flick through those reverse pages, the Pedlar Movement Log, and you will see all the way through that with the vast majority of these logs there is presence witnessed by the logger of the person interviewed for a substantial period of time, is that fair, Mr Smith, summarising it?

(Mr Smith) Yes, it is fair.

105. There are two sheets, however, that I do invite the Committee to look at and they concern a gentleman called "Leonard John Grey" who is respectively ten sheets and 14 sheets in from the back. On the top right-hand corner look for 11/08/2006 and Friday 04/08/2006, between 10 and 14 sheets in from the end. If we can begin on the 14 sheets in, which is Friday 04/08/2006, does the Committee have that?

106. CHAIRMAN: Yes.

107. MR CLARKSON: Leonard John Grey interviewed at 12:45 outside the Obscura. His address is that he is from Bristol. He is five foot, seven inches. He is 40 and he is male. He is of medium build and he has got a scar on his chest. He has a pedlar's licence. Hand letter - peddling in the square, one was not handed to him, but he already had letters from another occasion. Then comments from the pedlar, "Already the letters and says he is exempt from the Miscellaneous Provisions Act". First time pedlar asked to move on, 12:50. Then comes the comments of enforcement security: "Says he will not move and makes more cash than the fine. Also said he will be our worst nightmare". Over the page we can see that he was there at 13:50: "Informed that he should not stay in one place but is to move around. Has also split his stall into two parts, one under Debenhams and the other in the middle of the square". At 15:05, "Asked to see my licence. I showed it to him. He then demanded to return the information I had written about him as the Miscellaneous Provisions does not apply to him. He also said he will be back tomorrow with as many stalls as he can. Mr Grey has packed up and left the square". Then flicking through we have got Mr Grey on the 06/08/2006. On 05/08/2006 we have got him refusing to show his pedlars licence: "He now has three stalls in the square and two staff with him, none of whom will show their licences". I am flicking through to 11/08/2006 and it is the second sheet. Again, at the time of 12:23, Leonard Grey: "Refusing to leave". Then the writing at the bottom of page: "Police arrived and asked Mr Mason and Mr Kerr what we are doing and said that they had seen Mr Leonard's licence. They did not seem all that interested in moving Mr Leonard on or in what we are doing". What is your view on that?

(Mr Smith) Where we have persistent offenders like this then the police view on it is that the council just has to process the action over time and they know that they know their right is to be there under the Pedlars Act, or they feel their right is to be there under the Pedlars Act, and it falls to the council by default to take whatever action they can.

108. Next, I want to go back to the nature of your evidence and particularly I am interested in you telling the Committee, please, about the tourism and what the Tourism Management Board and individual businesses think about it. We need not read them all, but they are in appendix 18, those reference documents for the Committee.

(Mr Smith) Yes, my Lords. If I could explain how things work in Bournemouth. Having said that tourism is vital to the town, then you probably will not be surprised to learn that there is a very strong formal connection between all the businesses in the town and the council and the police to make sure that we can deliver what we set out to do in our publicity, that it is a good offer, that it is going to be a good experience person for people. We have a number of boards that have a strong view on this. We have the Chamber of Trade that meets on a monthly basis involving all the traders in the town. We then have a Town Centre Management Board which the Chamber of Trade sits on and feeds into. Then the Town Centre Management Board links with the town's Tourism Management Board. All of those boards have taken a view on this, very positively, to say that they feel this is something which cannot be allowed to continue because of the reasons we are setting out to you this morning. They have very strongly come in and you will see the note from the Chair of the Tourism Management Board in Tab 18 there with the appendices who is saying this is damaging for the town and cannot be allowed to continue. Underneath that you have the other groups who have also looked at it in more detail, underneath the Tourism Management Board, the Town Centre Management Board and the Chamber of Trade have looked at it. This involves the local community on those boards. The Town Centre Management Board has, for example, on it representatives from the churches and they are equally concerned about the look of the town centre.

109. Flicking through appendices 18, we need not read them out, but we have the town centre councillors expressing their concern, am I right?

(Mr Smith) Yes. The town centre councillors again speak for not just the traders in the town centre but the people who live in the town centre who are equally concerned that, on the one hand, the council is saying there will be a very strict regime in terms of what the businesses can do with their property, how they can look, and yet generally the public are very confused as to why the council or the police cannot just remove this problem because it looks so unsightly to have somebody who can be in your prime location with basically a bicycle and a few sheets of cardboard with a handwritten notice on there about what they are selling. It seems to be totally unacceptable and even more unacceptable that nothing can be done about it quickly. Yes, there is general concern from the public and from businesses.

110. A cabinet member for economy and tourism has written. There is a letter from Beale's who are a department store, are they not?

(Mr Smith) Yes, they are.

111. In a letter of 30 April 2007 they expressed concern for the Bournemouth Borough Bill, which effectively makes amendments to the Pedlars Act: "As a major tourist and retail destination, Bournemouth needs to provide an exceptional town centre environment to continue its ability to attract an increasing number of visitors. Within the town centre, illegal street traders cannot be effectively managed by the council without the changes this Bill will allow. I believe it is imperative to the continuing development of Bournemouth as a successful tourist destination that this Bill is passed."

(Mr Smith) I would like to point out as well that we expect a letter you have seen there from the man who sells watches in the town, a normal shop. The concern that such people have is that they are looking ahead to the future and thinking, well, if they are going to reinvest in their own businesses and put money into that, they are only going to do that if they are not expecting to be undermined by people who do not have the same overheads that they do, do not have the same responsibility with their staff and they are not going to want to reinvest if they think there is a threat that people are just going to be able to become uncontrolled and take their business away from them.

112. We can see that there are other letters in that bundle, Westbourne Academy, which is an educational establishment, is it not?

(Mr Smith) The significance of the letter from Westbourne Academy is that Mr Francis is Chair of the Tourism Management Board and he is involved with the language schools. Interestingly, the language school business that Bournemouth has is another important part of the economy. It is the largest centre for international education outside of London, bigger than Oxford and Cambridge, but people only come to the area because of the high quality that it is offered, so that is part, again, of the appearance and people coming in and their friends and family coming in and looking at that. They do form opinions about the place from the town centre as they would in their own location. It is important for that international business as well that we have got a consistently high standard to offer.

113. Going to the last document in the bundle, 30 April 2007, a letter headed "Avenue Shopping". This is from Mr Anthony Duck who is Centre Manager of a shopping centre in town. At the first indented paragraph: "The quality of Bournemouth Town Centre, both as a retail destination and as one of the country's premier resorts, has to be controlled to maintain, enhance and improve the environment for residents and visitors to enjoy. The Bill will greatly improve the ambiance in the town square, allowing visitors and locals alike to move freely across the area without the hassle and constraints of the illegal traders".

(Mr Smith) Could I just make one point about that? The Avenue Shopping Centre that Mr Duck looks after is a small shopping centre in the middle of Bournemouth but it does also hold the main Marks and Spencer's in town. Interestingly, Marks and Spencer's are committed to making that store one of the three eco-stores, so they are looking at the environment: it will be one of their flagship stores in terms of it being an environmentally friendly store. You can imagine that does not sit too well with a situation that within a couple of hundred of metres from that flagship store you can have people destroying the visual environment in that area with what is going on with illegal trading. This consistency again is really important to us but we are not able to deliver it because we cannot control this aspect.

114. Let us look at the last indented paragraph of that last letter where Mr Duck says: "The immediate locality of the Square would be greatly enhanced without these large cumbersome trolleys being parked for long periods". Is that the sort of point you are talking about?

(Mr Smith) That is exactly the point.

115. We have dealt with the larger interest there, but let's go back please to tab 15. This is an email from the Watchshop Group, 73 Commercial Road, Bournemouth: "Having just spoken to various retailers in the town, we have all come to the following conclusion: who is doing all the business? Was it Beales, was it Zara? Must be M&S then. No, none of these. Then who? The sunglasses stall in the Square (weekends they may be 4), the watch stall, the rip-off phone unblocking stall, not to mention earrings, tattoos, etc. No rent, no rates, come and go as you please, con the public, only appear at the best time of the year, summer and Xmas. Let all the retailers pay rates and rent and staff. About time you did something now. It's getting beyond a joke". I do not think the next line is part of the letter. Summarise what they are saying and how they feel.

(Mr Smith) I do not think I need to say any more. This is how most of the traders feel in the centre.

116. Let's stay with those traders and the points they have made and go over a page, would you, and that is outside Debenhams. Give us an explanation of what you see there and is that typical?

(Mr Smith) This actually is an early shot in the day.

117. This is tab 16.

(Mr Smith) What you have there is the green umbrellas which are actually all pedlars trading in that area and the "5" you can see to the right-hand side is also a pedlar doing sunglasses. This is a relatively quiet time of the day, but the problem comes when you are organising and things are getting busy during the day and people cannot actually go through that area without having these people right in front of them, so they become a hazard from a health and safety point of view. When the Council looked at the flows in that area, knowing it was this crossroads, it was very clear that it did not want to have more than three permanent or semi-permanent pitches in that area licensed and yet, as you have heard, we can have over 14 additional pedlars in that area on top of the ones that we think are acceptable.

118. Tab 10 please. This is somebody holding a melon and strawberries in front of a stall. Who is he and what is he?

(Mr Smith) This is a trader in that area who has consent to be where he is and pays for the privilege of doing that. The amount he pays for that site is over 500 every month.

119. What is his name?

(Mr Smith) I do not know actually. I will have to check the sheet.

120. He is not the gentleman at tab 11, is he? He is not Mr West, is he?

(Mr Smith) Yes, it is Mr West.

121. Is that what he has available? That is his membership card of the National Market Traders' Federation?

(Mr Smith) That is correct, and the significance of that is that that is actually his evidence of his cover for public protection, making sure that, and it may be unlikely, but if he were to drop a box on somebody's foot as they were stood at his stall, then actually they would be able to claim against him and get some redress for that, whereas if the same thing happened with a pedlar in that area, they have no opportunity to get that redress. Actually he too is not very pleased obviously to see people come right next door to him and for 31/2p a day when he is paying that much money per month, paying over 500 per month, and to see them effectively taking trade from him.

122. Let's go to tab 7 please. Just take us through what we can see there please.

(Mr Smith) These are examples of the services that, I am sure, were never thought about when the Act was first in place, but the sorts of services with tattooing and with mobile phone unlocking at the bottom right are very popular now.

123. The tattooing in the top left-hand box is outside Debenhams, as we can see Debenhams on the top, can we not?

(Mr Smith) That is correct.

124. LORD BROUGHAM & VAUX: Do they do it there on site?

(Mr Smith) Yes, they do. Interestingly, we had licensed tattooing within the consent streets. We actually have towards the seafront end a picture there where there is a licensed trader who operates tattooing. The big difference is that we cannot control the quality of this trader in this area who is actually acting as a pedlar. The other one we can, and we have had the unfortunate situation of a complaint from a member of the public because they were damaged by tattooing that was done by a pedlar and we have not been able to get that person to get suitable redress from the pedlar doing it. The risk factor from using pedlars where we cannot control the quality is considerably greater.

125. MR CLARKSON: Just to clarify Lord Brougham's point, the tattoos here, are they transfers?

(Mr Smith) It is henna. It is an application that is made that is not as permanent as the traditional style of tattooing.

126. Looking at the bottom right-hand corner of the first sheet, what requires me to have my telephone unlocked?

(Mr Smith) Well, it can be a combination, I guess. You could be, I hope you are not, but you could be in the category of having stolen the mobile phone and wanting to get it unlocked to any service provider. Also, if people have come to the end of a contract, a legitimate contract, with their telephone company and no longer want to keep it with that company, you then go to this unlocker who would make your phone able to work with any other telephone provider, like Virgin or O2 if it was with Vodafone, so it is a combination, I guess, of people who have got the phones by illegal ways and also people who legitimately want to unlock their phones.

127. Over the page, fewer people and a clearer exposition of trading of one sort, the top left-hand corner. Are they pedlars or street traders?

(Mr Smith) Those are all pedlars. Perhaps I could also share with you the situation that the town centre, as with a lot of town centres, is also the home of events that are put on and, when we put events on on a regular basis, we then do risk assessments in advance that make sure that we have again protected through-routes. You can imagine that, whilst that now may look not to be an issue, if you have planned for an event and done a risk assessment which says that this is fine, we can get people out in the event of an emergency and we can get people out quickly, then to have pedlars come along when we did not even know they were going to be there and not be able to move them on, it is a real risk to the public. This might sound hypothetical, but I can tell you that with the Christmas launch last year, the switch-on of the Christmas lights, there were fireworks set to go off over Debenhams, which you have seen is just part of the Square there, and the fireworks were on the roof, but there was a failure in the fireworks which meant that they fired into the crowd. The situation then is that obviously people then move very quickly and have to get out and it is those situations where, if you have got people you cannot control in that area, you have a real risk to the public. Fortunately, on that occasion no one was injured, but it is a very real situation that can develop when you have got high concentrations of people and, as I said originally, I do not think the Pedlars Act was ever meant to allow people to trade in those areas of high concentration.

128. Over the page we have wooden roses. Is that mobile?

(Mr Smith) It does not look very mobile, does it, but it is. It is somebody peddling again.

129. Name-painting - is that being done there or is it done elsewhere?

(Mr Smith) No, that is again done on the spot.

130. Then we can see the designer sunglasses and two stalls. Are they together?

(Mr Smith) Yes, they are.

131. Then over the page we have the back view of that. Tab 6, if we can run an eye over the goods that are sold, is this a proportionate list in the sense that it is of equal proportions or are there some items sold more than others?

(Mr Smith) I would say it is very, very widespread and, I must admit, that is not an exhaustive list of the items that are sold, but items which are very popular, like sunglasses, tend to be perhaps the most popular from all of those. That is because we have more sun in Bournemouth too!

132. We can take this shortly, but, with that list in mind, just advise the Committee as to the quality issues please of some of the goods that are sold.

(Mr Smith) Generally, we have difficulty and our trading standards team have difficulty with the quality of materials and services that are provided. That is mainly because in a normal situation of somebody trading, if there is a problem or there may be a problem, it can be investigated, checked and then you can go back to the individual concerned. It is not possible to do that with pedlars because often they are not there, they are not selling the same items and you cannot have that follow-up with them. We have had examples where we looked at, for example, the issue of people selling children's toys and the rattle snake eggs, which you might have seen which actually seem to be quite innocent again, but unfortunately they contain strong magnets within them because that is how they work, they are two small ball-type affairs that you throw up and they make a rattling noise as they come down. Normally, if they were sold in a shop, they would actually have the right instructions on the back which say, "These need to be used with caution, particularly if there is anybody in your family who has a pacemaker" because they actually seriously affect, or can seriously affect, the operation of a pacemaker, so they would have that sort of warning on them. With the goods that were picked up by our own trading standards people last year, they did not have that warning on them, but by the time you have gone back to take it up, the person has moved on and they are not contactable any longer, so you cannot deal with it.

133. We can just deal with this by taking the Committee to the reports. In tab 8, and we will not read it out, we have the test report for the rattle snake sound eggs and on the second page of that document you have what Mr Smith has just summarised. At tab 9 we have the sunglasses. Were they good enough, Mr Smith, in the terms of what has to be required of them by the regulations?

(Mr Smith) Again they did not conform with the regulations because, as you know, these days with the worry about ultraviolet light there is very careful wording which says what protection you get and what you do not get from sunglasses, and the sunglasses that are sold here do not have the right warnings on them about the efficacy of the lenses that are included.

134. Next, tab 12, which is the chemical and microbiological analysis of the henna pigment taken from where?

(Mr Smith) Taken from Henna in the Square last summer.

135. We can summarise this as well, so if we go to page 5 of that report and the penultimate paragraph, please summarise that. It is PPD and the full name is given, and then four lines down: "These levels exceed those recommended for skin surface application under the EU Cosmetic Directive, where PPD is permissible in hair products to a maximum concentration limit of 6%...The reason for this limit is that PPD exposure results in a contact dermatitis effect for many of those exposed to it. This effect may take the form a delayed-type reaction, with a sensitisation phase after initial exposure and sometimes severe dermatitis after a second reaction", et cetera. Is that the sort of concern?

(Mr Smith) Yes, you can see the problems for the trading standards people not being able to take action afterwards.

136. Then there is a similar point in the next document, a material safety data sheet. What was that for?

(Mr Smith) It is showing the comparison, I think, between both of them here where we were able to take action with the legitimate one, but not with the one who was a pedlar.

137. MR CLARKSON: I think that is all I have for Mr Smith, my Lord.

138. CHAIRMAN: Thank you very much. Mr Campbell-Lloyd, it is now your opportunity to cross-examine Mr Smith.

 

Cross-examined by MR ROBERT CAMPBELL-LLOYD

139. MR CAMPBELL-LLOYD: Mr Smith, I believe you are Head of Tourism in Bournemouth. Is that so?

(Mr Smith) That is correct.

140. And you regard yourself as an expert in trading standards?

(Mr Smith) No, I do not. I am Head of Tourism. We have experts in trading standards within the Council that I rely on for advice.

141. Would you regard yourself as an expert in street trading regulation?

(Mr Smith) No, again we have legal experts within the Council whom we consult with on those issues, so no, I would not.

142. Would you regard yourself as an expert in policing and enforcement?

(Mr Smith) No, as I said, we are very fortunate to have a good, co-operative system with the local police and they are the experts in that area.

143. So, as Head of Tourism, could you describe how you deal with street traders who sell shoddy goods?

(Mr Smith) We do our best, if we are talking about pedlars, to make sure that they know that the area is not an area where they can trade without consent, without a licence to trade, so our first step with them is to make sure that they are aware that they should not be trading there without authorisation, so we do that by making sure they have the letter which sets it out, sets out what they can and cannot do and where they can trade, and we try to encourage them to trade in areas where they can, as I mentioned earlier, like the market. Our first stage is always to try and see if we can get a solution to it without any sort of enforcement action being needed. After that, if that does not work, then we go through the normal procedures with logging, as you have seen, where we can log in the details of activities and if then it is clear that there has been an infringement of the law, then our legal and trading standards people would take it further through to prosecution.

144. With respect, the question was somewhat different. The question was about how you deal with street traders. I think what you have told us how you deal with the concept of pedlars, but the question was: how do you deal with those, let's call them, licensed street traders who have shoddy goods?

(Mr Smith) If anyone has shoddy goods, it is a trading standards issue and then our trading standards officers would be looking at the items that they felt were shoddy and taking the action that was appropriate.

145. I address the same question to the item of counterfeit goods.

(Mr Smith) Exactly the same answer.

146. This is a trading standards issue?

(Mr Smith) I believe, and I stand to be corrected on this, but I believe it would also be a police issue if there were goods that were counterfeit.

147. Thank you. What about the matter of dangerous goods?

(Mr Smith) I am not quite sure what the question is.

148. How do you currently deal with licensed street traders who have been found to have dangerous goods?

(Mr Smith) The action will be taken by the council that was appropriate depending on the problem that is caused by ----

149. So there is legislation to deal with that?

(Mr Smith) Yes.

150. What about the matter of illegal goods?

(Mr Smith) Again, the same applies.

151. So there is legislation to deal with that.

(Mr Smith) Yes.

152. Could you describe whether or not consumer protection legislation is sufficient to deal with these matters?

(Mr Smith) It is not my specific field, I have to say, my Lords; I am not an expert in consumer law from that point of view, so, no, I would not be able to comment on that.

153. How do you currently deal with licensed street traders who cause obstruction?

(Mr Smith) We would be advising them, and the police would certainly be involved with the community policing officers and CPSOs - they would be helping them to make sure that that did not happen and that we were encouraging them to make reasonable thoroughfare in the areas where they were blocking the public.

154. What is the legislation that enables you to do this?

(Mr Smith) Again, I am sorry, I am not an expert on the legal side, so I cannot comment.

155. I would contend that those who obstruct a highway can be dealt with under Section 1(37) of the Highways Act.

(Mr Smith) That is quite possible, yes. If I could just say, some of this does also come down to resources. Where you have an area the size we are talking about, the practicality of always making sure that there is not an obstruction does come down to the police and council resources to do that. So whilst the law makes this possible the resources would obviously be a factor in how effective that action can be.

156. In regard to street traders, could you please tell us the types of street traders that currently operate in Bournemouth?

(Mr Smith) We have consent streets where we have semi-permanent traders in a square area and there are two in that location. One is a fruit seller and the other is a newsagent in the town centre, and also in the pier approach on the seafront where there are semi-permanent licensed traders who operate in that area.

157. How many?

(Mr Smith) I could not tell you the exact number at any time. It is two in the town centre and the seafront ones vary each year, depending on how many have taken up pitches in that area. Then we have, again, a variable number operating in the market in Boscombe where, again, there is a consent street where traders are licensed to operate for the day that they are there.

158. How many?

(Mr Smith) Again, it is a variable number depending on how many turn up on the day. They do not have to give a commitment.

159. Could I ask whether there are any other types of street traders? You have given us the licensed street traders, now I am asking you - perhaps we could call them unlicensed street traders.

(Mr Smith) There are pedlars ----

160. So all of those who are not licensed you would regard to be pedlars?

(Mr Smith) If they are pedlars they would have to claim to be pedlars. All we know is that they are people that are operating without the authorisation of the local authority in that area. Whether they are pedlars or not depends on whether they claim to be operating under the Rights of Pedlars Act with a pedlar's certificate - in possession of a pedlar's certificate. The majority of people that we stop, the vast majority, are claiming that they are peddling.

