House of Commons
|Session 2013 - 14|
Other Private Bills before Parliament
Arrangement of Clauses (Contents)
|City of London (Various Powers) Bill [HL]|
[AS AMENDED IN COMMITTEE]
[AS AMENDED IN COMMITTEE]
This Bill adjusts the current street trading controls within the City of London ("the City"), in particular to facilitate the holding of occasional events. The Bill amends Part 3 of the City of London (Various Powers) Act 1987 ("the 1987 Act"), which contains the current street trading code for the City. The 1987 Act consolidated the restrictive regime established for the City at the beginning of the twentieth century with street trading being prohibited other than at the Sunday market in part of Middlesex Street (known as Petticoat Lane) on the eastern fringe of the City. The Bill also adjusts provision for charges, penalties and enforcement of the street trading controls. In addition, the Bill amends the provisions governing City walkways to bring these closer to provisions applicable to the highway.
Clause 1 deals with citation.
Clause 2 defines the expression "the 1987 Act".
Clause 3 amends the 1987 Act by the addition of provisions permitting street trading for limited periods. The clause inserts a new section 11A which is a relaxation of the restrictive code contained in that Act. The section empowers the City of London Corporation ("the Corporation") to grant temporary licences to carry out street trading. This will enable special events which include an element of street trading to be held, when this is considered by the Corporation to be desirable. A temporary licence will be restricted to a particular location, cannot be for longer than 21 days and may be subject to conditions. The new section allows for the possibility that a temporary licence may be granted to a single provider who is entitled to procure others to carry out the street trading activities, and that those others will have the benefit of the temporary licence for that purpose.
The clause also makes a number of technical amendments to the 1987 Act to bring temporary licence holders into the general scheme of the street trading provisions.
Clause 4 amends the City of London (Various Powers) Act 1965 and the 1987 Act to bring temporary licence holders within the scope of the licensed street traders' exemption from the statutory prohibition of unlicensed street trading.
Clause 5 amends the 1987 Act to apply to temporary licence holders the offences created by that Act. The clause also provides that in certain circumstances the officers of a body corporate are also guilty of an offence. This provision is not in the 1987 Act because licensed street traders under that Act can only be individuals, but the new section 11A allows for corporate temporary licence holders.
Clause 6 increases from level 2 (currently £500) to level 3 (currently £1,000) the fines that can be imposed for offences under the 1987 Act.
Clause 7(2) introduces additional enforcement powers into the 1987 Act.
The new section 16A deals with the seizure of items. Subsection (1) empowers an authorised officer of the Corporation or a police constable to seize items, receptacles or equipment in cases where a person is reasonably believed to have committed a street trading offence. Seizure under subsection (1) is only permitted where the article may be required to be used in evidence or where it may be subject of forfeiture by the court under the new section 16C.
The new section 16B provides for the return or disposal of items seized under section 16A. Items must be returned to the person from whom they were seized following the conclusion of proceedings in respect of a suspected offence, unless the court orders them to be forfeited under section 16C, or any award of costs to the Corporation by the court has not been paid within 28 days of the making of the order.
Seized items must be returned after 28 days beginning with the date of seizure if no proceedings have been instituted; where proceedings have been instituted and then discontinued, seized items would have to be returned on the discontinuance of the proceedings.
Seized items do not have to be returned where it is not possible to identify or ascertain the person from whom they were seized, or that person's address. In such a case the Corporation must apply to the magistrates' court for an order as to the manner in which the items should be dealt with.
The new section 16C permits a court before which a person is convicted of a street trading offence to order forfeiture of items. Items may only be forfeited if shown to the satisfaction of the court to relate to a street trading offence. In addition, the court cannot order the forfeiture of an item where a person claiming to be the owner of the item or to have an interest in it applies to be heard by the court, unless the person has been given an opportunity to show cause why the order should not be made. In considering whether to make an order for forfeiture, the court must consider the value of the item and the likely financial and other effects on the offender of forfeiting the item.
The new section 16D applies in cases where not less than 6 months have passed since the date of seizure and no proceedings have been brought against the person from whom the item was seized, where proceedings have been brought but the person has been acquitted or where the proceedings have been withdrawn or failed for want of prosecution. In any of those circumstances section 16D provides for compensation to be paid to anyone who at the time of seizure had a legal interest in the item if, but only if, the seizure was unlawful. Compensation will not be included in the computation for calculating charges under the 1987 Act for street trading licences.
The new section 16E makes special provision about what should happen when perishable items are seized. It provides for the giving of a certificate to the person from whom the items were seized and that perishable items which are seized may be disposed of within 48 hours of seizure. Section 16E applies, with modifications, the compensation provisions of section 16D.
The new section 16F extends the time within which a vehicle which has been seized must be returned to the owner. The extension of time limit applies where the Corporation has requested details of ownership of a vehicle from the Secretary of State (through the DVLA) and those particulars have not been provided within 28 days of the seizure of the vehicle. Secondly, the section makes provision for cases where the Corporation has seized a vehicle, and wishes to return the vehicle to its owner, but the owner of the vehicle cannot be found or disclaims or refuses to accept the vehicle. In such circumstances, the Corporation would be able to make a complaint for a disposal order under section 16G.
The new section 16H requires the Corporation to publish information on its website about street trading laws and its enforcement policies.
The new section 16I requires the Corporation to provide training for officers who may seize items or issue fixed penalty notices. Any such training must be made available also to police officers exercising such powers.
The new section 16G makes provision for disposal orders. The Corporation may make a complaint to the magistrates' court for the disposal order and the magistrates' court is empowered to make a disposal order if satisfied that the Corporation has made reasonable efforts to identify the person from whom the article or thing was seized (or its owner) or has made reasonable efforts to return it. A disposal order may authorise the Corporation to dispose of the article or thing and keep the balance of any proceeds. The court may also order that the recipient of a complaint may also be required to pay any deficit from the proceeds of the disposal, taking into account storage and disposal costs.
Clause 7(3) introduces amendments to Schedule 2 to the London Local Authorities Act 2004, so that the offences of unauthorised street trading created by Part 3 of the 1987 Act would be a fixed penalty offence for the purposes of Part 4 of the London Local Authorities Act 2004.
Clause 8 changes the arrangements for the fixing of charges for street traders to bring them more in line with the arrangements elsewhere in London. The clause removes the current provision that the maximum amounts the Corporation may recover from street traders in respect of certain expenses set out in section 12 of the 1987 Act can only be prescribed by byelaw. The byelaw provision is replaced by a requirement that the Corporation consult and provide information to the street traders before setting and implementing the charges.
Clause 9 amends the 1987 Act by the addition of provision concerning ice cream trading from business premises. The clause inserts a new section 11B which provides that the sale of ice cream is not street trading if it is undertaken from a receptacle which has been authorised under section 115E of the Highways Act 1980 (which is applied to the new section) and is located within 15 metres of business premises occupied by the trader for the purpose of a food business.
Clause 10 introduces an amendment to Part 2 of the City of London (Various Powers) Act 1967, which contains the statutory regime that governs City walkways. The amendment introduces a new section 6A which gives the Corporation the power to charge for resolutions declaring, varying or rescinding City walkway declarations, thus ensuring that these changes are treated in the same way as applications to vary other rights of passage.
A further amendment to the City of London (Various Powers) Act 1967 introduces a new section 13A which makes possible the civil enforcement of parking offences on City walkways.
EUROPEAN CONVENTION ON HUMAN RIGHTS
Mr P.R.E. Double, the City Remembrancer, for the City of London, as the promoter of the Bill, has