161. So, in a nutshell, street traders (this is the group we are talking about) are pretending to be pedlars.

(Mr Smith) They believe they are peddling, yes.

162. What about the other group of people whom I have not heard mentioned this morning, and those are the genuine pedlars? Pedlars acting as pedlars, under any employment.

(Mr Smith) Again, because the normal act of peddling is a door-to-door exercise across the whole borough, with a quarter of a million in the conurbation we would not know how many pedlars were operating legitimately door-to-door and carrying out that - you just would not have the knowledge of that. Similarly, because we do not know how many pedlars' certificates are issued because they are issued for a whole country and in different forces, we could not put a handle on that, I am afraid, for you.

163. I would like to put a small challenge to you in the sense that you have just said that pedlars, those that are approved, go from door to door. Can you explain what you mean by that?

(Mr Smith) The original act was meant to give people the right to trade; "moving from town to town and door to door" is what is said.

164. Let us hold you there. I am going to read the Act to you. The term "pedlar" means any "hawker, pedlar, petty chapman, tinker, caster of metals, mender of chairs, or other person who, without any horse or other beast bearing or drawing burden, travels and trades on foot and goes from town to town" (and I will correct you here - you used the word "and" but the statute itself uses the word "or"). I will read that again: "travels and trades on foot and goes from town to town or to other men's houses." What we have in there is a lot of ors. When you specifically say that the old original concept is that pedlars go door-to-door and from town to town it is not exactly correct. "Pedlars go from town to town or to other men's houses." They do lots of activity during their stay, during their trading activity: "carrying to sell or exposing for sale any goods, wares or merchandise, or procuring orders for goods, wares or merchandise immediately to be delivered, or selling or offering for sale his skill in handicraft". Have you ever heard of a pedlar - and that is the meaning of the term pedlar - going from door to door?

(Mr Smith) Have I ever heard of it?

165. Yes.

(Mr Smith) Yes.

166. An example, please.

(Mr Smith) People trying to sell anything from clothes pegs to lucky heather would be the sort of people who would go door-to-door. The example you used there was tinkers, and would have been used originally with people with knife sharpeners, people who were mending legs of chairs. The implication is that this is done within a house at the convenience of the house owner, not that you would have a chair with a broken leg and be wandering around the centre of town with it.

167. Do they have a pedlar's certificate enabling them to do that? Do they require a pedlar's certificate to enable them to do that?

(Mr Smith) A pedlar's certificate would be the authorisation for doing that, yes.

168. But they do not necessarily require, under the legislation, any form of certification, whether it be a licence or certificate, to carry out that activity.

(Mr Smith) Again, all I know is that with regard to the town centre, then where we have consent street areas you do require the authorisation to be there. In that incidence, it is the pedlar's certificate that is being used as a right to do something that other people are stopped from doing in that area.

169. I am speaking about door-to-door. Your understanding of what a pedlar can do is, you said, "he must go door-to-door". House to house, on a premises, of people's dwellings.

(Mr Smith) Yes, that would be my interpretation of it.

170. I would contend, and perhaps you could disagree if you wish to, that this is an activity that does not require any form of licence or certification.

(Mr Smith) My evidence, so far, my Lords, has not been about activities door-to-door. In fact, the Bill that we are looking at here is not meant to affect that; it is meant, though, to look at the inappropriateness of that pedlar's certificate being used in the locations we have talked about.

171. How many incidents of problems have you recorded during this year?

(Mr Smith) During the current year I would not have the information. I know that last year, during the peak season, we were looking at between 60 and 80 a week.

172. Out of that 60 to 80, were there any genuine pedlars involved?

(Mr Smith) Not that we came across, no.

173. So these are all to do with reports about 60 to 80 people who may or may not be genuine pedlars.

(Mr Smith) Per week, we are saying. You asked how many we recorded. I did not say that was how many there were.

174. That is how many were recorded.

(Mr Smith) What I am saying is we cannot, with the resources we have, record anywhere near the total number that are actually in the town at any one time.

175. You did mention earlier under examination "a pedlar in the normal sense". What do you mean by a "pedlar in the normal sense"? An acceptable sense, perhaps, you meant. Would you describe what that activity might be?

(Mr Smith) I think it is a service that is provided in a transient way and is not actually basing itself in a set area for any length of time.

176. So it is really a different concept, whether being static or whether moving about.

(Mr Smith) I think that the essential part of it is that it must be moving to where you can get customers, and that was the idea, I think, mentioned within the original Act - going to someone else's house - but you are actually going to seek out the business rather than using the business that other people have actually invested in, getting to that area, as happens in shopping centres, where there has been a commitment from people that are paid to actually be part of that. I do not think it is appropriate for a pedlar to be going to capitalise upon that.

177. But he has paid his 12.50 - 12.25 in Bournemouth has he not?

(Mr Smith) Not necessarily to Bournemouth he has not. He has paid his 12.25 somewhere.

178. But resources from that kitty, shall we call it, are made available, through whatever means, for the enforcement, application, regulation and monitoring - whatever is required - for those pedlars to have been regarded as having paid their fee. I am not sure myself what the mechanisms would be.

(Mr Smith) By the time it had gone through various levels of bureaucracy I cannot imagine much of the 12.25 fee would find its way back to help to benefit a town like Bournemouth.

179. So there is a strong economic argument that pedlars pay too little? Would you agree?

(Mr Smith) I think the strongest economic argument is that some people who are paying a lot are having their business taken away from them.

180. When you say "a lot", I guess we are not talking about shops in the street; we are talking about those licensed street traders. I recall you mentioning something like 400 to 500.

(Mr Smith) No, we are not; I am talking about the people who have written in and businesses who have actually expressed their concern about this; that it is undermining their business and the look of the town. So people who are paying a lot in terms of paying their rates - they are paying the rental for the sites that they have in those areas - are the ones who have made a serious investment in getting trade and seeing that undermined by people who have not made a serious investment in the town at all.

181. Do pedlars cause any greater burden on local economics than an international tourist visiting Bournemouth?

(Mr Smith) The relationship is quite different, in that an international tourist visiting Bournemouth will be paying money into the economy, paying money in to support jobs and support incomes, whereas a pedlar coming into an area where it is not appropriate for them to be acting is actually taking money away from people who would normally expect to have that.

182. I have a statement here in evidence put forward at Leicester, Liverpool and Maidstone from a licensing officer who says, in his personal view: "Anyone not causing an obstruction and not selling goods that are offensive should not be too much of a problem as long as they adhere to the rules and regulations." Is that not a common-sense view of the problems that there might be in Bournemouth?

(Mr Smith) It probably is, and what we have demonstrated is that the rules and regulations are not being followed here, and so I think we disagree with what you have said there.

183. What are the regulations concerning genuine pedlars?

(Mr Smith) That they must not provide their service in a static way; they must not be staying in an area; they must be moving through, effectively.

184. Other regulations for a pedlar are not quite as extensive. If you look at the Pedlars Act, there are considerable rules and regulations as to what and how a pedlar must act.

(Mr Smith) Yes, there are.

185. In fact, in total, there are 26 rules and regulations within the Pedlars Act itself (I will come to those later in my presentation) that regulate the activities and the dos and don'ts for pedlars.

(Mr Smith) That is right. The one thing that they do not properly address, though, is the issue that I raised earlier, which is to say that if they can stop when they have a customer then this is fine if they are moving to where the business is, as in door-to-door - they can do that - but if they are not doing that and they are going to be located in a place where they are going to because there is a high concentration of people, then it cannot work. The act of peddling and moving cannot work because potentially they can have so many customers that it could be effectively permanently fixed there. So the legislation is inappropriate for, and was never designed to suit, the situation we find ourselves in when you have the sorts of high concentrations in customers that you get in, for example, a successful seaside resort like Bournemouth.

186. Would a fruit seller be a problem if he is licensed if he has too many customers?

(Mr Smith) It would be a problem. So that is why the council, when it looked at that area, had so few sites that it was prepared to actually give consent to. So, yes, it would be a problem if there were several fruit sellers there obstructing the normal way through for people. But that is why the council was very careful about taking advice before it allowed the sites to be designated for consent.

187. If a licensed street trader applies for a licence in Bournemouth, perhaps to compete directly with a sunglass shop could the council stop him from being eligible for a licence?

(Mr Smith) What happens, my Lords, is that the councils take advice; they consult with the traders groups to make sure there is no duplication of service there. So it would then come to a decision about whether it was an acceptable request.

188. Acceptable on the grounds of non-competition.

(Mr Smith) And acceptable in terms of the image of the area which is used as a criterion it would look at as to whether it was enhancing the area. So, yes, it would look at competition or making sure there was not unnecessary duplication rather than competition. It would look at whether it was adding to the overall scene in the town.

189. Do shops go through a similar screening process?

(Mr Smith) Shops, for their part, have very strict controls on them in terms of the way they can look. Again, that is important. People put a lot of effort into making sure that development is controlled and make certain that the shops themselves are adding to it and are not actually taking away from the look of the town. So, yes, there is a lot of care given to making certain that the shops also have to fit in in a way that adds rather than takes away from the town.

190. Do you really think more regulation of genuine pedlars is necessary if genuine pedlars abide by existing regulations?

(Mr Smith) I think I have already made my view clear on that.

191. So where is the pressure coming from to get rid of pedlars?

(Mr Smith) The pressure, as you call it, is that we have had over a number of years now an increasing number of people in that area that trade, the public, the councillors, have all felt is not something that is sustainable. You cannot continue with that situation. If you want, as the Council does, to be a successful and attractive destination, the two do not go together, so it would either be saying, "Okay, this is anarchy. Anybody can operate in that area. We do not care about being an attractive resort any more", or what it wants to do, as it is doing now, is to have a Bill in place that will put back the right order and the right sort of situation where pedlars can operate, as probably was originally intended, and not as they are operating at the moment in the town.

192. So the fact that pedlars operate you would regard to be anarchy?

(Mr Smith) I am saying we could not allow anarchy.

193. What they are doing is regarded as economic anarchy perhaps?

(Mr Smith) If there was a situation where it was thought that to act in the way they are acting, which we believe is illegally, was acceptable then there is no question that you would get even more people coming down to do just that, so if you allow that sort of illegal activity to continue then yes, you would get more of them.

194. Are you aware of an organisation that has the title NABMA, which is the National Association of British Market Authorities?

(Mr Smith) Yes, I am.

195. There is another, the NMTF, which is the National Market Traders' Federation.

(Mr Smith) That is right.

196. And that these together are essentially a lobby group whose sole aim is to repeal the Pedlars Act?

(Mr Smith) I do not know if that is their sole aim.

197. It is a stated aim.

(Mr Smith) Fine.

198. And has been before the City of Westminster Act; is that correct?

(Mr Smith) I will have to take your word for that.

199. I have a document that will deal with that if we need to go into that. Does the policy itself benefit the members of the NABMA and the NMTF?

(Mr Smith) I am sorry? Does the policy -----

200. Will the coming into law of this Bill benefit in any commercial sense, any economic sense, those two organisations?

(Mr Smith) My understanding, my Lords, is that this is a trade organisation for market traders across the country and I know that their concern about this is that their business is also being undermined by the activity that is going on by pedlars across the country. I have to say for Bournemouth they are not an organisation that has a particularly large membership because we have the one market area in Boscombe and we do not have major issues at all in that area, so it is not something that would benefit the NMTF in our area particularly because there is not a large market base there as there is in some parts of the country.

201. I think we can put it before the Committee that there are in fact 36,000 members of the NMTF and there is a very strong economic interest for them for removing competition from the streets of Bournemouth amongst other things.

(Mr Smith) Can I clarify that by saying that there have been no representations made to us by those organisations to try and further their objectives as part of this particular Bill.

202. We have heard that pedlars can still work in Bournemouth. Would you agree with that?

(Mr Smith) Pedlars can work anywhere in the country if they are operating legally, yes.

203. Legally - it is a valid point. If they operate legally they can work anywhere in the country? This includes Bournemouth?

(Mr Smith) Yes, it does.

204. So if they want to go on the street they will have to get a licence?

(Mr Smith) Sorry - a pedlar's certificate, do you mean?

205. If a pedlar wants to go on the street and not go door to door they will require a street trader's licence to do so.

(Mr Smith) Are you talking as it is now or as it would be?

206. As it will be. That is what the intentions of the Bill are. To enable pedlars to continue to work in the street they will simply have to apply for a street trader's licence.

(Mr Smith) They would, yes, that is true.

207. What would that licence cost them?

(Mr Smith) That would depend on the location.

208. Give me some rules of thumb.

(Mr Smith) The lowest we have in the centre of the town is a newsagent that is paying about 300 a year for a relatively small site up to the highest one, which is the fruit seller at the moment, and he is paying in the order of between 5,000 and 6,000 for the year.

209. There is a bit of maths that I would like to go into here. When real estate in the city centre is sold it is normally by the square foot. Leases, rentals, they are all done by the square foot.

(Mr Smith) That is correct.

210. A genuine pedlar is really somebody who is a pedestrian and carries his wares, and if we do a few calculations I will break that down so we can put it into a consistent piece of mathematical form that enables us to see what the difference between the cost of a licence and the cost of a certificate will be. Perhaps I will leave the actual mathematics till later, but if a pedlar carries a small box as a means of carrying his goods and presents himself in the street, it could be as small a box as, let us say, 400 mm wide and 300 mm deep, and that represents 0.12 of a square metre. He has got an annual fee of 12.25 to pay, and by rule of thumb that works out at about 100 per square metre per year. A street trader on the other hand, using some rules of thumb that have been put forward as evidence in previous Bills similar to this one, have offered up the figure of maybe 3,000 to 4,000 per year and their stalls are some four metres to three metres long and a couple of metres wide, so on a square metre rate the maths on this would work out at about 200 per square metre per year. I will put the evidence before the Committee later. What can be said is that a street trader purchases a licence for double what a pedlar pays a year. Shall I go into those figures in more detail, my Lord?

211. CHAIRMAN: I think we have understood the maths.

212. MR CAMPBELL-LLOYD: I do have the maths that go with that and it will be part of my bundle.

213. CHAIRMAN: I think we have understood your maths.

214. MR CAMPBELL-LLOYD: So it is much the same - it is not really an economic issue about whether or not pedlars get huge benefits from the cost of their right to be in Bournemouth.

(Mr Smith) Is there a question there to me: do I believe there is an issue?

215. MR CAMPBELL-LLOYD: I beg your pardon. It was not a question. I was just throwing that in.

216. CHAIRMAN: Nevertheless, Mr Smith, would you like to comment?

(Mr Smith) Yes, I would. If you look at the images you see, so I am not talking hypothetically about this, this was a genuine cross-section of the people who are purporting to be peddling, you will see that these are not small areas of just an individual with a tiny box. This is something that is happening with people with as large a construction as they can get mobile from your flower sellers to the mobile phone sellers. They want it to be big, and so it is not somebody with just their own person and a tiny little box they are carrying to sharpen somebody's knife. This is quite different.

217. MR CAMPBELL-LLOYD: So the problems are really to do with innocent street traders, perhaps within this larger than what is regarded to be a pedlar's method of getting around, these stalls? It is the stalls that are the problem? Is that correct?

(Mr Smith) The problem is that almost all of these people are claiming to be pedlars.

218. Almost all. Are there any that you regard as genuine pedlars? I think we have come to the conclusion that you do not have any genuine pedlars working in Bournemouth.

(Mr Smith) As you will see from the evidence in that bundle, they are saying they have a pedlar's certificate and they are claiming to be peddling.

219. I will come to the evidence in a minute, but what we are talking about here is what perhaps is the differentiation between a genuine pedlar and an innocent street trader or a street trader who has a stall and does not carry a street trading licence. What I contend, and I will put this to you, is that genuine pedlars, few though they may be, have been caught in the same net.

(Mr Smith) I am not sure they have been caught in that net. I think they have claimed to be pedlars.

220. I am talking about genuine pedlars, not those that claim, because they would probably be listed. At the end of the day we have a definition of what a pedlar is and we will go into the details of precisely what constitutes a pedlar later in this legislation that enables us to be very clear about that. I put it to you that if there were the occasion that a genuine pedlar came to Bournemouth under the Bill he would probably be thrown off the streets or at least he would be summonsed.

(Mr Smith) No, that is not correct. That is not what we have done in trying to deal with this issue and I thought I had made that clear earlier in saying that the first stage with anybody whom we believe is not acting in a way that we would expect a pedlar to act is that they are spoken to and they are given a letter that explains where they are and what the restrictions are in that area, so no, we do not throw people off the streets just because they come in and claim to be a pedlar.

221. On the basis that a genuine pedlar turns up in Bournemouth and goes through the screening process and still claims to be a pedlar, what will occur is that he would be summonsed more than likely to enter into a debate in the magistrates' court about the burdens that are then imposed upon him, and that we will be furnishing later, the reverse burden, and he will have to prove that he is indeed going house to house. Is that correct?

(Mr Smith) No. He will have to prove that he has not broken the law. All that we do and the reason that we have the checks and the monitoring of people is to demonstrate that they have not done what pedlars have to do, which is to move through, and so the evidence will be that they have not moved through and so therefore they have broken the law.

222. And who do you think will have to put forward the proof?

(Mr Smith) It would be a combination of the council's enforcement team and the police, is how it works.

223. MR CAMPBELL-LLOYD: I think I can say that I will disagree and bring up why I disagree later in my presentation.

224. LORD BOYD OF DUNCANSBY: Can I ask a question? Mr Campbell-Lloyd is putting to you issues about genuine pedlars, and I am slightly confused by this. When you say that you have this problem with people claiming to be pedlars, are these people who have pedlar's licences and show them when they are challenged, or are they people who simply say, "We are pedlars" without showing a licence to peddle?

(Mr Smith) No, they are people who are claiming to be pedlars and are then showing their pedlar's certificate which they are saying is their authorisation to be there. We do not have a problem with genuine pedlars in Bournemouth because the genuine pedlar would not be doing what the people are doing in this area, which is that they are static and they are selling for a long period of time, and that is the problem that needs to be addressed through this Bill.

225. But are you saying that the issue that you face is people who carry a pedlar's certificate but are acting in a way which is not compatible with that?

(Mr Smith) That is correct.

226. I do not want to put words into your mouth.

(Mr Smith) No, you have not. You are right, my Lord. Essentially, if somebody is a genuine pedlar and it is pointed out to them that they cannot rest in this area and they must do what genuine pedlars do, then they will move on and move out of the area, and they will not be a problem for us. The problem comes because the temptation and the practice is quite different to that, that people want to stay and want to trade there in a way that they are not entitled to do.

227. CHAIRMAN: Mr Campbell-Lloyd?

228. MR CAMPBELL-LLOYD: I think we could agree that pedlars are therefore caught in the same net. There is an effect on genuine pedlars as there is an effect on illicit, unlicensed street traders. That is one and the same. All that is caught in the same net. The Bill is not really intended to get rid of genuine pedlars but to get rid of problems. Would you agree?

(Mr Smith) I think the Bill is there to sort out the problem that you can get a pedlar's certificate and that what it takes to control that, having got a pedlar's certificate, in terms of monitoring and taking effective action against people means that it cannot be controlled within the areas we are looking at today, like Bournemouth and Manchester. They need to be tackled in another way, unless there was national legislation that sorted it out, which we know there is not at the moment, and so since we know that people can get a pedlar's certificate and can do what they are doing without too much chance of effective action being taken against them, then yes, something needs to be done about that.

229. So you would agree that getting rid of problems is in the general interest?

(Mr Smith) Getting rid of the difficulty of pedlars acting in the way they are, yes, people claiming to be pedlars acting in the way they are, yes, is in the general interest.

230. So what you are saying is that getting rid of that problem is in the general interest?

(Mr Smith) Yes.

231. So surely it follows that getting rid of genuine pedlars is not in the general interest?

(Mr Smith) That is not in the interests that I am looking at here. I do not know whether there are any other issues about pedlars but I am not qualified to comment on those.

232. Because pedlars cause no harm provided they follow the rules and regulations.

(Mr Smith) That sounds reasonable to me.

233. Clause 5 of the Bill seeks to change the definition of a pedlar. What purpose does that serve?

(Mr Smith) I suppose it serves the purpose that in a specific area where we have identified a situation that is not in the general interest then we must be trying to correct that.

234. By changing the definition of a pedlar who may or may not be connected to any problems?

(Mr Smith) We know what the problems are, so we have identified those, I think.

235. They are the problems but are they the pedlars?

(Mr Smith) But the pedlars will not be a problem in this area because this is an area -----

236. Because all innocent and genuine pedlars are removed under the Bill?

(Mr Smith) But a genuine pedlar would not be in this area either, which is the point, I think. A genuine pedlar would not be in that area.

237. We come back to the definition of a pedlar, which is that he acts as a pedlar in the street.

(Mr Smith) We have already said that it is impossible to act in a moving manner in the middle of a lot of people. It is just impossible.

238. We will come to that matter later, thank you. Would "illicit street traders" be a more accurate description of those causing problems, and I use the phrase "illicit street traders"?

(Mr Smith) No, they are simply people who are trading illegally in that area. They are unauthorised to operate in the way that they are operating.

239. MR CAMPBELL-LLOYD: I will turn to the bundle that has been presented to us here as evidence. There seems to be no particular starting point, so I will start at the beginning and go through this.

240. CHAIRMAN: Mr Campbell-Lloyd, I am loath to stop you in your flow. However, we are approaching one o'clock. Could I ask you, if you are looking at the bundle, which, of course, you will want to do, do you think that should be extended? I rather feel from how we are doing at the moment that maybe we should adjourn at this point.

241. MR CAMPBELL-LLOYD: It is a good time, my Lord.

242. CHAIRMAN: Ladies and gentlemen, we are at one o'clock. Thank you very much, Mr Smith and Mr Clarkson. Suggest that we adjourn for 60 minutes. Please be prompt when you return.

 

After a short adjournment

 

243. CHAIRMAN: Ladies and gentlemen, thank you for so promptly returning, I hope you had a good lunch. Mr Campbell-Lloyd, unfortunately we had to break at that point, I do apologise to you and to Mr Clarkson and Mr Smith. Would you like to resume? I think you were about to examine the document presented by the Promoters.

244. MR CAMPBELL-LLOYD: Thank you, my Lord Chairman. As I said, I will probably start just with a random methodology here and go from the beginning through. In the first instance, we have a document that is the index of the exhibits. Item number 5 is a document recording responses of illegal street traders. I have counted those as being 68 sheets or so of responses of illegal street traders. Mr Smith, I will direct the question to you. This document is quite vague in the sense that I do not think it is evidence, but it is probably more anecdotal comment about what it said here, all potential trader/pedlars, and it is part of the monitoring of trading in the square and the gathering of evidence to prosecute illegal traders. The first question I have for you is that out of these 68 sheets, and I dare say it covers repetition of some individuals as compared with 68 individual people, were there any prosecutions as a result of this gathering of evidence and, if so, which?

(Mr Smith) Yes, there were prosecutions, but I would have to get the precise information about exactly which ones.

245. We do not really know which of those, but it could be put before us. As we go down each of these there is a question that asks what permission they have to trade and this is any potential trader, any pedlar, I guess, illicit, unlicensed, illegal, anyone who is involved in the activity of trading in Bournemouth. Where on this first document is the evidence, perhaps by way of licence numbers or certificate numbers, that the person who was being spoken to had or had not a pedlar's certificate?

(Mr Smith) They were asked in the box to indicate whether they had one and if they had one, they were obliged to show it.

246. There was no check made on that?

(Mr Smith) The check was to see whether they had one. If they had one, they were obliged to show it.

247. But they were obliged to show it and we have an instance where somebody decided not to show it, in fact would not show it, is that correct?

(Mr Smith) Yes, that was the case. There were certain examples where they would not show them.

248. Anybody on the street found trading was simply asked the question, "Do you have a pedlar's licence?" as the first question, is that the case?

(Mr Smith) In the order that it shows on the sheet there, yes.

249. As gathering evidence, would it not have been pertinent to enter into the report here that they had a pedlar's certificate number, issued where in the country, so that it was actually possible that this could be entered as evidence?

(Mr Smith) That is not something we decided was important at that stage, no.

250. It did not matter if they were any of those categories that we have already discussed, the possibility of a genuine pedlar as compared with an illicit pedlar as compared with an unlicensed street trader as compared with anybody who turns up wanting to sell something?

(Mr Smith) Yes, there was a very big difference that if people were not claiming that they had the protection of the pedlar certificate, then they would be trading illegally anyway and their goods could have been taken in that instance.

251. On anecdotal evidence, they could have said anything to you, frankly, and there was no scrutiny carried out?

(Mr Smith) The initial check with people was, in fact, to advise them of the situation. If somebody did not provide the right information but they knew that this was not an area in which they could trade, then in most cases they have moved on of their own accord, so it was not a problem. The first thing is not instantly to take action against the people, it is to point out they should not be there. If they were not able to produce but actually moved on subsequently, then obviously no further action would be taken against those individuals.

252. There were no checks that the person was whom they said they were, from the place they were, or that they had a certificate or licence number?

(Mr Smith) That is right. At this stage that would have been too much to have done. We could not have been doing the checks we were on people who were there if we had taken people off to do that other extra work, so that is correct.

253. All of these are much the same, but we will just turn the page on the very first of those. It says here at 14:04 from 13:16 in the afternoon that this person - and it says at the top here this is a Pedlar Movement Log, no differentiation here, but all of the people that are in this well guided (by this report) criteria to have been pedlars, this is a Pedlars Movement Log.

(Mr Smith) That is because, the sequence that it explains on the first page, if they say they were not a pedlar and they did not have a certificate there then there was police action to take immediately to say that they had no right to be in that area. If they say they are a pedlar and claim that, then the onus is still on us to demonstrate that they were not acting as pedlars should but were staying in an area for longer than they should. There is different course of action if someone is saying they are a pedlar as opposed to someone who is just saying, "Well, I'm here and I'm going to trade anyway" and you cannot do anything about it.

254. I have not had the time to look through these, but out of the 68 are there any where the "no2 is circled when the question was asked what permission they had to trade in the square? Do they have a pedlar's license? Did any of these answer no?

(Mr Smith) I believe these are all Pedlars Movement Logs here.

255. So these are all to do with anyone on the street trading? It says, "Yes, I have a pedlar's license".

(Mr Smith) Yes, sorry, you are right, it is anyone trading there who is claiming that they are a pedlar.

256. There was this period between 13:16 and 14:04 that the person that this report is based on could perhaps have done all sorts of things and in each of the periods that are then listed in the time column, between 13:16 and 14:04, that pedlar could have gone to lunch, moved off the street, dealt with a situation personal to his life's circumstances, all sorts of things could have occurred in that time, but the reporter here, a Mr A Kerr, may not have been there in constant monitoring of this set activity, is that correct?

(Mr Smith) There is no more detail than you have on the form here, that is correct.

257. There is the likelihood that in the heart of Bournemouth there is CCTV as a measure of ensuring that evidence can be gathered in Bournemouth, is that correct?

(Mr Smith) We have CCTV, that is correct.

258. How many in these contentious areas, I think we called them consent areas, the pink section of your map? How many CCTVs do you have monitoring that area?

(Mr Smith) I could not give you that information without checking it.

259. Well, there are CCTVs sufficient in that area to be able to gather evidence, is that correct?

(Mr Smith) No, the evidence we have to gather has to be done by accurate surveillance because of the fact that you cannot get it by CCTV alone because the angles of the cameras do not work, often they are unsecured.

260. So CCTV does not work?

(Mr Smith) It would not work on its own.

261. In the gathering of evidence on its own it would not work?

(Mr Smith) No, we would prefer to get something that is more accurate.

262. Would it perhaps have picked up on this first gentleman, it may be a woman, which occurred between 13:16 and 14:04?

(Mr Smith) If we needed to check that, I guess it may have been, I cannot say, I am guessing.

263. But it more than likely would be available?

(Mr Smith) It depends on where the camera was pointing, so I would not like to say that.

264. As we go through each of these 68 documents, those periods that are not contemporaneous periods, a flow of time from 14:04 to 14:05 to 14:06 to 15:10, the only method that you might have available to you is close circuit television recordings and some of it might have been in continuous observation?

(Mr Smith) If it is any help I can say that when the prosecution evidence was gathered it looked in detail also at the available CCTV material, so that did happen prior to prosecutions, yes.

265. I will just move on out of that bundle and over to the next one. This is the tab 6. I think you were asked whether or not this is a proportionate list and you indicated that the greatest proportion of items that are perhaps in contention or in the success of sales or in the activities are sunglasses, is that correct?

(Mr Smith) Yes, and I think I also said that this is not an exhaustive list, that you cannot know what pedlars are going to be selling there because it can sometimes depend on what the latest fad is, what the latest gadget is that is available, so you cannot know.

266. Under the title "nature of goods sold and related issues", it says as a subtitle to that, "A wide range of goods are offered for sale by illegal street traders".

(Mr Smith) Yes, and if you read the next sentence it says, "Recorded examples include", so it is quite clearly saying that is not an exhaustive list, those are some of the items which have been recorded.

267. But it does not record a list of products that are sold by genuine pedlars, is that correct?

(Mr Smith) I think we are getting into terminology here again, are we not? We have already said about the genuine pedlar by the definition we have and the people recorded here are not genuine pedlars, so these recorded items are not from genuine people. By definition genuine pedlars would not be there in that situation, they move on.

268. Out of these 68 sheets written, rest assured that none of those were regarded to be genuine pedlars?

(Mr Smith) That is what we would contend, yes.

269. I will have some quality issues to discuss with you in a minute, but I will just go through to item number 4, what appears to be the form of a pedlar's certificate. Apparently you can pick up one of these rather easily, perhaps done over the desk. Not much of a check, besides are you 17, of good character is required to obtain one. It is a very simple matter.

(Mr Smith) You have to show evidence of being in domicile in the area concerned for at least a month or a four week period.

270. Sorry, could you repeat that please.

(Mr Smith) You have to show evidence that you have lived in the area where the pedlar certificate was issued for a one month period.

271. What scrutiny is there that you are the said person applying for the pedlar?

(Mr Smith) The police themselves are going to give evidence later and I think they are the best ones to answer that for you.

272. You are not an expert in that matter and I should hold that question over?

(Mr Smith) I think they are the best people to answer that.

273. Thank you. If you go to what is now number 7, there are some photographs in here. You mentioned that there are two groups of tattoo people working in Bournemouth, one group that are licensed and approved and there are others, so those who are approved had purchased a licence from Bournemouth Borough Council for the purposes of trading. What was the cost of that licence?

(Mr Smith) I do not have the costs for the licence. Again, we can provide that for you if that is something you would need.

274. I think it is going to be relevant and in time I would call upon that information to be given to us. Around these pictures, and I think if we flip through most of these pictures, you will find quite accurate trading going on by mainly passers-by, by tourists, and there seems to be plenty of space, there seems to be no crowding, no circulation problems. Traders are active just like you would expect in any town where products are available on the street to purchase, perhaps markets. It is the nature of trading, business continues. There does not seem to be any disquiet in any of this, in fact there seems to be enthusiasm and interest. Would you not consider that these are photographs indicating the success of having such people in the streets of Bournemouth?

(Mr Smith) No, I would not say that at all.

275. On what grounds?

(Mr Smith) The image you are seeing there is not consistent with the standards which are applied for other businesses operating in that area. We are at pains to make sure everyone else keeps to a high standard in the way they present their businesses. Secondly, we know that there is a risk that possibly even the people purchasing from those premises do not realise and I think there is an expectation that if trading like that is allowed to continue, that the council, knowing it is going on, has actually authorised that in some way and there has been some protection for the public. It is quite right that the public these days expect that if something is continuing like that in full view that it must be okay, it must have been checked at some stage. As we have already said earlier, there is a risk to the public from this sort of uncontrolled activity. No, it is not something that we think is perfectly acceptable activity and all is well because people seem to be smiling as they go through the centre of Bournemouth.

276. So, on the basis of these problems, is there not adequate legislation through the Trading Standards Office to deal with these people, perhaps through dangerous goods, illicit goods, as you were indicating there? Is there not legislation that can deal with fraud, as we might call it?

(Mr Smith) I do not think the legislation really was geared up to deal with people who can be there one week and can be gone the next because, by the time you have done the necessary tests, you have not got a base which you can go back to in order to contact these people, so certainly the trading standards bit cannot be sorted out. Just as a rider to the point I made earlier about the fact that just because it looks there to be fine, I think if you were looking at the faces of the people who had written the letters, the other traders in that area to see how they looked, knowing that this was going on under their noses, you would find some very angry and upset-looking people to perhaps balance what you are saying here.

277. But what we are seeing here cannot really be taken as evidence, in the strict term.

(Mr Smith) What it is meant to do is to give the Committee a feel for what it looks like and for what is going on, otherwise it would just be words trying to describe a situation, so hopefully the point of this evidence is that it gives you a feel for what it is like on the ground. It does not give you a feel for what it is like at the busiest times of the day, but then, when you are doing that, you cannot actually see through people to take the pictures, so inevitably the pictures that are taken here are taken just to show what the stalls look like and they are not meant to show the heaving mass of people as happens at particular times of the day.

278. So have these tattoo people been prosecuted?

(Mr Smith) The tattoo people where we had the evidence taken last year did not return, so the problem we had there with the lady in question who was affected by this, she could not actually take action against them because they were not there.

279. But if you had taken a certificate number down that has a registration either with the local, or some other, police station in Britain, then that person could have been pursued if it were the intention to pursue them. There seems to be a lack of intention to pursue any of these traders.

(Mr Smith) I cannot say, but I know the trading standards team were looking at that and were trying to follow it through as hard as they could on behalf of the lady concerned, but part of the difficulty with this is that the requirement to get a pedlar's certificate is not that you are based at that place, but that when you apply for the certificate, you have to have been resident for that month period. After that, you can actually be wherever you want, you do not actually have to be in that location any longer. Unlike the trader who is operating from a fixed premises where there is an issue like that, you can go back to those premises because they are still there.

280. Under the 1881 statute which enforced the Pedlars Act, clause 2 concerning this Act, and it is a very short Act, it is an amending Act to the 1871 Act, it says, "A pedlar's certificate granted under the Pedlars Act 1871 shall during the time for which it continues in force authorise the person to whom it is granted to act as a pedlar within any part of the United Kingdom", so there is authority to act anywhere in the United Kingdom, given that your certificate is not issued in the jurisdiction. Is that correct?

(Mr Smith) That is correct, with the exception, I guess, of the places which have already had the restrictions we talked about earlier put in place.

281. But this is the form of words that this Bill is presenting?

(Mr Smith) That is my understanding.

282. So in the second set of photographs under '7', and I am not sure if '7' is the title or '8' is the title, but none of those you would regard as genuine pedlars, just to clarify these pictures?

(Mr Smith) That is correct. If they are basing themselves in the area, we would not consider them to be genuine pedlars.

283. We have a picture in front of tab 11, a picture of this fruit seller who has a consent and he pays 500 per month for that consent, so do I take it that his paying times 12 would be 6,000 per year for his pitch?

(Mr Smith) Yes, it is slightly in excess of that actually, but yes, it is that roughly.

284. How is that made up exactly?

(Mr Smith) That in fact was open to other traders in the area to say, that when the Council made the decision about the pitches that it was happy to authorise in that area to let people pass satisfactorily, so it opened that up at the time and publicised that to local businesses to invite them to take up that particular site, so it was open and the particular holder of that at the moment is a successful applicant for it.

285. LORD BOYD OF DUNCANSBY: Are you suggesting that they bid on a price for the pitch?

(Mr Smith) It was not just on price, my Lord, it was actually on the look and the contribution to the area as well which was taken into account, so price was one of the factors, but not the determining one.

286. MR CAMPBELL-LLOYD: So there is an aesthetic evaluation carried out by the Council?

(Mr Smith) That is correct.

287. If we go to the second illustrative picture which is just over the page, there is a more distant view of this modus operandi and it seems to have wheels on it. From what I can make out, it is these large itinerants that are coming in, illegal people coming in with trolleys on wheels, that are causing all the grief and the problems. Could this not be considered to be one of those? I will rephrase the question. This looks like something that is quite mobile, it has wheels on the bottom and it can be pushed about, it can be moved on, and perhaps it is moved on at the end of the day. Perhaps he takes it home with him. Is that correct?

(Mr Smith) It stays where it is actually on the site. Perhaps looking at that, it is an option, so it could be moved, if needed from his point of view, and also if there are events happening in the area and you need to relocate people, it is easier for him to do that.

288. So on the basis that a stall has wheels is not sufficient to indicate that it is illegal?

(Mr Smith) No, in this instance if you were actually to contact or approach or this trader was to be approached, you can show and demonstrate that he is operating in an authorised manner because he has authorisation to be where he is. The difference is that the other traders can only show a pedlar's certificate which, as we know, only gives them permission to trade if they are moving through the area, so there is quite a significant difference between this trader and how he is trading and the other ones that are mentioned in the evidence.

289. LORD METHUEN: Am I right in assuming that the licence which this trader has, this greengrocer, specifies the site at which he is to trade?

(Mr Smith) That is precisely correct.

290. MR CAMPBELL-LLOYD: I believe it also specifies the nature of the goods that can be sold, the size and scale of the stall and some of the other elements that are qualified within a street trader's licence. Now, this particular chap, on the next page, provides evidence that he is a member of the National Market Traders' Federation. Can you buy one of these as readily as you can buy a pedlar's certificate?

(Mr Smith) You can become a member of the Market Traders' Federation. The significance of this is not its requirement of any of the people who are licensed to actually be a member of the Market Traders' Federation, but what is a requirement is that they can demonstrate that they have the insurance cover and they have the employee cover that they need to have to operate in that area, so that is what we insist upon from all the legitimate traders in the consent streets, and that extends also to the temporary traders actually in the markets too, that they must have that same cover.

291. If we go back to this bundle of 68, are any of those people insured?

(Mr Smith) I could not answer that, whether they are insured or not.

292. So the evidence that this chap, Mr West, provides for anybody who might ask is perhaps by way of an insurance policy or has that scrutiny occurred during the process of issuing a licence?

(Mr Smith) No, we have to see that regularly from them. We need the employer's liability and we need the public liability; we need to see copies of that.

293. So it is possible that all of these 68 people also had evidence, but were not asked for it, of insurance cover for public liability and I believe that such insurance costs under 100 a year. Is that correct?

(Mr Smith) It is possible, but it is not a requirement.

294. And it was not a question asked by any of the evidence gatherers?

(Mr Smith) That is correct.

295. You spoke about the tattooists, one approved and one not approved, but could you tell us whether or not each of the products that they were selling had gone through the same testing procedures?

(Mr Smith) I cannot tell you that all the products they were selling had been through the testing procedure because I was not there actually taking those samples, but I know that both had samples taken from them. Whether that was a random selection, I am afraid I do not have the information before me.

296. And the outcome of each was different or similar?

(Mr Smith) The outcome for each was that there were problems with both of them in that there were actually problems identified. The difference was that with the one where we control the site, we were able to get the products changed as soon as they were found to be at fault, which is the normal trading standards practice in that if a problem is identified, then the operator will get a chance to correct that satisfactorily. The situation with the uncontrolled tattooist is that there was not that ability to follow it up, so the problem still goes on, albeit somewhere else.

297. Is this regardless of the fact that it seems it is a good business to come back to Bournemouth and trade in the product of henna, and these people keep returning? Have any of them returned this year?

(Mr Smith) I think there is a problem with people returning, that is true, and we see people coming back, but I guess, as in the case of that particular henna tattooist, there was an issue where she knows that materials were taken from her and possibly suspects that they were not as good as they could be, then that person is probably less likely to want to come back to Bournemouth because obviously they will be concerned about what the effects might be.

298. So all of what you are saying is really anecdotal?

(Mr Smith) No, what I am saying is that there was an actual test done that showed that in one instance we were able to correct the problem and protect the public. In the instance of the pedlar where that was found, that was not possible, so the point is that there is a risk and we do not want to see that risk to people who are actually paying for the privilege of going to Bournemouth on holiday and we do not want to see that risk put to the general public.

299. Have any of those in the 68 bundle been given the opportunity to address the problems that were found through the testing procedure?

(Mr Smith) No, the testing procedure was related to one particular case, so we are not applying that to all the people in the 68. The evidence of the 68 is demonstrating the repeated incidence of people staying in an area and that is all that is doing.

300. What was found in one of these reports is that "the levels exceeded those recommended for skin surface application under the EU Cosmetic Directive". These are the approved, I presume. Are these the approved people being tested or is this the illegal group being tested? Can you clarify that for us.

(Mr Smith) Both were tested and the detailed reporting you have there is of the particular problem that we were not able to resolve where it resulted in a complaint from a member of the public.

301. So the person who was involved in this testing procedure may still to this day be unaware that the levels this recommended have changed (?) since this application.

(Mr Smith) That is possible.

302. We have a letter at tab 15, which is an email from the Watchshop Group. You are familiar with this document as it is part of the evidence. It says here, and it has to be repeated, (and I will say why) this to me appears to be a simple anecdotal frivolity. There seems to be nothing as evidence in here, but somebody is having a crack at the competition that is out on the street. It says here: "Sir/madam. Having just spoken to various retailers in the town" (one does not know who they might be) "We have all come to the following conclusion ... Who is doing all the business???" This was by way of a formal meeting, somebody whispering something on the street - or by some other method one does not know about. The questions raised were: "Was it Beales, was it Zara, must be M&S." I guess all of those people are fully approved shops within the city of Bournemouth. "No ... none of these. Then who? The sunglasses stall in the square (weekends they may be four)". Maybe. It seems to me this is not an evidential document; this is somebody's anecdotal comment. Poor Beales, poor Zara, poor M&S, missing out on sunglass business. The watch stall, the same thing. The rip off 'phone unblocking stall - I am sure that trader does not have those words over his stall. This is somebody's opinion; rather contentious statement - The rip off 'phone unblocking stall. It also says that ----

303. CHAIRMAN: Mr Campbell-Lloyd, I do not think your line of thought now is cross-examining the witness so much as building up to your final speech. I think you would be advised to, perhaps, use that material there. Would you carry on?

304. MR CAMPBELL-LLOYD: Thank you, my Lord. The point I am raising, and I did go on too far, was on the question: does this improve our understanding for the general interest.

(Mr Smith) Can I answer that because it was said this was anecdotal? The question was trying to suggest this was an isolated, anecdotal example. I would just ask you to look carefully at the evidence that is presented from the general bodies that represent the general interest, if you like, of Bournemouth, and that includes the councillors who talk in their letters of submission about getting feelings from retailers (not retailer but retailers) in the town that this is a problem, and residents in the town who say it is a problem. That is also reinforced by the trade organisations who say exactly the same. So this is not a single retailer who has got an issue with pedlars in the town centre; it is very much a general issue that is supported by the evidence before you.

305. If we flip to 16, this is that illustration of the wide open space outside Debenhams and the alleged trouble-makers in the midst. Again, not an evidential document of disappointment but, perhaps, one of how the flow circulation and presence of these people would, in my casual passing over of this document, appear to be evidence of the success of the colourful life of Bournemouth. Mr Smith, I will leave it there. Thank you very much for your attention to my questions.

(Mr Smith) Thank you, sir.

 

Re-examined by MR CLARKSON

 

306. MR CLARKSON: I have just two or three questions, if I may, my Lord. I would like the witness to take up appendix 1, which is a plan, and appendix 2 to have in mind. I am going to read what the Petitioner petitions about. He says at paragraph 4 that he makes his own handicraft and travels throughout the United Kingdom, including the Borough of Bournemouth, stopping to trade there as and when he goes from town to town and place to place. He is concerned that the Bill impinges on his right to enter the borough of Bournemouth and could lead to seizure and forfeiture of his goods. Where, if the Bill is successful, is the Petitioner and any other pedlar actually prevented from trading. Is it the whole borough or is it something narrower?

(Mr Smith) The peddling will not be permitted in the way that it is at the moment in the town centre, so it would be stopped in that area of the borough, but actually the door-to-door activity will not be affected. So the normal peddling activity you would expect a pedlar to do, and what we believe to be the original intention of the Act, will still be allowed and will carry on and will not be discouraged in any way.

307. When we address it in due course with the Petitioner, the Miscellaneous Provisions Act introduces prohibited streets and consent streets - and licensed streets. Beyond those, is there or is there not any control?

(Mr Smith) No, there is no control beyond those. The normal activity can carry on as it can now and does now.

308. The last point is this: if you have the sale on the street, one way or another, of shoddy goods, counterfeit goods and you have obstructions, which is easier to control: an operator with a street licence or an operator acting under a pedlar's certificate?

(Mr Smith) It has to be the former because we know where they are; we can manage that properly, as we are obliged to do, as an authority to manage that. We cannot manage the ones that are by definition just anywhere in that area that they choose to be without any supposed authority that can guide them on that. So it is definitely the ones where we have issued a consent for them to be in a particular location.

309. MR CLARKSON: Thank you very much.

 

Examined by THE COMMITTEE

 

310. LORD METHUEN: You suggested you have 60 to 80 incidents a week. That, presumably, is seven days, including Sunday - I guess some of these traders are trading on Sunday as well. That gives you about 11 traders concerned in those 80 incidents. Let us say you only talk to half of them. So that suggests you have got about 14 or 15 illegal street traders. Is that the right sort of number, or is it much higher?

(Mr Smith) I think it is much higher than that, but because of resources we were able to look at one area which, to be fair, was the area of greatest concentration, but we know they are dispersed and move around the borough anyway. So in those areas that are marked in red on the original plan, they would be in other areas. They are now in other areas and they are trying to trade in the same way. I suspect it is more like the double the number that you mentioned, if I was guessing - and it is only a guess, I must admit.

311. LORD BOYD OF DUNCANSBY: One of the things that we will have to consider is whether or not any interference in the Petitioner's rights is a proportionate response to the problem that we have. What might be of interest to us is whether any previous acts have been effective. When Bournemouth was considering whether or not to promote this Bill did you look at any other areas to see whether or not similar legislation had been effective in dealing with the problem?

(Mr Smith) Yes, we did, my Lords. We actually looked at the situation nationally. We are a member of the Association of Town Centre Management and they have the advantage of town centres all across the country that can feed information about how they are dealing with issues. So, normally our first course is to say, if we are coming up with something that is a growing issue, we will seek advice from fellow colleagues about what has worked. Unfortunately, the view that came back from that was that this is something that they had been unable to tackle in other areas with any degree of success, with the exception of those areas that have actually got a similar Bill in place. We also tried locally, as best we could, by informing people. The letter that is referred to here was actually introduced the previous year to try and encourage people to point out this was not an area that they could trade in in the way they were. That soft approach did not have any impact. It was not successful. So we have tried to get the best we can in terms of knowledge from other areas about what is possible, and drawn a blank, unfortunately. We have tried locally with practical issues to address the problem but it has not worked. I would say our co-operation with the police is just about as good as you could get because of this collective interest in looking after people that I do not think anywhere could really have tried more than we have in Bournemouth to sort it out within the existing legislation, but unfortunately we are now seeing this as the only sensible proportionate alternative.

312. When you say that nationally people have been unable to tackle this except where there is similar legislation, what other areas are you considering? Which particular boroughs or other districts are you considering in that answer?

(Mr Smith) We deal, first of all, with the South West, so we have association meetings with other town centre managers within the South West area. We have tried that, in places like Bristol and Weston-super-Mare - ones within that group. The ones we consulted there. As I say, there was nothing forthcoming from them so we looked nationally and similarly had the same response. This was not an issue that there was any other solution to.

313. But there have been other localities which have promoted similar Bills. Did you look to see whether or not those particular localities had been able to tackle the problem as a result of that particular legislation? If so, which ones?

(Mr Smith) We did. We looked at the situation in Kent when it had been introduced, and the pattern there was that it was so successful, if you like, that it had moved the problems to the neighbouring authority, which is why you now have Maidstone and the Medway Towns doing that. It had actually worked and sorted the problem out for them in that area very, very successfully. But I think it does - in the beginning you had the point made that perhaps this should be done nationally, and I think there is an issue around that. There is a slight frustration that you are feeling that this is not really the end of the story to do this properly to protect the public. But, yes, we had looked particularly at the Kent example, which was the most recent one, where it had been effective in solving the problem for the particular towns where it was brought in.

314. BARONESS COUSSINS: When you said that you had, last year, between 60 and 80 problems a week, you also said that there were no genuine pedlars involved. So who were they? Were they people with pedlars' certificates who, in your view, were abusing the terms of the certificate by trading in a static fashion, or were they people who had no certificate or licence at all?

(Mr Smith) That is a very good question. These were people who had a pedlar's certificate but were, in our view, abusing the permissions that that would give them. If they did not have a pedlar's certificate and were not able to claim that, then they were trading without any right at all to be there and so would have been subject to different action by the police immediately to remove them from that area. So very definitely they were claiming the protection of the pedlar's certificate but, in our view, were not acting as pedlars should within the law.

315. So they did have a genuine pedlar's certificate but in your view they were not behaving as they should with that certificate.

(Mr Smith) That is correct.

316. CHAIRMAN: Thank you very much. Now, Mr Clarkson, I understand you are not bringing forward any other witnesses at this stage.

317. MR CLARKSON: That is the evidence, my Lord, for Bournemouth.

318. CHAIRMAN: Thank you very much. I am looking at my colleagues here. I do not get any indication that they do not want to hear the Petitioner's case. So I will thank Mr Smith very much indeed, for your contribution today, and I turn now to Mr Campbell-Lloyd. I believe, Mr Campbell-Lloyd, you are exercising your right to speak at the end rather than give an opening speech.

 

The witness withdrew

 

319. MR CAMPBELL-LLOYD: That is correct.

320. CHAIRMAN: Can I now invite you to call your first witness for the Petitioners.

321. MR CAMPBELL-LLOYD: I would like to call Mr Rod Sirena.

 

MR RODRIGO SIRENA, Sworn

Examined by MR CAMPBELL-LLOYD

 

322. MR CAMPBELL-LLOYD: For the benefit of the Committee could you please give us your name and where you live?

(Mr Sirena) My name is Rodrigo Sirena and I live in Newquay, in Cornwall.

323. And your occupation?

(Mr Sirena) I am street trading. I do have a pedlar's licence. I sell whistles.

324. Are you also a student?

(Mr Sirena) Yes. Basically I am a student part-time and in my free time I work as a pedlar.

325. What are you a student of?

(Mr Sirena) I am a student of law. I am a law student.

326. A student of law. So you possibly have quite a good grasp of what this is about today. Is that correct?

(Mr Sirena) Yes.

327. Do you have a pedlar's certificate?

(Mr Sirena) Yes, I do. Actually, I had my first pedlar's certificate five years ago. My first pedlar's certificate was from Penzance and my second pedlar's certificate was from Bournemouth. Actually, I did trade in Bournemouth a few times and when I used to trade in Bournemouth I never had any problems because I did carry my goods with me. Many times I was asked by the local police to show my licence and I did; and I never had any problems.

328. So you have a certificate that is currently issued from where?

(Mr Sirena) From Dorset Police in 2003. Then after that I had my third licence from Paddington Police Station in London and then last year I won my licence from Oxford, and this year my licence is from Lincoln. With my licence from Paddington police station and from Oxford I found some places where you are not allowed to work at all.

329. What prohibits you from working there?

(Mr Sirena) In Oxford they just do not respect my licence, you know. I have to work only weekends when the council is off because during the week they said my licence is not a pedlar's licence for the kind of job I do.

330. Does Oxford have a Bill that has become an Act that acts in the way that this Bill wishes to?

(Mr Sirena) Please can you repeat?

331. Does Oxford have any legislation that is similar to this Bill?

(Mr Sirena) No.

332. So the legislation that exists in Oxford is the legislation for pedlars and the legislation for street traders only?

(Mr Sirena) Yes. The strangest thing about Oxford is it is always when the guy from the council comes to me he always says: "Ah mate, I know you're the real pedlars, I know the way you are moving, I know the way - I like the way you work, but if I let you stay on the high street I am going to have to let the other guys with all the trolleys trade here as well, so, please, I am going to ask you politely to move." Then I have to pay for the other traders, you know, unfortunately.

333. One of those places where you were issued with a pedlar's certificate was Paddington.

(Mr Sirena) Yes.

334. Is that not in the city of Westminster?

(Mr Sirena) Exactly.

335. Westminster has the City of Westminster Act which prohibits pedlars. Is that not correct?

(Mr Sirena) Yes, it is correct but people have the same Act in Leicester and about a few months ago my mate got a licence from Leicester as well.

336. So in the districts where this new legislation has come into existence, if you turn up there and ask for a pedlar's certificate it will be issued?

(Mr Sirena) Yes. They do not even ask you what you are going to use the pedlar's for; they just ask you to apply and give you all the details and you just have to wait.

337. MR CAMPBELL-LLOYD: Is this not an anomaly? Is this not open to question as to why you could, on the one hand, not be eligible to work in these districts (and you have mentioned Leicester and the City of Westminster) yet, on the other hand, they are issuing you with a pedlar's certificate.

338. CHAIRMAN: Before you answer that, Mr Campbell-Lloyd, surely the answer is that the issuing authority in the current case is the police and not the local authority.

339. MR CAMPBELL-LLOYD: Correct. So the police, who are the enforcers for the local authority, are not informed in that district that pedlar's certificates are not recognised.

340. MR CLARKSON: That is just not right, my Lord. The picture is they have issued the pedlar's certificate, and this is the whole point of our case; it can be issued in Paddington but you can act in Northumberland or Cornwall. It is of no concern to the police in issuing pedlars' certificates.

341. CHAIRMAN: Thank you. What we would be most grateful for, Mr Campbell-Lloyd, is that in the case of Mr Sirena you ask him questions which he feels he is capable of answering and which you believe will enhance your case. I think that is another area, perhaps, which will come in your final speech and argument.

342. MR CAMPBELL-LLOYD: Could you please describe how and under what circumstances you met the Petitioner Mr Campbell-Lloyd?

(Mr Sirena) Yes. Last year I was trading in Oxford and then I saw Alex working with his stuff, and I just approached him asking him to talk about the problems of what is happening all over the country to exchange some ideas.

343. Can you describe for us your method of trading?

(Mr Sirena) Yes. I have one small fishing box and I use a guitar string to keep that holding on to my neck, and then I carry it all. I do have my whistles placed in my box and I just keep walking, talking to my customers and moving streets and go to different places.

344. Where do you trade?

(Mr Sirena) On the streets. Sometimes in Oxford, sometimes in the South, sometimes in the North, you know. It just depends because, at the moment, I try to keep much more thoughts on my studies, you know, so I use the pedlar's licence as a really flexible kind of work when I can just work when I really have to. So I try to spend more time with my books at the moment.

345. Perhaps I should ask this differently: do you consider that pedlars cause problems?

(Mr Sirena) Not at all. If the guy is using the pedlar's licence like as I do, like Mr Campbell-Lloyd does, you know, with a box, if they carry the goods on themselves, I think the problem is not exactly with my pedlars but with the trolleys. I think the local council, they want to rid of the trolleys. I never had any complaint myself about obstruction or about any kind of problems against the shops. I know that problems against the trolleys, you know.

346. So these problems affect you as a pedlar?

(Mr Sirena) Unfortunately, when the council come to me I have to close my box as well, and I am supposed to be doing my job; I am supposed to respect the law and I try to be more responsible if I can.

347. Have you had any complaints at all from the police or the licensing officers?

(Mr Sirena) Not at all. That is another thing. Sometimes these happenings, many times when I have been in the country sometimes the officers come to me to buy my goods, sometimes the local council - actually, last meeting in December I saw the guy from the local council buy a few kites from Mr Campbell. We had like a real chat and he was quite interesting, so they are always treating us really, really well. Like the customers and the shoppers; they always was really, really polite, but, I repeat, they always come up to me and say: "Unfortunately, you have got to pay for the others. I cannot let you stay in this place. If there is another 16 trolleys on the high street, if you stay they will stay too, so please, mate, leave." So I do not think this is fair, you know.

348. So when you are asked to leave you leave?

(Mr Sirena) Unfortunately I have to leave.

349. Have you eve been offered an alternative in any town to being a pedlar?

(Mr Sirena) I have been offered a pitch in Oxford which would have a street trading licence in the town centre, but they never said which date I would be able to trade there. They just offer me the chance to apply, you know, and unfortunately I have to trade every week if I can. On average it is just a couple of days a week or three days a week, but I have to trade every week. Unfortunately, I have to work on the dates they give you; I have to respect the dates, and for me it is no good, you know, especially because of my products I always get new customers when I change towns. So I have to move to different places, you know.

350. Have you ever had any experience where somebody who was a pedlar has taken up this option to become a street trader and purchased a street trader's licence?

(Mr Sirena) Well, last year I met a woman, she called Fabiola. She lives in Oxford as well. She has two young sons. Based for last year she was trying, she worked the whole year as a street trading licence, but she had a few problems with the council because the council only was giving to her one week every month, and sometimes one week every six weeks. So she starts finding it a bit difficult to make money that way, so she has to start work as a pedlar too. So at the end of last year she only got like one week in every month in Oxford and then she was on a pedlar's on the rest of the time, because she has two young kids and she could not survive without that many hours, you know. Unfortunately, the street trading licence was not good for her.

351. So you would have to conclude that there is a possibility that a street trader's licence to pedlars does not really work in practice.

(Mr Sirena) Unfortunately, no, because look like what she has just passed; she has two sons, you know. The pedlar's licence gives you a possibility to be your own boss, just to choose what time you want to go out to make your money; what time you want to go home to look after a family. I think this is the best thing about our licence; great possibility to make your job really, really flexible. This is the thing we like for me, and I try to keep this as more legal as I can, you know, because if I have the pedlar's I just can manage myself. This is really good for me.

352. Would it work if you travelled around the country - that is, if you had a street trader's licence somewhere - as a pedlar, travelling around the country? There is an implication here and that is that there might be the cost of a pitch to bear in mind.

(Mr Sirena) Unfortunately, at the moment, I am a student and I do not have enough money to afford for that kind of licence, especially because my product is really, really small. So we are supposed to look really, really ugly; some kind of stall or some kind of market or table. My product is really small so I think the box and the kind of licence I use to sell that is the perfect one.

353. If you went and, perhaps, got a street trader's licence from Oxford and you do not want to be there on the days that were allocated to you and you went to another town, would you perhaps have to purchase a street trader's licence in that town?

(Mr Sirena) Exactly.

354. How many towns do you travel to?

(Mr Sirena) Basically, every three days I try to move to a different area, exactly because, as I said before, I try to get new customers - different people - every day. So it makes me feel more comfortable in that place, you know.

355. So you could not really afford to purchase a street trader's licence in each and every town that you go to?

(Mr Sirena) Unfortunately, not at all. I think that so many street traders in this country, where they will not be able to do that too - because we do not make much money; we just make money for living. I do not know - maybe, people become so rich from the streets, but we just make money for living. That is the point.

356. So it is not really feasible to have a street trader's licence as a pedlar? Is that right?

(Mr Sirena) No.

357. Do you have any experience of endorsement, those who acknowledge what you do is good?

(Mr Sirena) Please can you repeat?

358. Do you have any experience where people have said what you are doing is good?

(Mr Sirena) It is like I said before. For the past five years, since I started trading, my reason in the country, always I was treated so well, from the customers, from the council, from the police. I never had any problem, but this good thing all over the country. I can feel the problem is not with me; it is not with my small box. It is with the trolleys. Always, unfortunately, for the past three years I have been seeing those trolleys. From the first time when I am trading in Bournemouth I was around the square and walking in the town centre on my own, and nobody is giving me any problem. The police used to walk in front of me. They would say, "Hello, Mr Man, how are you doing? A beautiful day, blah, blah", and this should go on and then you can walk around the town, go to the village, to the park and then go again, and they should have no problems, but for the past two or three years so many massive trolleys have started coming to the high streets, to the town centre, and that for me was what made things really different.

359. Do you have any experience, in other countries perhaps, of where a system of economic control works for pedlars?

(Mr Sirena) Yes. I have been travelling in a few different countries in the past year to try different areas, like I have been to Spain and Italy. Definitely Italy was my best experience because when I was the first time in Venice to try to sell my products there, the local council offered me a weekly pedlar's licence.

360. CHAIRMAN: Mr Campbell-Lloyd, this is fascinating stuff from Mr Sirena but I am not sure that it adds to the Committee's understanding of the case that is being put by the Petitioners.

361. MR CAMPBELL-LLOYD: Perhaps I could just summarise. The concept of a walking pitch works. The legislation that we have before us is a challenge in every respect and I was wishing to indicate that there are methods of regulating the economic life of a pedlar without his prohibition.

362. CHAIRMAN: Perhaps again in your summing up speech that would be very useful to hear that.

363. MR CAMPBELL-LLOYD: Thank you. I have no further questions.

364. CHAIRMAN: Mr Clarkson, it is your chance to cross-examine.

 

Cross-examined by MR CLARKSON

365. Mr Sirena, you have identified just now a problem with trolleys. What was the problem?

(Mr Sirena) The size, the wheels, the appearance, and because they do not move at all. In my opinion they do not respect the law. If they consider themselves as pedlars they are supposed to act as one.

366. Yes, and the picture is, as we have heard this morning, that you have these people operating under a pedlar's licence, and I think you are corroborating that they are causing problems, are they not?

(Mr Sirena) No, because they are not like traders. Some of them obstruct the high street.

367. Yes, and what is to be done about them?

(Mr Sirena) I think we should talk about who are the genuine pedlars. Where is this law coming from? I am a genuine pedlar in this country. I carry the goods with me.

368. You see, Mr Sirena, a genuine pedlar, and you are a law student, begins, does he not, with the certificate? Do you agree?

(Mr Sirena) What do you mean, begins with the certificate?

369. He starts off by paying 12.25 for a certificate, does he not?

(Mr Sirena) Yes, but a certificate can be just a paper, if he is not acting as a pedlar after that.

370. Exactly; that is our case, do you see? Once I have one of those I can operate as a pedlar or a purported pedlar anywhere in the country, can I not?

(Mr Sirena) Yes, you can.

371. And you do not say that you are not a genuine pedlar, and I take it exactly as you have said it, but you operate in very many towns, do you not?

(Mr Sirena) In many towns?

372. Yes.

(Mr Sirena) I do travel a lot, sir, all over the country, sir, from the south to the north.

373. From south to north, and do you put your wares in a van?

(Mr Sirena) No. Sometimes I travel by bus, sometimes I take lifts from friends. It depends. I just try to find the cheapest way to travel.

374. Yes, of course, and when you get there you go to the town centre, do you, and walk around selling your whistles?

(Mr Sirena) Yes.

375. Where do you live?

(Mr Sirena) I am living in Newquay currently.

376. Where did you live when you got a licence from Paddington?

(Mr Sirena) I used to live in Ealing Broadway. I used to have a house there.

377. And Oxford, when you were living in Oxford?

(Mr Sirena) Then in the following year I moved to Oxford and then after Oxford I moved up to Lincoln. I have been living in Lincolnshire for the past eight months.

378. How often do you trade in Bournemouth?

(Mr Sirena) Actually, sir, the last time when I reached Bournemouth to trade was two years ago.

379. So you have not traded in Bournemouth for two years?

(Mr Sirena) No.

380. How long did you trade there when you were in Bournemouth?

(Mr Sirena) The whole summer season.

381. Were you living in Bournemouth?

(Mr Sirena) I was living in Bournemouth just for the season, sir, at my friend's house.

382. Could you have in front of you, please, plan number 1 in the bundle? Take your time. Is that familiar to you?

(Mr Sirena) Yes.

383. That in effect is the centre of Bournemouth, is it not?

(Mr Sirena) Yes.

384. With the route down to the sea at the bottom in red?

(Mr Sirena) Yes.

385. Just describe where it was you traded. Was it only on those areas in the plan or was it elsewhere?

(Mr Sirena) You mean when I was peddling?

386. When you were peddling.

(Mr Sirena) Basically, all over the town centre. When it used to be busy, you know, with some nice movement, I used to walk around.

387. Was it just there or in other parts of Bournemouth as well?

(Mr Sirena) This is the point, sir. Sometimes I do carry some good money with me and it is quite scary to go quite far away from the town centre because this unfortunately can be dangerous. At the moment there are so many youngsters, like groups of youngsters around the country. When they are together they are quite scary, like the guys between 13, 14, 16 years old, and so I try to keep as close to the town centre as I can for my security.

388. So the only reason why you did not trade beyond there was security?

(Mr Sirena) This is the main reason.

389. All right. Did you trade at Boscombe Open Air Market, or seek to?

(Mr Sirena) Sorry, can you repeat that?

390. Did you ever seek to trade at Boscombe Open Air Market? That is towards the eastern end of Bournemouth. Does that ring a bell? Have you heard of Boscombe Open Air Market?

(Mr Sirena) To be honest, no. Can I say one thing?

391. Yes, of course.

(Mr Sirena) When I used to trade in Bournemouth the square used to be really peaceful. It used to be just me and another guy. There were some trolleys made with some hand-made jewellery, but it was to be totally different from what you see in this moment.

392. Go on with that last point - than what we see in this moment. What you are saying is that it has dramatically increased? Is that what you are saying?

(Mr Sirena) No. I just say that there are so many traders now and if they have a licence I cannot blame them for having 15 trolleys on the high street if the whole 15 have a licence for that. I cannot blame them at all. They have the same rights I have. I just feel sorry because I lose my spot.

393. MR CLARKSON: That is all I have for you. Thank you very much.

394. CHAIRMAN: Mr Campbell-Lloyd, you have the opportunity to re-examine.

395. MR CAMPBELL-LLOYD: I do not think I have any further questions. Thank you very much.

396. CHAIRMAN: I now turn to members of the Committee. Perhaps they have questions for Mr Sirena.

397. LORD METHUEN: Am I allowed to ask Mr Clarkson his opinion on whether Mr Sirena would be regarded as a true pedlar by Bournemouth, and hence allowed to continue to do what he has done in the past?

398. MR CLARKSON: The answer to that is, looking at the plan that I have just identified, plan 1, the Miscellaneous Provisions Act creates prohibition, licensed and consent streets. Where the Miscellaneous Provisions Act applies pedlars are excluded save for door-to-door, but this gentleman can still practise in greater Bournemouth other than the town centre.

399. CHAIRMAN: Other members of the Committee? No? May I thank you, Mr Sirena, for coming today. Thank you very much for your evidence.

 

The witness withdrew

400. Ladies and gentlemen, before we call the next witness we will take a five-minute comfort break.

 

After a short break

401. CHAIRMAN: Mr Clarkson?

402. MR CLARKSON: My Lord, thank you. In answer to my Lord, Lord Methuen's question before the break, that was, of course, in circumstances where the Bill has passed into law.

403. CHAIRMAN: Thank you for that clarification. Mr Campbell-Lloyd, would you like to call your second witness?

404. MR CAMPBELL-LLOYD: Thank you, my Lord. I would like to call Mr Gordon Eliott.

 

MR GORDON ELIOTT, Sworn

Examined by MR CAMPBELL-LLOYD

405. Could you please for the benefit of everybody tell us who you are and where you live?

(Mr Eliott) My name is Gordon Eliott and I live in Blackboys in Sussex.

406. Could you direct me to the circumstances of how and when you met the Petitioner, Mr Campbell-Lloyd?

(Mr Eliott) Years ago. I just started talking to him while he was selling his kites in the street.

407. And where was that? Can you remember?

(Mr Eliott) I have met him a number of times. I cannot remember where that was, actually. I think it was Bournemouth, maybe Oxford.

408. Possibly Covent Garden?

(Mr Eliott) Yes, possibly.

409. Did you discuss anything with him at that time? Did you make any purchases?

(Mr Eliott) I bought some kites from him, and the kids loved them.

410. What happened?

(Mr Eliott) I found that they are finding it more and more difficult to sell their things and they get harassed by the police and the trading standards and, well, I like to see a city with some vibrancy and life and buskers and different things happening and interesting things being sold.

411. So you can recall discussing the plight of the pedlar?

(Mr Eliott) Oh, indeed, yes.

412. MR CAMPBELL-LLOYD: Have you ever discussed the current situation with him? Perhaps you met him elsewhere and that brings you to understand a little bit about the nature of the Bournemouth Bill that is before us today.

413. MR CLARKSON: May I just say, my Lord, that one can allow a certain amount of leeway with the rules of evidence but, as I understand it, the questions are rather self-serving in the sense that what the Petitioner is asking is what he is going to say in evidence. All this is is bouncing his future evidence off this witness at the moment. I cannot really see how it is going to help the Committee.

414. MR CAMPBELL-LLOYD: My response to that is that the bundle that we had previously presented to us that was presented as evidence was no different, the bundle of 68 exhibits.

415. MR CLARKSON: But that is documentary corroboration of our case. This is Mr Campbell-Lloyd just asking this witness what he said historically and presumably what he is going to say when he gives evidence.

416. MR CAMPBELL-LLOYD: We are trying to establish the connection between this person, and we have put him forward as a member of the public, and whether or not he has any direct relationship with the Petitioner.

417. MR CLARKSON: Which is you, is it?

418. MR CAMPBELL-LLOYD: I am acting as an agent on behalf of the Petitioner who sits to my right.

419. MR CLARKSON: I beg your pardon.

420. MR CAMPBELL-LLOYD: So you met him again and he has told you about the Bournemouth Bill; is that correct?

(Mr Eliott) Yes.

421. Have you read the Bournemouth Bill?

(Mr Eliott) Briefly. I have looked at it, yes. I cannot pretend to know anything much about it but it does seem to be a problem that the definition of a pedlar is being changed from something that is in the Oxford English dictionary as a quite clear and quite well used sort of word to something that it just is not, which is moving from door to door only.

422. So what is that which moves from door to door?

(Mr Eliott) A travelling salesman goes from door to door. If a pedlar is defined as someone that goes from door to door then someone that goes from door to door is a pedlar.

423. As a member of the public do you think that other people in the street would agree with that?

(Mr Eliott) I think so. I think there are a lot of people who would like to see life rather than all these chain shops in the street. They like to see interesting, fun items being sold as a kind of street entertainment, really.

424. CHAIRMAN: Mr Campbell-Lloyd, if we can elicit from Mr Eliott his view of things rather than what he supposes other people's views might be, he is quite capable of saying that.

425. MR CAMPBELL-LLOYD: Thank you. I have no further questions for him.

426. MR CLARKSON: I have no cross-examination, thank you.

427. CHAIRMAN: I assume therefore you do not wish to re-examine?

428. MR CAMPBELL-LLOYD: Indeed.

429. CHAIRMAN: Thank you very much. Are there any questions from my colleagues? No? Mr Eliott, may I thank you very much indeed.

 

The witness withdrew

430. Mr Campbell-Lloyd, would you like to call your next witness?

 

MR NICHOLAS McGERR, Sworn

Examined by MR ROBERT CAMPBELL-LLOYD

431. Could you tell us who you are and where you live?

(Mr McGerr) My name is Nicholas McGerr. I live in Somerset.

432. Are you aware of anything to do with the pedlars' legislation?

(Mr McGerr) I know the Pedlars Act 1831. I know the Miscellaneous Provisions Act 1982. I know the Westminster Act 1999. I am aware of the fact that there has been other legislation that has been brought through this House which affects various parts of the United Kingdom, such as Medway and Maidstone, Leicester, Newcastle-upon-Tyne and Liverpool.

433. So how did you find yourself to be a pedlar?

(Mr McGerr) I am afraid this is rather anecdotal, but the truth of the matter is that my wife and I were given tickets by my daughter to see a play in London which was at the Palladium and it was Oliver, and the first person that walked on the stage in that setting, an 18th-century setting, was a pedlar, and in that context again, presumably because it was on in London, it was in a Covent Garden context, and that intrigued me because at school I studied history and so on and then went on to university and studied social history and part of that social history was in fact the background to such things as pedlars and street traders and social reform, the Victorians particularly, so I was quite aware, not particularly of the Pedlars Act but certainly the general context of the Pedlars Act. Being interested in the subject, I read up on it and then started to make various connections, and realised that I could in fact obtain a pedlar's certificate so I could get proof positive of what it is like, so I have held a pedlar's licence for a number of years, as a matter of fact, and I think most of it has almost been on a sort of social history context research basis more than anything else, in fact, more and more so, in as much as whenever I seem to be out and about I seem to meet pedlars who are encountering more and more problems with local authority officers and the constabulary and the magistracy. In fact, I have also been seized in Wimbledon during tennis week by a couple of Metropolitan police specially seconded to attack the so-called tout squad. I do not say "so-called" in that way. That is what they were called, the tout squad. I was before Wandsworth and I am pleased to say that the magistrates gave me every due consideration and I was found to be a genuine pedlar, which I think is the phrase that has been used today.

434. Would you tell us more about the City of Westminster Bill which became an Act in 1999?

(Mr McGerr) Yes, I would like to do that and I would beg everybody's pardon if I extend my reply somewhat because it does bear very much on this particular Bill. I see a continuation of legislation from Westminster and I think that has been referred to by Mr Clarkson several times and has been promoted via these various other legislations as pioneer legislations. I think in some ways, and I certainly took it almost in the literal sense, and I am sorry, I am rather pedantic because I do look at words and what their meanings is, at initial stage I thought the Westminster Act made every sense because Westminster being a city did not have a town in which one would go from town and town and therefore one would be going, as the Pedlars Acts states, to other men's houses. Again, here is a paradox that whilst somehow or other various words are used to describe the Pedlars Act, anomalous, anachronistic, various things like that, inappropriate in fact I think Mr Smith referred to, its historical context is valid. It was a consolidating Act by the Victorians which came in along with other matters, such as public health and the extension of the franchise and various other things and it was there. In fact, most of the law and the precedent and even the setting up of the original Bill and its continuation, even to this there, is there in terms of its protection of pedlars. That is its primary purpose. It is to separate pedlars out. In the 1871 Act anyway they had to amend that to the 1881 Act to include other activities, such as hawkers, which, in fact, to start with were excluded, so it was a consolidating Act. I took it that the Westminster Act was a continuation of that type of amendment in as much as it extended the meaning of the London Local Authorities Act, which is not the same as miscellaneous provisions but certainly referred to London in as much as it extended the meaning of that Act purposefully. In actual fact, I did not have any direct experience of this but I did have experience of other pedlars. Whilst they again took it in good faith, which is how the pedlars certificate is written, it is written in good faith, and that whilst they were going from door to door, which is how they see the meaning of the Act, ie as has been mentioned by Mr Smith, passing through a town or a city, as in the case of Westminster, they would inevitably be looking for customers. That is in the meaning of the Act as I understand it. The Act does not direct a pedlar to go only from door to door, it gives the pedlar an option to go from place to place or to other men's houses, which could literally just mean just stepping out of their door, going along the street and knocking on a neighbour's or maybe going to another town or in that process certainly because they would be constantly looking for customers. That is the activity of a pedlar, to look for customers, but not only that, there is the entertainment value, the social associations involved, educational purposes, recreational purposes, there is a whole cultural identity attached to the personality. Going back to the Westminster situation, those persons who were continuing to pursue that type of activity, which they had done over many years, suddenly found themselves before the bench at the Horseferry and I do not think many of them got any further than that. On a matter of appeal, I think they were turned down. In some cases whilst attempting to explain their door to door activity they were told to sit down in terms of did they not understand the meaning of the word "door to door"? That is my experience of the Westminster Act.

435. Are you also aware of the presentation by a gentleman by the name of David Chambers, who was at the time of the City of Westminster Bill a Licensing Policy Adviser to the City of Westminster, which he made to the All-Party Parliamentary Group on town centre management issues on 20 January 2000 entitled "Street Trading and the Pedlars Act 1871, 1881"?

(Mr McGerr) Yes, I am.

436. How did you hear about that presentation?

(Mr McGerr) As I said, I did visit London as part of my moving around the country. I am not sure if I was always in the Westminster area because I was on the bridge between this House and across the river, the river on the other side. I was approached by the Chief Superintendent of Police from the Charing Cross Police Station, who I also knew because I had been in Covent Garden as well and he approached me many times and we had many conversations. He asked how I was and how things were going and I said very well, and he said, "Well make the most of it because come the Millennium we shall sterilise the street". I asked him what exactly did that mean and he said, "Pedlars would be cut out", which I have since discovered is a phrase used in many of these legislations, that the intention is to cut out the pedlars. Also, as I think has been referred to by various other organisations who I think have sponsored a lot of this legislation, that their intention is to repeal the Pedlars Act, which has not occurred. There has been this continuum of legislation which has been passed by areas with sufficient funding to pass it and without any opposition. I was curious as to why this might occur, so I did start to investigate what was then the Westminster Bill. It then came before this House and passed through to the other place. Following that I also approached, in fact, Sharpe Pritchard to find out about the background to it but unfortunately there were no extensive minutes taken in the House of Lords at the time and also because of the lack of things being put on the record electronically, there was insufficiency of background. Even now I am somewhat uncertain as to how those decisions were arrived at then, albeit that it has been decided that it is a pioneer legislation. If you like, my historical research is founded somewhat on the lack of provision of background.

437. CHAIRMAN: Mr Campbell-Lloyd, again, if you will forgive me, I think the Committee is anxious to hear from Mr McGerr the essence of what it is he has to say, which is perhaps different from those other witnesses who preceded him and, perhaps, for it to be said as clearly as possible. Intriguing as the historical research is, I am not sure that it is a great utility of your time, so I would encourage you, Mr Campbell-Lloyd, in your questions to encourage Mr McGerr to perhaps come to the points that we can embrace and understand from the Petitioner's point of view.

(Mr McGerr) Could I apologise if I have offended you in any way, I am sorry about that.

438. MR CAMPBELL-LLOYD: Did you have anything concerning that All-Party Parliamentary Group in writing, the meeting that occurred?

(Mr McGerr) Yes, I failed to find out anything from the Promoters. I approached my Member of Parliament, who is Sir Geoffrey Johnson Smith. I was living in Willdon at the time, in fact that is where my certificate is from, and he obtained the minutes of the meeting.

439. So now you have read that document, some ten years ago now, what was the date, 2000, so seven years ago. It states that all regulators and regulated wanted the legislation, do you think pedlars, who were the regulated, wanted the legislation?

(Mr McGerr) Obviously I cannot answer for everyone else, but I know certainly I was interviewed many times by various people, including members of Westminster Council, Licensing Officers that I meet casually on the street and also by members of the police, but as far as I was concerned, I saw no need for an increase in regulation of the pedlar activities, no.

440. Do you think pedlars have a contribution to make and should they have been consulted?

(Mr McGerr) I very much think they should be consulted. I am very pleased to be here to offer whatever I can to this particular meeting. Yes, I do think so, yes.

441. Can you give an example of where the definition of a pedlar has been confused, and if so, where?

(Mr McGerr) I am sorry, I do not really understand the question.

442. Perhaps I can refer back to the document, the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Town Centre Management produced by Mr Chambers where he said in there ---

443. MR CLARKSON: Are we going to have the document?

444. MR CAMPBELL-LLOYD: We can, indeed we can.

445. CHAIRMAN: Can I ask how long ago this document was?

446. MR CAMPBELL-LLOYD: My Lord, 26 January, 2000. It is an All-Party Parliamentary Group on Town Management, as I have said, and it was in Committee room 13. The title is "Street Trading and Pedlars Act 1871, 1881".

447. CHAIRMAN: Do you believe that it will be useful to the Committee?

448. MR CAMPBELL-LLOYD: Yes. If I could read an element of this.

(Mr McGerr) I am sorry, My Lord, but could I interrupt. I think I know where you might be going with this because I do remember that document. If you would like to ask me the question again, because I was confused and I did not quite understand what you were asking me.

449. The question was, is there any example that you could give of where the definition of a pedlar was been confused, and if so, where?

(Mr McGerr) Just referring essentially to that document, yes, I can. It might well have been a typographical error, but Mr Chambers referred - although quoted correctly, the 1871 Act - "...or goes to other men's houses", but later in his summary to the group he used the word "... and to other men's houses", and since, as again we have heard today, that use of the word "and" to other men's houses has been used further.

450. What do you think has been the effect of this confusion?

(Mr McGerr) I think the direct effect is it has produced legislation that insists on a pedlar going only from house to house.

451. Would you consider this to have been misleading?

(Mr McGerr) I am not going to use the word misleading because that has extreme implications, but I would say it is extremely confusing to somebody who is a pedlar.

452. Thank you, my Lord, I have no further questions.

453. CHAIRMAN: Thank you very much. Mr Clarkson?

454. MR CLARKSON: No thank you.

455. CHAIRMAN: Nothing in terms of re-examination. My colleagues now around the table, do you have any questions? In that case, thank you so much, Mr McGerr.

(The Witness withdrew)

456. CHAIRMAN: Mr Campbell-Lloyd, do you have any other witnesses?

457. MR CAMPBELL-LLOYD: I do have, the Petitioner himself, Sir, Mr Alexander Campbell-Lloyd.

 

MR ALEXANDER CAMPBELL-LLOYD Sworn.

Examined by MR ROBERT CAMPBELL-LLOYD.

458. MR CAMPBELL-LLOYD: For the record, could you state your name and address, please?

(Mr Alexander Campbell-Lloyd) My name is Alexander Campbell-Lloyd. I live in East Sussex.

459. What is your occupation?

(Mr Alexander Campbell-Lloyd) I am currently studying to be a chiropractor and I fund my studies as of this year as a pedlar.

460. Do you have a pedlar's certificate?

(Mr Alexander Campbell-Lloyd) I do.

461. Is it current?

(Mr Alexander Campbell-Lloyd) It is.

462. Are you aware that the 1982 Act states that a pedlar is exempt from street trading regulation?

(Mr Alexander Campbell-Lloyd) Yes.

463. Would you consider yourself an authorised street trader?

(Mr Alexander Campbell-Lloyd) Absolutely.

464. Is that a street trader with an exemption?

(Mr Alexander Campbell-Lloyd) Yes.

465. Is that what a pedlar is?

(Mr Alexander Campbell-Lloyd) Yes.

466. Someone who is a street trader with an exemption?

(Mr Alexander Campbell-Lloyd) Correct.

467. But not a licensed street trader?

(Mr Alexander Campbell-Lloyd) I have a pedlar's but I do not have a licence related to one specific area, no.

468. You have a certificate and not a licence. A licence is for a street trader?

(Mr Alexander Campbell-Lloyd) Yes, that is my understanding.

469. What is the difference between a street trader and a pedlar? Is it perhaps how they operate?

(Mr Alexander Campbell-Lloyd) Yes. I do not have a fixed pitch. I have a very small box that I carry on my neck. I sell a small kite product and I go to many parts of the country.

470. So movement perhaps is the difference? One is a fixed pitch and the other moves about?

(Mr Alexander Campbell-Lloyd) Yes, correct.

471. What is the actual formal difference between a pedlar and a street trader? Is it something to do with a licence or a certificate? Is one approved by way of licence, having paid the fees and gone through the scrutiny, the other a certificate, having paid a fee and gone through the scrutiny?

(Mr Alexander Campbell-Lloyd) I do not really understand the question.

472. What is the formal difference between a street trader and a pedlar?

(Mr Alexander Campbell-Lloyd) I apply for my pedlar's licence at the local police station which the local police ask of me. I am not a street trader, so I do not know what street traders have to go through.

473. I expect you are aware of the Pedlar Act?

(Mr Alexander Campbell-Lloyd) I am.

474. And that there are two Acts, the 1871 Act and the 1881 Act?

(Mr Alexander Campbell-Lloyd) Yes.

475. What is the difference?

(Mr Alexander Campbell-Lloyd) In the latter Act I believe they allowed pedlars to trade anywhere within the United Kingdom, not just related to the one area.

476. The area where perhaps your certificate was issued?

(Mr Alexander Campbell-Lloyd) Yes.

477. By the latter statute you are entitled to travel and trade anywhere in the United Kingdom?

(Mr Alexander Campbell-Lloyd) I am expected to do so, yes.

478. Do you travel about?

(Mr Alexander Campbell-Lloyd) Yes.

479. Where?

(Mr Alexander Campbell-Lloyd) I go from Bournemouth to Newquay where my friend Rod works and I go as far north as Edinburgh.

480. You have petitioned against the Bill, can you explain in a nutshell why?

(Mr Alexander Campbell-Lloyd) Yes. Long ago I used to work in Covent Garden. Covent Garden has now accepted the same legislation that is being proposed today by Bournemouth. I continued to try and work as a pedlar in the City of Westminster and I was prosecuted for illegal street trading. The reason given was that I was not moving from door to door. When I tried to explain that door to door, as in town to town, was a form of movement, I was asked what part of door to door did I not understand. When I asked for an appeal, it was considered frivolous, so my only recourse was to try and come to a meeting like this where I could be a part of how the decision is reached. If this Bill goes through, I will not be allowed to work as a pedlar as I have for the last number of years within the United Kingdom. That will cease. You will not have a pedlar working in England again, but I do not need a licence to go door to door.

481. If I can just correct you, perhaps this is more to do just with Bournemouth and it is perhaps not the United Kingdom. There are ten other places, I think, that are referred to where you may not be able to work because they are affected by the same legislation.

(Mr Alexander Campbell-Lloyd) Yes, I avoid them on the same grounds as I avoid Westminster because I would again find myself in the situation of being prosecuted.

482. So it does not just affect you, perhaps it affects others as well?

(Mr Alexander Campbell-Lloyd) Anybody who wishes to work as a pedlar will no longer be able to work in Bournemouth if it just goes as far as Bournemouth, but my feeling is that this will be a domino effect. This is all part of a new environment for myself and you can probably understand that coming here is, like: "Wow, the House of Lords". I am in the process of making law. This is something I have felt I have to be a part of because I feel that my livelihood is being taken away from me.

483. So do you really mean that most of the British public have a right to be a pedlar?

(Mr Alexander Campbell-Lloyd) Anybody has a right to be a pedlar, providing you are the age of 17.

484. So you are against the Bill in principle really?

(Mr Alexander Campbell-Lloyd) It is my livelihood. The way I fund what I do is through peddling. If this Bill goes through, I will not be allowed to go where I make my money.

485. So the lifestyle and the income will be removed?

(Mr Alexander Campbell-Lloyd) Correct, yes.

486. Can we be more specific now. I am going to read a statement in evidence before the Select Committee on the Medway Bill, and I will refer to this in my bundle shortly, my Lord, and if you bear with me, I will quote what it does say and I will refer to it later. This is a Mr Lewis, and I believe it might be this gentleman on my left here, and in evidence in support of that Bill he stated, "I should emphasise that the Bill does not abolish the pedlars' exemption", and he goes on, "As a pedlar, you will still be able to trade door to door". Have you ever heard of a pedlar who trades door to door?

(Mr Alexander Campbell-Lloyd) No, I have not and, as a matter of fact, last summer I did try and see problems working on the street, working for a door-to-door company, and the name of the company is Cobra. It is the largest door-to-door organisation on the planet. It has an annual turnover in the billions of pounds and they work for people like TalkTalk. We would go to doors, knocking on doors, and we would try and sell them a network plan. For the operation, nobody in that organisation ever mentioned a pedlar's licence was necessary to go door to door.

487. So, in being a door-to-door salesman, you are not required to have a pedlar's certificate?

(Mr Alexander Campbell-Lloyd) That is correct.

488. So you have worked on and off for ten years as a pedlar. Is that correct?

(Mr Alexander Campbell-Lloyd) Yes, on and off. I have been a traveller as well.

489. Where have you travelled?

(Mr Alexander Campbell-Lloyd) I have travelled all over the world. I have quite an extensive family and I have spent much of my life taking the means that I get from sales here wherever I go around the world.

490. What problems have you caused?

(Mr Alexander Campbell-Lloyd) Well, the only problem that I have been found guilty of was working specifically in Covent Garden which is where I was convicted of illegal street trading as a pedlar because they do not accept pedlars. When you are on the street, you are not as free as you are within this environment. You are subject to quite a lot of intimidation by police officers and council officers and it is almost a battle. Unless you can stand and prove your ground in court, you do face intimidation. There is a dislike for what we do as pedlars on the street. I think this may be due to the confusion, and the pictures we see now in Bournemouth of so many people operating as illegal street traders, in my mind, it is just inefficiency in how the Council are not using the powers that they do have at hand to deal with this problem. In the past, it has never been an issue and I think there is no need for it to be now either. It was mentioned that if they did not have a pedlar's licence, the person would be removed by the police and now that is not happening. For some reason, now you can go there, you can say, "I'm a pedlar" and you can have your stand and, as long as you have got a pedlar's licence, they will allow you to trade, but surely they should be removed. If they were removed, they would have no form of income and they would no longer go back to where they are purporting to be pedlars.

491. So, in your opinion, there is sufficient legislation in place to deal with those people who are infringing the rights of other licensed street traders?

(Mr Alexander Campbell-Lloyd) Absolutely. It is just that the Council, I guess, are under pressure with their budgets to deal with it.

492. Mr Lewis has also stated in that same Medway evidence that was before the Lords that the concept of a pedlar is an anachronism and his witness, Mr Wilde, agrees and says that in essence the concept of pedlar no longer exists. Do you agree?

(Mr Alexander Campbell-Lloyd) I am a pedlar, here I am.

493. So why do you think the Council want you to be a door-to-door salesman?

(Mr Alexander Campbell-Lloyd) Because it removes me from the street. They no longer have to police pedlars.

494. Mr Lewis in 1975 in that same Medway Bill states that there are real consumer protection issues at stake. Are there?

(Mr Alexander Campbell-Lloyd) I believe I am under the same regulation as any shop in the country, so if there is a problem with what I am selling, it can be dealt with as if I was a shop.

495. Do you sell illegal or dangerous goods?

(Mr Alexander Campbell-Lloyd) No, I do not.

496. So what do you do that the Council do not want you to do?

(Mr Alexander Campbell-Lloyd) What the Council would like is they would like a very sterile zone. I think Bournemouth mentioned that they have two legal pitches within the Square that is being talked about, and what they would like to see, as has occurred in other areas as this Bill has gone through, is that the only and sole trade is done in that area and, as I said before, no pedlar would be able to trade in that area again.

497. So the Bill specifically wants you off the streets of Bournemouth, and why?

(Mr Alexander Campbell-Lloyd) It is a little bit of a nonsense. It was said before that I should be going door to door and there seemed to be an issue or a problem made that I was going where it was busy. It does not take much, I do not think, to understand that it is beneficial for me to go where it is busy. I am not going to go and sell down a lonely lane on my own, but I am actually going to go where there are people.

498. Have you had any communications with the licensing department in Bournemouth about your activities in Bournemouth?

(Mr Alexander Campbell-Lloyd) Yes, after this was coming into view, we were looking at what we were going to do to try and save the Pedlars Act. I did make a telephone call to the Council and I spoke to, I believe, the head of the Council down there. I explained to him exactly what it is that I do, because he was not familiar with me. Just to explain what I do, I have a box around my neck and I fly the world's smallest kite, which you may have seen many years ago in Covent Garden where I used to often visit, and I walk around the town wherever I can get a wind and I am kind of moved by the wind, so it affects where I can be, and I sell this product. Sorry, I have lost my train of thought.

499. You were telling us, if I could remind you, just how it is that you made contact with the licensing office.

(Mr Alexander Campbell-Lloyd) That is right, yes, so I was on the phone to him and he explained to me, "You understand we are a beach-side resort?", and I said yes, and his words to me were that he could think of no better product to have on the seafront and he could imagine that many people would be delighted to have a kite - it is called the world's smallest kite - and would gain enjoyment from that. Just for the record, it is also a CE-stamped product, so it has gone through the testing and also has all of the age groups that the product is allowed to be used for, so the product packaging that I use is the same as you will find in a shop. I got nothing but endorsement to work in Bournemouth, as I do, as a pedlar, but it was also said that there would be no economic change in terms of the fact that at the moment I pay 12.25 a year for my pedlar's licence and it was said by the Council member that I spoke to that day that they were not interested in making money from me, they were interested in controlling any illegal street traders, for example, these people that have these large stands. It means that I am kind of at the mercy of every council in the country and, in my experience, when this Bill has been passed, there has been very little mercy in regards to how they see me and I am then removed if the Bill goes through, as I was in Westminster.

500. Would you consider that the Bill is really just a blanket policy to get rid of all traders, except those that the Council approves?

(Mr Alexander Campbell-Lloyd) Absolutely, yes.

501. I believe you have also petitioned the Prime Minister's Number 10 petition site with a separate petition, and it is in the bundle here, "We, the undersigned", and I shall refer to it as it will come up again later and I will refer to it so that we are clear on what it says. It says in this petition which anyone can make about any subject they wish, and it does go through scrutiny, but it says, "We, the undersigned, petition the Prime Minister to scrap the Bournemouth Borough Council and Manchester City Council Bills because they will harm genuine pedlars. The idea of stopping genuine pedlars trading on the streets is wrong. The Pedlars Acts are our cultural inheritance and should be protected. I enjoy the cultural diversity in our community. Like musicians, pedlars bring something different and entertaining to the streets. The Bills are unfair. Please, Prime Minister, forget about harming this pedlar by back-door legislation and concentrate on keeping our streets cultured, dynamic and alive and endorse this pedlar's activities". Then there is a slot for people whom you have met to give you that endorsement. Have you had any endorsement?

(Mr Alexander Campbell-Lloyd) Yes, I have had, I think, about 23 people, of their own accord, sign the petition. It was all around the time when everybody was signing up about the new petrol regulations coming in and I remember hearing about this, so I thought I should put one on the website as well.

502. MR CAMPBELL-LLOYD: Thank you, my Lords. I have no further questions.

503. CHAIRMAN: Thank you very much. Mr Clarkson?

 

Cross-examined by MR CLARKSON

504. MR CLARKSON: Can I get it clear for the Committee, Mr Campbell-Lloyd, that the pictures in Bournemouth that we have looked at, do you accept that those are presenting a problem?

(Mr Alexander Campbell-Lloyd) I accept they are presenting a problem, but I believe there are powers at hand to deal with the problem.

505. Do you accept that those people there shown are probably trading with pedlar's certificates?

(Mr Alexander Campbell-Lloyd) It is possible.

506. And what you say is that Bournemouth must prosecute these people? Is that it?

(Mr Alexander Campbell-Lloyd) Yes, if they are not acting as a pedlar and they are showing a pedlar's identification, they should be removed.

507. Have you ever been prosecuted, other than at Covent Garden which I will come to, for acting as a street trader on a pedlar's certificate?

(Mr Alexander Campbell-Lloyd) No.

508. Do you know people who have?

(Mr Alexander Campbell-Lloyd) Yes.

509. Do you know people who have been acquitted?

(Mr Alexander Campbell-Lloyd) I am not sure, sorry. I have been in and out of courts and I have been helping other people on these journeys quite often.

510. It is notoriously difficult, is it not, to police this issue? Do you agree?

(Mr Alexander Campbell-Lloyd) No, I feel that if it was me in the position of the Council, I could prosecute everybody. I think it is actually a very simple matter.

511. You would prosecute everybody, would you?

(Mr Alexander Campbell-Lloyd) Everybody that was acting as a street trader with a pedlar's licence, that is, they are acting illegally with a pedlar's licence. I think it is a simple process.

512. What about the point that has been made on your behalf this morning in cross-examination of Mr Smith, that when we see the times of observation on those 60-odd sheets, we do not know what was happening in between times. What about that? That sets up a defence, does it not?

(Mr Alexander Campbell-Lloyd) Yes, the thing is that on numerous occasion, for instance, in Oxford I know of people who had been communicating with the Council which had been offering them the opportunity to apply for their street trader's pitch that they allow, specifically the Street Corner's Market where they have one pitch, it is a very popular pitch and everybody would like to have a go at working it, they offer people the chance to use that pitch. Often in the same conversation they talk about how they have CCTV footage of them operating, and that footage is extensive, so if the councils really wish to do that, in my understanding and from my time on the street, the CCTV footage is real time and the cameras actually move. They follow street traders on the pitch, so these periods that are strictly put at the back of a 68-document bundle given today could be filled in with CCTV footage, if necessary.

513. MR CLARKSON: What do you know about the closed-circuit television regime in Bournemouth?

(Mr Alexander Campbell-Lloyd) I know that it is highly sophisticated because I have had experience with pedlars in the area that have spoken of how extensive it is.

514. How do you mean?

(Mr Alexander Campbell-Lloyd) But personally myself, I could not tell you that there is one on every --- some of them are quite well covered.

515. What pedlars do you know who have been prosecuted successfully in Bournemouth?

(Mr Alexander Campbell-Lloyd) I cannot think of one at the moment.

516. How often do you trade in Bournemouth?

(Mr Alexander Campbell-Lloyd) I trade in Bournemouth year to year maybe two or three times, not very often. The reason I am here today against the Bournemouth Bill is that it is part of the domino effect that is affecting the rest of the country. I have a legal right to work in Bournemouth. Whether I work there once or twice a year does not really matter.

517. How long for?

(Mr Alexander Campbell-Lloyd) What, sorry?

518. How long for do you trade two or three times a year?

(Mr Alexander Campbell-Lloyd) When I go through Bournemouth?

519. Yes.

(Mr Alexander Campbell-Lloyd) It depends on the weather and the day. If it is a good day I might be able to spend three or four hours passing through Bournemouth. It is quite an extensive area.

520. So we are talking nine hours a year trading in Bournemouth? Is that right?

(Mr Alexander Campbell-Lloyd) Sometimes, yes.

521. And that is the basis of your petition, is it?

(Mr Alexander Campbell-Lloyd) What?

522. Nine hours a year trading in Bournemouth.

(Mr Alexander Campbell-Lloyd) No, I think you are misunderstanding what I am saying. This is part of a domino effect that is affecting most of the country. If I can show that the Bournemouth Bill is preventing me from working elsewhere in the country then maybe I will have a chance at surviving as a pedlar in the country.

523. But looking at the narrow issue and not at the domino issue, you as a Petitioner here, if the Committee were to find against you, would suffer to the extent, would you, of nine hours a year?

(Mr Alexander Campbell-Lloyd) That is possible.

524. And you tell us in chief that you will not be allowed to work as a pedlar in the United Kingdom. That is just not right, is it?

(Mr Alexander Campbell-Lloyd) I certainly will not be able to work in Bournemouth.

525. We will come to that. That is your perception, is it?

(Mr Alexander Campbell-Lloyd) No, it is actually a fact. If this Bill goes through I believe it is exactly the same as the City of Westminster Act. I know first-hand that I can no longer work in the City of Westminster and you will not find a pedlar that does.

526. And that is what? Ten or fewer towns, cities, in the country? You will be able to practise elsewhere, will you not?

(Mr Alexander Campbell-Lloyd) I think the point has already been made today that as one place closes down the neighbouring place then becomes the place where every pedlar in the country goes to. One assumes one of the main problems that is occurring in somewhere like Bournemouth is that, as everywhere else in the country closes down, people are forced to go to places like Bournemouth; hence you have such a large number of people who are now working there. All of London is within reach of Bournemouth in a day's travel so all the pedlars that used to work within the City of Westminster are now within easy reach of Bournemouth, so you in a sense you are suffering the effect of this legislation.

527. That may or may not be right; I do not know, but what you are identifying is that those people that have been identified recently, and confirmed by the first witness, in Bournemouth are recent visitors from elsewhere, are they? Is that the picture, because they have been barred elsewhere?

(Mr Alexander Campbell-Lloyd) Sorry; I do not quite understand the question.

528. You are identifying an influx, is that right, from your own experience?

(Mr Alexander Campbell-Lloyd) Yes. Most of the venues that I now travel to are much busier than they were in the past. You have to remember the City of Westminster is quite a large area. Quite a lot of pedlars depended upon the area for their income. They live in London. They now can no longer work in London. Where do they go? Bournemouth has not yet passed this Bill. They go to Bournemouth. Oxford has not yet passed the Bill. They go to Oxford. I know for a fact that Oxford is watching very closely what goes on here today and I have been told that if this is a success for you guys then Oxford will follow suit.

529. When it comes to Bournemouth, we have identified on plan 1 the Miscellaneous Provisions streets. You appreciate that, do you not?

(Mr Alexander Campbell-Lloyd) There is a small contention in my mind about the streets. If I may look at the map, there is a street which was misplaced on the map. It was the Commercial Road, which is actually the street above, and we all pointed that out earlier. That particular road is open to pedlars and I have worked that street.

530. You are saying that is a consent street. I am not going to argue that for the moment.

(Mr Alexander Campbell-Lloyd) As I have said to you, I have never had a problem with the Council and they have endorsed me working on that street.

531. In future in greater Bournemouth, outwith the areas of prohibited streets and consent streets, a pedlar can operate; correct?

(Mr Alexander Campbell-Lloyd) I assume it is at the mercy of the Council. If they decide that they would like me to work that area then I could, but let me make it very clear that a pedlar is not somebody who goes door to door.

532. No; in greater Bournemouth outwith the area of prohibited, licensed and consent streets a pedlar can operate as before. Do you agree?

(Mr Alexander Campbell-Lloyd) No, I do not, because a pedlar does not go door to door. You will not find a pedlar in the country going door to door, so you will not find a pedlar operating within Bournemouth. Bournemouth might wish to have pedlars go to Bournemouth and go and knock on the doors of all the residents in Bournemouth procuring their wares, but it will not happen and it does not happen anywhere in the country.

533. Let us take it in stages. There are areas of Bournemouth under the Miscellaneous Provisions Act that are controlled for street trading; all right?

(Mr Alexander Campbell-Lloyd) They have certain areas they allow their street traders to go to that they license, yes, correct.

534. And the remainder are uncontrolled; all right?

(Mr Alexander Campbell-Lloyd) Yes, okay, where they allow people to go freely.

535. In those remaining areas a pedlar can operate under the 1871 Act as currently?

(Mr Alexander Campbell-Lloyd) Yes, but you are missing the point here, which is very clear. I do not need a Pedlars Act licence to go to those doors or those boroughs. Nobody is ever going to ask me for my licence. Even if I was asked for a licence of any type I would not need to show one, so do you see what you are doing?

536. Let us take it in stages, Mr Campbell-Lloyd. Outside those areas that are Miscellaneous Provisions Act areas a pedlar can operate unconstrained - not door to door, unconstrained. Do you appreciate that?

(Mr Alexander Campbell-Lloyd) I see where you are wanting to go with this. It is a little bit of a trap I feel like you are trying to set for me here. If I accept that I can go to all the houses in Bournemouth outside of the consent areas I am fine and you see me acting properly as a pedlar.

537. MR CLARKSON: Not houses. This is a fundamental misunderstanding.

538. MR CAMPBELL-LLOYD: I am sorry, my Lord. I would just like to interrupt that I believe he is being tested on the street trading legislation and I fear that he is out of his depth.

539. MR CLARKSON: This is fundamental because the unfortunate witness has been apparently misled. I want to make it absolutely clear to him that outside the Miscellaneous Provisions Act areas a pedlar will operate exactly as he is doing now. Did you understand that?

(Mr Alexander Campbell-Lloyd) It is like telling a fisherman he can act in the desert. He is not going to catch any fish in the desert.

540. Within the Miscellaneous Provisions Act area he can act door to door. That is the restraint; you appreciate that, do you?

(Mr Alexander Campbell-Lloyd) I understand Bournemouth would like me to go door to door outside of the prohibited area and the consented streets.

541. No. You have been misled. Within the consented area and the prohibited streets under the Miscellaneous Provisions Act you can operate as a pedlar door to door.

(Mr Alexander Campbell-Lloyd) Are we talking about now or -----

542. Once the Bill passes into law. After it passes into law also outside the area you can continue to act unconstrained as you can elsewhere all over the country save for the other ones that have Acts of Parliament. Do you understand that?

(Mr Alexander Campbell-Lloyd) In my experience when I have worked in these areas like Covent Garden I have been then stopped from working door to door.

543. We will just touch on that. You see, you tell us, do you not, that you have been prosecuted and you appealed?

(Mr Alexander Campbell-Lloyd) I asked for the right to appeal and I was told that it was frivolous.

544. So you failed to get an appeal off the ground and you were rejected in the magistrates' court. Is that right?

(Mr Alexander Campbell-Lloyd) If I could ask --- (to Mr Robert Campbell-Lloyd) Is that correct?

545. MR CAMPBELL-LLOYD: I think it is.

(Mr Alexander Campbell-Lloyd) I am not familiar with the court terms, so yes, that is correct.

546. MR CLARKSON: Tell us about your pedlar's certificate process. Where do you live?

(Mr Alexander Campbell-Lloyd) I live in East Sussex.

547. Where did you get your certificate from?

(Mr Alexander Campbell-Lloyd) From Crawley.

548. And is it an annual certificate?

(Mr Alexander Campbell-Lloyd) Yes.

549. Did you tell them that you had been prosecuted?

(Mr Alexander Campbell-Lloyd) No. It was never asked of me.

550. MR CLARKSON: And that is the picture, is it not, with a pedlar's certificate, that a pedlar can get his certificate even if he has a history of offending the pedlars legislation?

551. MR CAMPBELL-LLOYD: He was not offending the pedlars legislation.

552. MR CLARKSON: Let the witness answer, would you?

(Mr Alexander Campbell-Lloyd) Would you just rephrase the question for me please? Just repeat it. I missed it.

553. MR CLARKSON: We got rudely interrupted.

554. MR CAMPBELL-LLOYD: I beg your pardon.

555. MR CLARKSON: That is the point about a pedlar's certificate, that that does not pick up, does it, the issue of whether somebody has been prosecuted?

(Mr Alexander Campbell-Lloyd) No.

556. Do you think it would be relevant?

(Mr Alexander Campbell-Lloyd) Possibly, depending on the circumstances. Yes, I think they should look at it.

557. Do you accept that there are circumstances where it is sensible to avoid having too many people trading with too much clutter and obstruction?

(Mr Alexander Campbell-Lloyd) I think the point was made earlier quite clearly that those that are causing the obstruction are using very large means to procure their sales and they are not actually pedlars. I am a pedlar. I am being confused with people that are not pedlars.

558. What is it that you sell, remind us?

(Mr Alexander Campbell-Lloyd) It is called the World's Smallest Kite and it is a small tissue-paper product. Just for the record, I do have public liability insurance.

559. And that is quite a substantial business that is franchised out, is it not?

(Mr Alexander Campbell-Lloyd) No, there is no franchise.

560. How does it work? It is an Irish company, is it not, that makes them?

(Mr Alexander Campbell-Lloyd) Yes, there is my supply through Ireland. I am also part of the manufacturing of the product.

561. I beg your pardon?

(Mr Alexander Campbell-Lloyd) My father and myself have made the products and other people buy the parts and also make the kites themselves for sale on the street.

562. What is the name of the company?

(Mr Alexander Campbell-Lloyd) It is called the World's smallest Kite.

563. MR CLARKSON: Marketed by whom?

564. MR CAMPBELL-LLOYD: It is called WsK.

(Mr Alexander Campbell-Lloyd) Yes. WsK stands for the World's smallest Kite.

565. MR CLARKSON: Is it marketed by the kite company?

(Mr Alexander Campbell-Lloyd) Kitecompany.com is the web name.

566. Let us circulate about it. (Document handed) This is what you and your father run, is it?

(Mr Alexander Campbell-Lloyd) Since working as a pedlar and selling the product I have also given other people a chance to work with the same product, yes.

567. MR CLARKSON: Just so the Committee get the feel of this, you have got the details of it here.

568. MR CAMPBELL-LLOYD: Sorry; was that a question?

569. MR CLARKSON: Have you got details of it here?

(Mr Alexander Campbell-Lloyd) The website?

570. Yes. We will give you a copy. Do you have a copy? (Same handed to witness)

(Mr Alexander Campbell-Lloyd) Yes, I do now.

571. CHAIRMAN: Have you got a copy, Mr Campbell-Lloyd?

572. MR CAMPBELL-LLOYD: No. (Same handed to Mr Campbell-Lloyd)

573. MR CLARKSON: We can just flick through it and see what it is. One of the rather attractive aspects of it is that there are photographs of it being flown all over the world, are there not?

(Mr Alexander Campbell-Lloyd) Yes. We invite people to send pictures of themselves flying the kites.

574. And it is an Irish company, Branchfield House, Ballymore, County Sligo, Ireland. Is that the head office of you and your father?

(Mr Alexander Campbell-Lloyd) Yes, based as an online company.

575. MR CLARKSON: Go, would you, to 12 pages in to the back.

576. CHAIRMAN: It has got six images on it, has it?

577. MR CLARKSON: No, my Lord. It is headed "Vendors, Street Sellers and Pedlars of the World's Smallest Kite". This is the point of the question, that it is directed specifically ---

578. MR CAMPBELL-LLOYD: It does have six pictures.

579. MR CLARKSON: No; it is the page before. It is "vendors, street sellers & pedlars of WORLD Smallest KITE", and it is the pedlar's part that is the whole point of this question. "Managers of international outdoor festivals, kite festivals and air tattoos know the virtue of good fringe entertainment - it draws the crowd, provides a spectacle with colourful dynamic". Is that how you present the product of peddling, that you draw a crowd?

(Mr Alexander Campbell-Lloyd) When I am in a festival ground, correct.

580. But generally?

(Mr Alexander Campbell-Lloyd) Not essentially, no. As I walk through the street and my product is flying, I will then pick out people that I approach to sell the kite to.

581. What it does is that it does create a crowd, does it not, understandably?

(Mr Alexander Campbell-Lloyd) Yes, sure. People stop and look.

582. "The WORLD smallest KITE will enchant visitors to London Eye", etc. "Perhaps you've seen the kiteman at Venice Beach, Sydney Harbour, Covent Garden - if you would like to become an entrepreneur, get set up with a display box of kites ready to make your fortune", so what you and your father are doing is saying, "Here is a way of doing it", is that right?

(Mr Alexander Campbell-Lloyd) Yes, we are giving people the opportunity to become pedlars.

583. But listen to how it is done. "WORLD smallest KITE is probably the best-selling product at any event - it's just such good simple fun that everybody wants to join in. Open your box of kites, enjoy the flying and just see what happens .....make cash while you have fun. And remember in Britain a bona fide pedlar has his trading rights protected under the 1871 Pedlars Act - this means that he can legitimately trade anywhere in Britain. A pedlar's certificate costs 12.50 at any police station". Correct? That is what it says, is it not?

(Mr Alexander Campbell-Lloyd) Yes, correct.

584. So the whole approach of your web business, am I right, is to take advantage of - and there is no criticism of this; it is a description - the pedlar's certificate?

(Mr Alexander Campbell-Lloyd) Correct, yes.

585. Which draws a crowd?

(Mr Alexander Campbell-Lloyd) Sorry, is that a question?

586. Yes.

(Mr Alexander Campbell-Lloyd) Yes, people come and have a look.

587. Should it be uncontrolled, do you think?

(Mr Alexander Campbell-Lloyd) It is not uncontrolled.

588. How is it controlled?

(Mr Alexander Campbell-Lloyd) If the trading regulations have a problem with me they can approach me. As you can see, I am quite easy to find.

589. How is it controlled if it draws a crowd?

(Mr Alexander Campbell-Lloyd) I do not understand what you mean.

590. If there is a crowd and there is a problem of too many people how is it controlled?

(Mr Alexander Campbell-Lloyd) The crowd?

591. Yes, or the pedlar.

(Mr Alexander Campbell-Lloyd) I do not really know how to answer the question. If the local police have a problem with me trading in one spot because traffic is trying to get through or so such, I am on two feet and as mobile as a pedestrian, so I am easy enough to move.

592. Is there any constraint as to the number of people that could draw a crowd?

(Mr Alexander Campbell-Lloyd) No. You would be lucky to draw as many as --- if you have somebody doing a juggling act on the side of the street they attract a very large crowd compared to what I draw. If I could attract that kind of crowd -----

593. So in central Bournemouth on a very busy occasion you are saying, are you not, that there should be no restraint whatsoever to the number of pedlars operating?

(Mr Alexander Campbell-Lloyd) Of legitimate bona fide pedlars, no.

594. Any other restraint would have to be enforced if you can catch the people who are acting as unlawful street traders, correct?

(Mr Alexander Campbell-Lloyd) If they are unlawful street traders, then it is up to the council to decide how they deal with that.

595. Thank you, my Lord.

596. CHAIRMAN: Thank you very much indeed. Mr Robert Campbell-Lloyd has the opportunity to re-examine.

Re-examined by MR ROBERT CAMPBELL-LLYOD

597. MR CAMPBELL-LLOYD: Mr Campbell-Lloyd, are you employed by a company by the name of WsK?

(Mr Alexander Campbell-Lloyd) No.

598. But you are familiar through your family contact as to what that company does?

(Mr Alexander Campbell-Lloyd) Correct.

599. The name 'kitecompany.com' is a marketing concept and it is published on the World Wide Web?

(Mr Alexander Campbell-Lloyd) Correct.

600. So what we have before us here is a marketing document, would you agree?

(Mr Alexander Campbell-Lloyd) Correct, yes.

601. And it goes into how wonderful the product is, how easy it is to use, where you can use it and what requirements there are?

(Mr Alexander Campbell-Lloyd) Yes. It was our intention to draw people to buy the product.

602. Is it a misleading document?

(Mr Alexander Campbell-Lloyd) Not at all. I believe we have stated what the Act is that you can work under and we provide as much as we can to help people act as legitimate pedlars.

603. Do you think it is the primary objective of this document to go out and try to find hundreds, maybe tens of thousands people to go on to the street or perhaps the alternative, just an element of the marketing of a good idea?

(Mr Alexander Campbell-Lloyd) For instance, if we have somebody that I know who is buying kites from us in Bournemouth and lives in the said area or goes to one area more than any other area and another person comes through to us, I know we ask them questions, what towns they specifically go to and we would ask that they were in touch with the person that we know is already working in the area and in that way we avoid anybody doubling up. The idea that you would have 50 kite sellers in Bournemouth would never happen because we would not supply to all those individuals, unless they were going to their own venues.

604. Say, you did have ten people doing what you do side by side in the street, would that work for you?

(Mr Alexander Campbell-Lloyd) Selling the same product?

605. Yes.

(Mr Alexander Campbell-Lloyd) No.

606. Thank you. When you go on the street, you said that you note that some people like jugglers who draw quite a large crowd, but in drawing that large crowd, have you ever seen the problem of an obstruction caused by such people?

(Mr Alexander Campbell-Lloyd) Some acts do draw some very, very large crowds and at those times I know that they have been asked to stop and the crowd has been removed and it has alleviated the pressure on the street. It is dealt with effectively when there is a problem.

607. Is there anyone in particular that you recall who has an act like that which draws a huge crowd and is moved on?

(Mr Alexander Campbell-Lloyd) Yes, a friend of mine does a puppeteer act; he is quite an amazing puppeteer and draws very large crowds. Even in a square he can be known to almost close a square down. He is a wonderful act and, yes, he keeps his acts very short so the crowd cannot build to such an extent. If you are drawing a big crowd, you have to be sensitive to the fact that you are getting a big crowd and nobody is more sensitive to that than you, the person acting as either a pedlar or an entertainer. Unfortunately I do not draw such a large crowd.

608. When it is suggested that you do draw large crowds, and I think this is in the negative sense, just to clarify that, how many people around you perhaps at any one time would you draw in comparison to the person you identify as the puppeteer?

(Mr Alexander Campbell-Lloyd) I can serve three people at once, one in the front and one from each side. Unfortunately people do have to wait and street sales are very impulse buys, people buy in a split second. If people are coming towards you and they have to wait, they will generally just move on and they might try and catch you later on. It is often said, "Oh, we saw you". Every pedlar here today could say they have had the customer who has seen them in, for example, Bath and has seen them two years later in Bournemouth and says, "Never saw you again, should have got you then. We've been looking for you for years". I think every pedlar would have that experience. It is purely because they cannot get to you, there have been three or more people at your box and they have not been able to get to you.

609. The idea of drawing a large crowd is nonsense?

(Mr Alexander Campbell-Lloyd) It does not happen very often, no. As I say, it would never be with more than five or six people.

610. Is your big box large enough to have more than maybe half a dozen people around you?

(Mr Alexander Campbell-Lloyd) No.

611. Would it not block what it is that the person inside that area was doing?

(Mr Alexander Campbell-Lloyd) Yes, pretty much. People see the kite so they might stop from some way off and point to it, but directly around me, no, it is a handful of people.

612. The other aspect of this organisation which runs under the name of WsK is a rather large marketing aspect to do with creating personalised promotions for organisations. Are you privy to that activity as a company?

(Mr Alexander Campbell-Lloyd) Yes.

613. Would you consider that is a major part of the activity of that company?

(Mr Alexander Campbell-Lloyd) Yes.

614. So really peddling, sponsorship of peddling and the aspect that is referred to here under vendors is a minimal part of the activities of that organisation?

(Mr Alexander Campbell-Lloyd) Yes, and I think it is a very sad thing that that is a very minimal part. I would often have liked to have seen it growing up as a kid and for my benefit financially, but it is also because it is a great product. I know people get enjoyment out of it. Because I know of what is going on throughout the country, I know that if these Bills go through, selling kites on the street will cease, period.

615. Would that affect WsK very much?

(Mr Alexander Campbell-Lloyd) Very little.

616. I think I have no further questions. Thank you very much.

617. CHAIRMAN: Thank you very much, Mr Campbell-Lloyd. I now turn to my colleagues on the Committee as they may have some questions.

 

Examined by THE COMMITTEE

618. LORD BOYD OF DUNCANSBY: Mr Campbell-Lloyd, you have been forthright in saying that pedlars never go from house to house and I can accept that you perhaps never do that, but is it right that a pedlar would never go from house to house?

(Mr Alexander Campbell-Lloyd) I have yet to meet one. I would actually contend that there is not one because they do not need to. I can take a bunch of roses and knock on your door tonight and you could phone the police and threaten me as I would be in violation of the law for not having a pedlar's licence.

619. But you say you would not need a licence to go from house to house?

(Mr Alexander Campbell-Lloyd) Yes, I worked for an organisation in London, as I said before, and I assume they know the rules very well, they are a big, multi-million dollar organisation and I know that nobody within the organisation, and there must be 10,000-odd people that work for that organisation in the United Kingdom, not one of them has a pedlar's licence and they work ten hours a day, seven days a week knocking on doors.

620. CHAIRMAN: Mr Alexander Campbell-Lloyd, may I, through you, thank all the witnesses who have appeared here this afternoon for the Bournemouth case. I say that because I am conscious of what you said about the difficulty of appearing in your Lordships' House and we do understand that, so thank you very much.

 

The witness withdrew

621. CHAIRMAN: Now, I am going to invite Mr Robert Campbell-Lloyd to give his final address to us.

622. MR CAMPBELL-LLOYD: Before I begin, my Lord, I would like to circulate my bundle of exhibits. (Same handed).

623. CHAIRMAN: Before you start, I would just like to make mention of the time. We can go to six o'clock, but I certainly would like to finish earlier, if possible. You have indeed tabled a handsome array of documents here, but could I remind you that if you introduce fresh evidence or fresh material, then I will indeed invite Mr Clarkson to comment, so I hope that you can bear that in mind, but in no way do I want to circumscribe what you want to say in your final summation to the Committee.

624. MR CAMPBELL-LLOYD: In advance, I will perhaps contend that there is not much possibility of my meeting any schedule and six o'clock will, I think, be long gone by the time I reach the conclusion, so it appears at this stage that I will run over.

625. CHAIRMAN: I think, Mr Campbell-Lloyd, that we will carry on, and I am looking at my colleagues to see if there is any dissent. What I would say to you is that you have been very plain in giving us an indication that you have a fairly lengthy final speech, but I hope you appreciate and understand that, whilst not wanting to curtail it in any way, the impact that you will have on the Committee perhaps will be reduced if it goes into a second day a week from now and you may just like to bear that in mind. Is that helpful to you?

626. MR CAMPBELL-LLOYD: I do not quite understand. Would it have a negative impact if it was to go into a second day? I wish that not to be the case.

627. CHAIRMAN: No, it certainly would not, but for your own purposes I am sure you have in your own mind what you want to impart to the Committee and to say it as effectively as possible, but if you find any difficulty with that because you have indicated that we will not have finished by six o'clock, I would not want to have you feel that your speech had been separated by a whole week, but if you are happy with that, then we will go as far as we can today.

628. MR CAMPBELL-LLOYD: My Lords and Lady, I appear for the Petitioner, Mr Alexander Campbell-Lloyd who has petitioned against the Bill, and I will go straight to my first point. By the Promoters' own admission, their presentation today gives us little in form and content to similar presentations made since the first Bill, which was the City of Westminster Bill enacted in 1999, and I refer in particular to those references: the City of Newcastle-upon-Tyne; the Royal Parks; the London Local Authority; Medway City Council; Leicester, Liverpool and Maidstone; and the Northern Ireland Assembly. These were Acts running from 2000 through to 2006. The evidence called and the arguments given are in a general sense identical and there is, I contend, perhaps an undeserved reliance on previous evidence in the presentation you have heard today.

629. With your permission, the first part of my presentation will consist of a rebuttal of what I consider to be unreliable evidence and argument presented today and previously in this House and the other. I will then move on to the second part of my presentation by elaborating in some detail on the Petition against the Bill. The third part of my presentation will conclude the presentation with proposed amendments to the Bill which, I contend and you may consider, offer a more reasonable solution to the alleged problems that have brought this Bill before the House.

630. I am fully aware of the significance that a ruling in a Petitioner's favour may have on previous legislation and it is with the gravest concern that I mention this at the outset by referring in particular to the effect that striking clause 5 of the Bill would have in post-legislative scrutiny of previous Bills.

631. It is the Petitioner's contention that he, while acting as a pedlar, causes no harm or problem and, in a more general sense, no genuine pedlar causes harm or problem. I contend that the following examination of evidence can reveal that it is those street traders, other than genuine pedlars, that are the cause of all alleged problems referred to throughout the last decade of evidence before the many select committees. I have taken notes of today's presentation and as a guiding document I would like to refer to the first exhibit, which you will find towards the top of the exhibits at Bundle A (there are two bundles - B the smaller, and A the larger), at tab 21. This is the bottom bundle for tab 21. These are the minutes of evidence to the Select Committee from the Leicester, Liverpool and Maidstone Bills in July 2006. This is tab 21; it has a blue tag with very small writing on it, and the number in the top right-hand corner is 21.0 in a circle. These are the most recent corrected minutes and the most thorough. I shall take particular items in turn according to the numerical sequence. You may not need to open your copy as I will read some of them in turn, but you are more than welcome to follow it verbatim.

632. I would like to flip the page and start with 21.1 in the top right-hand corner, item number 8. Mr Clarkson, in his presentation, says: "May I introduce the issues that we lay before you. None of the councils seeks powers that Parliament has not looked at before and approved, but each council wants the same powers applied to their areas as well."

633. I contend, my Lords, that Parliament has not approved what has gone before in the sense of an unbiased and thorough examination by all the parties affected. Approval was achieved by default, as the Select Committee heard no evidence from genuine pedlars. The case for genuine pedlars was not heard. Those that were to appear as Petitioners against Leicester, Liverpool and Maidstone either withdrew or were unlicensed street traders. In the other House (Exhibit 19 in the House of Commons Select Committee) the Bills were unopposed. Would it not be fair to say then that the Committee has heard from an unlevel playing field?

634. In item 9, 21(1), the Promoters go on to say: "The issue is pedlars acting not as pedlars but as street traders. Those councils want the same control that has been granted by Parliament to London, Newcastle" (and various others) "and indeed the Northern Ireland Assembly has picked up the point in Northern Ireland." Is it accurate to state that the issue is pedlars not acting as pedlars? In reality, if a pedlar is not acting as a pedlar then he is something other than a pedlar. Is such a statement possibly misleading, because the very naming of pedlars in association with problems may lead one to believe that they are one and the same thing. Is it not like saying criminals acting not as criminals; enemies not as enemies; pedestrians not acting as pedestrians; people not acting as people? Is such an expression just a nonsense and confusing? Perhaps what is really meant is somebody not acting as they should. Or could it be more accurately stated in this case, street traders acting as licensed street traders? I hope to show that this is the real situation that has brought the Bill before you.

635. The most important question is: do genuine pedlars have any connection whatsoever to the alleged problems presented here and before as evidence? Are the particular council issues to do with other than pedlars? Does the Bill fail to differentiate these from genuine pedlars, namely pedlars in connection with problems can cause discrimination and harm?

636. I go down to point number 10. The second element of this paragraph is: "The essence of a pedlar is that he is itinerant, and I will come to the statutory definition of that in due course. In contrast, a street trader has a set pitch and does not move about. Straight away the Committee can understand, given that a street trader's licence is more expensive, that there are advantages in having the device of a pedlar's certificate to trade in the street."

637. My Lords, the device of a pedlar's certificate stands in law, as does the device of a street trader's licence. Each has advantage but they are different devices. We have here an important differentiation noted in evidence between a genuine pedlar and a street trader: one moves about and the other does not. Is it valid to urge the Committee's understanding that this is why pedlars pay less for a licence - in this case a certificate? I shall go into the maths at a later stage in my presentation, but for now it can be said that the Petitioner does not seek, nor does he recognise, any benefit in having a street trading licence, and, on the contrary, would see such a licence as restrictive and unworkable for the reasons that the evidence itself has recognised - that a pedlar is itinerant. Would he be required to obtain a trading licence in each and every town and city that he works? Do all councils in Britain offer street trading licences? I think not.

638. Under the street trading regulation, Clause 3 (and I will quickly flick through to exhibit 3 at the back of the pile), under the 1982 Local Government (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act, at 3.2, you have particular restrictions: "The following are not street trading for the purposes of this Schedule." 2(b) The days and times he works are restricted. I beg your pardon, I have found an error. It is Exhibit 3.4, Clause 3 (I think I mentioned Clause 2), concerning street trading licences. Sub-clause 2 is there, where we have (a), (b), (c) and (d). 2(b) indicates the restriction where the days and times he works are restricted. Under 2(c) the particular goods that he may sell are restricted. If you go on further, over the page, 6(a), space on the street is restricted - not sufficient space. This is seen as a restriction. He cannot work too few days than the minimum number. (This is in (e).)

639. So we have heard that street trading licences cost thousands of pounds. What we have not heard is how a pedlar-turned-street-trader could afford several of these, even if he wished to. It is a concept unrealistic and unworkable. I think the maths will help to inform opinion, and I will come to that in just a minute. For an itinerant pedlar to be confined to one local street trading pitch is, I contend, a strait jacket which he may not willingly choose to wear. Is this the intention of the Bill? If so, cultural identity will vanish.

640. If I can take you back to Exhibit 21, this is our document which enables us to follow the train of thinking that has been put forward in evidence. Item 11 on page 21.1 begins: "A pedlar is an historical creature, probably medieval and before, obviously where people travelled the country carrying their wares going from place to place on foot and selling their goods as they went. It is a concept that is not easily grasped in 2006, whereas I suspect we would have all grasped it very easily in 1871. The statutory definition of it is useful ..." and we will go on to that later.

641. My Lords, a pedlar is an historical creature, as are Lords and Ladies of this House in the same regard. Nonetheless, the legitimacy of the pedlar should not be denigrated through association with "old-fashioned", "out-of-touch with modern reality", or an anachronism - expressions all too commonly used in evidence that, I contend, with derogatory purpose.

642. For the Petitioner, the Pedlars Act is as valid today as when first enacted. You have heard today from some living and breathing examples of pedlars who have shown how the concept works, why they believe the concept causes no harm, and how a member of the public feels that they add a cultural diversity to the towns they visit. Affirmation has also been given on record, and I refer to Hansard, House of Commons, by the Secretary of State for the Home Department, Mr George Howarth and later by Mr Christopher Chope. I will not go into those unless it is requested, but they are exhibit 7 and exhibit 28 of the bundle. It is simply an affirmation of the activities. Shall I go into those in slightly more detail?

643. CHAIRMAN: I think we can come back to those if they are relevant.

644. MR CAMPBELL-LLOYD: If we go now to the bottom of page 21.1, we come to item 15: "A street is any road, footway, beach or other area which the public have access to without payment. Street trading means, 'subject to paragraph 2 below, selling or exposing or offering for sale any article including a living thing in the street'. Here is the whole point of us being here today, what is excluded by sub-paragraph (2). The following are not street trading for the purpose of this schedule: '2(a) trading by a person acting as a pedlar under the authority of a Pedlar's certificate granted under the Pedlars Act 1871'".

645. My Lords, is not the whole point of us being here today to grasp and comprehend the whole of the legislation concerning pedlars and so to enable a full comprehension as a direct effect that this Bill may have upon the innocent and the genuine? Should we be concerned in the same way as with other types of street traders, including licensed, unlicensed, illegal, illicit, rogues, vagabonds? Are they genuine pedlars? In a word, no, they are not pedlars. Are we really here to consider this Bill in the light of the problems caused by vagrants who, I contend, clearly fall foul of existing legislation? The Council has adopted the Pedlars Act and the Local Authority (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act of 1982, which I note are laws enacted by Parliament. Is it that the Council is now unhappy that it has adopted this legislation?

646. How should it bring about change? Should it be by introducing new legislation or should the primary legislation be amended? The Council has chosen to bring in new legislation in the form of a Private Bill because there was no real possibility of public general legislation being promoted and this is from their own submission. Does this new legislation conflict with existing statute? The Home Office has thought so for the past decade. I think we might come to this later.

647. I will just quickly refer to number 24 in the bundle and that is the Home Office report. At the bottom of page 24.0, this is a three-page document presented in evidence in the Leicester, Liverpool and Maidstone Bills. At the bottom, the Secretary of State for the Home Department on the City of Westminster, this is dated as the 1997-1998 Session in Parliament, in the House of Lords ---

648. CHAIRMAN: You are asking us to look now at 24, are you?

649. MR CAMPBELL-LLOYD: Yes, 24.0, the right-hand corner, the contention the Home Office has thought for the last decade and recommended against ad hoc changes to pedlar's legislation. If we turn the page to 24.1, this is the summation I am referring to. Third paragraph down from the top: "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". Have pedlars been targeted as a ready-made scapegoat for all that is negative on the streets with the shrinking justification that it is expedient to do so? I trust we are here today to scrutinize the wording of the Bill and to ensure that it is both accurate in its preamble and workable in its content, all based on scrutiny of evidence.

650. If we go on to point 16, back on 21, the bottom of page 21.1, item 16, it states: "So a pedlar is currently statutorily removed from the concept of street trading. That has been found unacceptable in London and the other places I identified and they have gone through the process of achieving legislation in these terms, adding to the end of 2(a) where it says: 'Trading by a person acting as a pedlar under the authority of a pedlar's certificate granted under the Pedlars Act 1871' by adding 'If the trading is carried out by only'", and I think only in this instance was left out, "'means of visits from house to house'".

651. My Lords, pedlars, amongst several other trades, are exempt from street trading and one wonders why. Why did Parliament choose to exempt pedlars? There must have been a good reason and perhaps this good reason still exists today, regardless of the Council's like or dislike of the fact. The fact arises in law which they have adopted, not in a piecemeal fashion but in its entirety. The question is: should you, my Lords and Lady, be moved to adopt a piecemeal approach allowing parts of the law to be adopted and parts of the law not to be adopted through the introduction of a new law to get around an existing law? Would this be in the public interest? Could it be seen to serve vested interests? Could it be a dangerous precedent in encouraging individual fiefdoms within national boundaries?

652. CHAIRMAN: Mr Campbell-Lloyd, I am so sorry to interrupt you in your flow, but I do rather feel that is a question that we, as parliamentarians - certainly I have learnt a lot today and this afternoon - might want to think about and consider and press with those who bring forward the legislation, but I think it strays outside the immediate area of what is before us in terms of the Bill that is being presented and which you oppose. There may even be much that you say which causes us to think about the wider issues. I think it would serve your purpose well and Mr Alexander Campbell-Lloyd's purpose well to try and keep it to the Bill as it is and how it is operated.

653. MR CAMPBELL-LLOYD: Forgive me, my Lord, I am not really familiar with any of the procedures of Parliament, least of all in here today, so procedurally I may be covering ground that I should not be, but I felt it was necessary in the sense that what has been presented before us as evidence requires a challenge that I call 'the rebuttal'. As part of that, I see that the effects of this are so enormous and I am having to contemplate what might be the effect in the minds of those who are gathered as the Committee. Forgive me if I am stepping out of my territory, but it is a huge burden that I feel needs to be aired and if I was not aware that you had heard that plea, then this is why I have been bringing it towards you because it is a plea from the depth of my understanding of what is going on here today.

654. CHAIRMAN: I do understand that. Indeed, it has already been aired in Parliament at the other end, but, whilst I believe many of my colleagues around the table understand fully what you are saying, I think it would be useful for the purposes of what we have been asked to do if you could keep it narrower to the actual Petition, the actual presentation and promotion as is being put forward by Bournemouth.

655. MR CAMPBELL-LLOYD: Thank you. I will endeavour to do that and, please, stop me in my tracks if I vary from what you are asking me to do.

656. Further legislation has been achieved since the City of Westminster Act 1999 as a precedent, but, I contend, may be found to be quite unsound. I consider that this is the whole point and the real purpose of us being here today, that the fundamental concerns with this Bill go back to the City of Westminster Bill, both in its inception and aftermath.

657. Turning to the question of why Parliament chose to exempt pedlars is worth consideration as it may reveal the crucial difference between a pedlar and a street trader. It may also show that the Bill's blanket policy can seriously infringe the lawful rights of quite innocent bystanders.

658. I will refer now to Exhibit 6.4 and this is towards the back of the bundle. This is the case of Chichester County Council V Wood in the Queen's Bench Division, 14 March 1997. If we turn the pages to 6.4, it says: "Pedlars are fundamentally different from street traders in that they travel to trade. They go from place to place, town to town, as an itinerant. They are pedestrians. They carry their goods on foot. I submit that pedlars were exempted by Parliament because these qualities could not conform with local street trading regimes where fixed licensed pitchers are the norm". I am sorry, I will identify exactly where I am speaking from. I am on 6.4, the second paragraph at, "... the essence of the activity which is the subject of the charge in this case was that of placing a stall to which the customers were invited to come rather than from moving place to place to find customers in order to sell to them". Here we have: "From these authorities, a number of matters appear to be reasonably clear". What I did previously was I distilled those, but I will go through them individually: "(1) Each case 0depends on its own facts; (2) a pedlar goes to his customers rather than allowing them to come to him; (3) a pedlar trades as he travels rather than travels to trade; (4) a pedlar is a pedestrian; (5) if a pedlar is a seller, rather than a mender, he sells reasonably small goods; (6) he is entitled to have some small means of assisting his transport of goods, such as a trolley; (7) it is necessary to consider his whole apparatus of trading and decide if it is of such a scale to take the person concerned out of the definition of a pedlar". Perhaps I can leave it there.

659. I will submit, as I said before, that pedlars were exempted by Parliament because these qualities could not conform with local street trading regimes where fixed licensed pitchers are the norm.

660. I think it is fair to say that a pedlar's effect in the street is no different from a pedestrian or a tourist who visits the city centre. Their travel goes beyond local jurisdiction and in fact alone, which may be of some commonsense reasons as to why pedlars are exempt from local regulation by falling within national statute. In failing to differentiate genuine pedlars from innocent street traders, there is, I contend, a reliance on inference, innuendo, prejudice, anecdotal comment and sweeping statements all rolling and projected on to pedlars and so those street traders who are illicit, we have no disagreement about the problems such traders cause. Even genuine pedlars suffer from illicit street traders and they are too often targeted as one of the same.

661. Should the wording of the Bill extend the scope of protection for pedlars? Is it right and just that it actually seems to go against them? Herein, my Lords, lies the real problem and which, I contend, can be perceived to be a callous injustice of greater significance and more of the nation than just a few pedlars.

662. I am going to go back to 21, as our guiding document, and take us down to item number 17, which you will find on 21.2. It begins: "So the concept of pedlars in these areas, and now we hope in Liverpool, Leicester and Maidstone, is refined to really perhaps what a genuine pedlar may be nowadays as somebody who takes his goods from house to house. With that in mind, can I take you to the Liverpool Bill itself. I am going to cheat...", and it goes on. I will not go any further.

663. My Lords, is the ancient tradition of a pedlar to be reduced in definition to just a door-to-door salesman? Where would such a definition begin? I contend that it originated in the build-up towards the City of Westminster Bill through a clever redefining of the statutory meaning of a pedlar, all predicated upon a blatant and perhaps intentional admission of a small, but not insignificant, word, the word "or" and which occurs ten times in the text of the Act, but there is one "or" in particular that is most important. I refer you to the Pedlars Act, exhibit 1.3 at the back of the bundle, and I read this earlier today, the term "pedlar". I do not think we need to repeat this because it is probably quite familiar to you, but the essential element is that he travels and trades on foot and goes from town to town or to other men's houses. The City of Westminster has no other towns within it and so "town to town" could not be included in a revised definition. This left "to other men's houses" and the new and clever combination of words came into existence for the first time. It goes: "If the trading is carried out only by means of visits from house to house or...", and notice the word "or" which, as I said, is crucial to a trade of a pedlar and I will indicate why.

664. The words "town to town" do not mean, as precedent shows and we can lift this out of Wrexham V Roberts 1996 exhibit 5.7, that he has to go from any particular town to any other particular town. Shall we refer to this exhibit 5.7. It states here on the second line from the top, "Counsel has not submitted, as indeed on the state of the authorities he accepts he cannot, that it is necessary for a trader who relies on his Pedlar's Certificate to demonstrate that he was going somewhere in particular. He accepts that a pedlar may walk up and down a busy shopping street." Nor do the words "to other men's houses" mean that he has to go only to private dwellings. Nowadays, precedent shows, and I can refer to this also in the same section, that such words mean that a pedlar can, for example, go up and down a busy shopping street. This is what a genuine pedlar has always done since the 14th Century and perhaps before. My Lords, the Petitioner needs clarification as to whether in a magistrates' court the same existing interpretation will apply or whether a new and narrower definition will come into existence as a result of this Bill. This directly affects his trade as a pedlar.

665. If the existing interpretation applies, as with "to other men's houses", then he can go about his business as usual and not fear going on the street, but this does require clarification to assist the Petitioner should he be summoned to appear in a magistrates' court. I contend that "to other men's houses" is consistent in construction with "from house to house", each qualified by the concept of movement which is different from the concept of non-movement or fixed pitch, as with street traders. On the other hand, if the new words are to change the definition of a "pedlar" by excluding him from the street, then this raises much larger issues for the Petitioner.

666. Clause 6 of the Bill, I contend, alters the previously civil issue, where the burden of proof resided with the prosecution, into a criminal issue whereby a reverse burden occurs and a genuine pedlar, under clause 5, will be criminalised the moment he steps on to the street unless he has a street trading licence. Is it intended that the Bill effectively creates an injunction against genuine pedlars?

667. My Lords, you will be aware of the Pedlars (Street Trading Regulation) Bill, exhibit 27 in the bundle, which is currently before the Houses, and the Petitioner is concerned about nationwide criminalisation of him and other genuine pedlars in the form of the Pedlars Bill and which would surely rely on the successful assent of today's Bill. I am concerned that a pedlar, once protected by statute, may be perceived a de facto criminal under the new statute, so is it fair and reasonable to redefine "pedlar" to mean a door-to-door salesman and is this in the general interest?

668. I go back to exhibit 21, 21.2 in the top-right corner is, item 21, which says, "That is all we are seeking by way of amendment to the pedlar's definition", and that is that the trade of a pedlar is carried out only by means of visits from house to house. "Thereafter, there are a number of approaches of what to do with the goods if there is seizure. First, clause 5(1), and also I am going to summarise it briefly, if I may, 'an authorised officer may...'" and it goes on, so is it really all that is being sought? Are the resultant effects being sought? Could those effects be perceived to be to criminalise pedlars, to confuse pedlars' understanding of the law by creating an anomaly, to create privately exclusive fiefdoms throughout the United Kingdom and to get around national statutes through local legislation? Is there not much more that is being sought by the Bill? Is reviewing the "pedlar" definition the main purpose of the Bill and, if it is, then is it not more appropriately done in the Pedlars Acts? By definition, is the foundation stone for the protection of the Petitioner and other genuine pedlars?

669. I move on to item 38 which you will find at 21.4. It says here, "'The proposed power of seizure and forfeiture could deprive the Petitioner of the articles and equipment required to sustain his livelihood. The proposed power is therefore disproportionate to the proposed offence'. I have explained that that there is a process of return and a process of compensation if there is an unlawful seizure." My Lords, if this is a complete explanation, then does it remain inferred that a pedlar, through the Bill, has to bear a reverse burden? Does the explanation contemplate whether the reverse burden is even possible and how it could be achieved? Is the imposition of reverse burden a proportional response? I contend that the implications of this most relevant issue are significant, although I will address them in the second part of my presentation.

670. We go down to point 39 on the left, towards the bottom. It says here, "'There are no provisions within the Bill that specify what would constitute 'reasonable grounds' and as such there is nothing to prevent an officer or a constable exercising this power improperly. Given that a magistrates' court would have the power to order the manner in which such articles and equipment are seized, the effect upon the Petitioner may be unduly punitive and disproportionate.' We do not think that is right..." Is it sufficient as evidence simply to disagree? I think not.

671. We go down further to item 41 ----

672. MR CLARKSON: My Lord, I am very hesitant to interrupt here, but this is going through a Petition at the previous Bill hearing and asking this Committee whether the previous Committee, in the way that they dealt with it, dealt with that Petitioner adequately. All this is a summary of counsel's opening which has limited weight before this Committee. I really think that it is not helping the Committee, with respect, if we go down this path.

673. CHAIRMAN: Mr Clarkson, I have some sympathy with that. Mr Campbell-Lloyd, it does occur to me that you have heard Mr Clarkson, on behalf of the Promoters of the Bill here today, give the reasons why he wants this particular Bill, and I would have thought it was appropriate in terms of the Petitioners against the Bill to have looked at what Mr Clarkson said today and then also to adduce from the evidence of the witnesses that you have brought today the power behind your case.

674. Perhaps I could just say this to you as well, that you did kindly mention at the beginning of your closing remarks that you had some amendments in mind to the Bill and when I said we could take this up to six o'clock, I did so with the idea that we may be able to conclude today. You have been very helpful and said that that is unlikely with the burden of what you want to impart to the Committee, so, in the light of that and with the feeling that maybe we could move to an earlier end for this afternoon's thoughts and presentations, would you perhaps clarify and present some of the amendments that you would like us to consider in the fullness of time. I say that because I think the rest of the Committee would find it useful to have a notion of the kinds of amendments that might be helpful. I think also it would be helpful to the Promoters in thinking about their own responses, so I do encourage you again. We have had evidence today from the Promoters and I really feel, in all justice, that you should concentrate on what is said there and amplify and take from what your own witnesses have said on your behalf and on behalf of the Petitioner. I do not know whether that is helpful to you.

675. MR CAMPBELL-LLOYD: My Lord, thank you, but I must say that the evidence we have been presented with today in the Promoters' presentation does not differ in the last ten years; the evidence is identical.

676. CHAIRMAN: Yes, if that is the case, then I think the Committee would prefer to hear your analysis of the evidence that is presented today.

677. MR CAMPBELL-LLOYD: This is my observation of what has been presented today and it does not differ from what has been presented before.

678. CHAIRMAN: Well, for example, you have heard Mr Clarkson speak today and I think it is then useful to respond to that. It is much more current. You may indeed feel that there is little change in terms of the quality of the presentation, but, if we are going back ten years, I rather suspect you might want us to comment on some of the things Mr Clarkson has said today as well and I do feel you should concentrate on what the Promoters have said today and have had said today on their behalf. Does that put you in some difficulty?

679. MR CAMPBELL-LLOYD: It does, my Lord.

680. CHAIRMAN: I wonder if I could suggest this to you: would it be helpful, because I know it would be helpful to the Committee, if you were to outline for us the burden of the amendments that you are thinking about? I think it would be helpful to others gathered around this table and then, having heard those, we can absorb and think about them. I think it would give you an opportunity then just to look at the array of evidence that you have brought here for your closing speech and perhaps to think if there is anything that you want to subtract or amplify in your own words. We have received these and we have the benefit of reading these in the week in the interim, but it may be that it would help you give some focus to your thoughts when I ask you to return in a week's time.

681. MR CAMPBELL-LLOYD: This is only the first part of my presentation. This is a rebuttal of evidence brought before the select committees both here and previously. I have not even begun my presentation.

682. CHAIRMAN: Would it be helpful just to break for five minutes or so, and you may want to consult your colleagues, just to think about the way forward?

683. MR CAMPBELL-LLOYD: Yes, please.

684. CHAIRMAN: In that case, if that is agreeable, we will break for just over five minutes.


After a short break

685. CHAIRMAN: Thank you very much. Mr Campbell-Lloyd, I asked you just to have a short recess to consult with your colleagues to see whether we could make progress, in particular on hearing from you about any amendments you might propose. It was remiss of me: I should have also said to you (although I am sure you thought about it) that there may be some form of undertaking that you would want to require from Bournemouth Council were this Bill to be allowed, but you may ask us to require of them some undertakings in order to help the Petitioners in their particular position.

686. I wonder if you are in a position to now give us some of your thoughts on what you might propose. I do say to you that when we return and we start, your ability to continue your final speech will not be curtailed, but I am sure you will be very conscious of the need to impart to the Committee the essence of the Petitioner's case.

687. MR CAMPBELL-LLOYD: Thank you, my Lord. I have consulted and refer to what was my opening element here, and that was that I would refer, in particular, to the effect that striking Clause 5 would have. This, in a nutshell, is the amendment - the striking out of Clause 5. I would also like to raise the fact that I believe there was or has been today misdirection, and this is, in particular, the matter of it being said that pedlars cannot operate in the prohibited spaces of Bournemouth is, in fact, not true.

688. MR CLARKSON: I do not understand that, my Lord. Could we have that run past us again?

689. MR CAMPBELL-LLOYD: I think what you were indicating to my last witness, Mr Campbell-Lloyd, was that under the new legislation being proposed a pedlar could work anywhere in Bournemouth, providing it was at doors - doors in Bournemouth - and, previously, the Pedlar's Act prohibited his activities in those prohibited spaces of Bournemouth. That is not correct.

690. MR CLARKSON: That is completely, 100 per cent wrong.

691. MR CAMPBELL-LLOYD: It is a point that, I think, is the corollary of the point that I was in contention with previously, where we are here to be absolutely accurate in what we have said. Forgive me if I misheard you but I do believe that it was a challenge that none of us were, at the moment, able to rise to, but I felt it was an absolutely essential element in the understandings before us.

692. CHAIRMAN: I am resisting prolonging it, but I think I should ask Mr Clarkson just to deal with that specific point so that, perhaps, the two of you have a better understanding before we depart today. Then I will come back to you, if I may, Mr Campbell-Lloyd.

693. MR CLARKSON: My Lord, I hope it is clear to the Committee (I hope I have understood the point), that the existing legislation allows a pedlar to trade throughout Bournemouth. The proposed legislation will restrict a pedlar, in the areas where the Miscellaneous Provisions Act applies, to trading by way of door to door. The rest of Bournemouth - no change. I hope that is clear. Nor is it correct to say that in any way this is a change nationally. It is confined only to the Miscellaneous Provisions streets of Bournemouth.

694. CHAIRMAN: Let us make this advance: you have been kind enough to give us a strong indication of the amendment that you would like to move, which is to strike Clause 5. Secondly, I would ask you and your colleagues to think about any possible undertaking. Thirdly, you have heard what Mr Clarkson said in respect of that particular point, and of course you now have open to you to continue your final address to us. If that is satisfactory to all parties (and I am not getting any shake of the heads) - is that satisfactory to you?

695. MR CAMPBELL-LLOYD: I will endeavour to do my best, my Lord.

696. CHAIRMAN: I would be most grateful. I would like to close today. In doing so I offer a particular thanks both to the Promoters and their witnesses, especially to the Petitioners and their witnesses (I do understand this is a new occasion for you), but on your behalf I would also like to thank the clerks, the doorkeeper and the minute-taker because they have stayed beyond the time that we originally indicated. I would like to thank, also, my colleagues on the Committee. We look forward to seeing you all again, and if it is possible I suggest we start at 10 o'clock on 10 July. Is it in here?

697. MR CLARKSON: I am sorry to interrupt. May I raise one logistical point? I leave this with the Committee, and I offer it for all advocates: if the Committee would impose on me and on any other advocate a time limit I would certainly be prepared to assist the Committee by keeping to it. I leave that with the Committee to ponder, and it is a perfectly appropriate course that we can then, over the time between now and next week, distil what we are going to say to you as tightly as we can. I am more than happy, from this side of the room, to conform with what the Committee in due course considers is appropriate - or lets us know between now and then.

698. CHAIRMAN: I thoroughly understand the import of your wording. I would remind you that the House of Lords is itself self-governing. I hope everyone does understand that. Thank you very much, Mr Clarkson, and, Mr Campbell-Lloyd, thank you very much today. See you all in a week's time.

 

Adjourned until Tuesday 10 July at 10.00 am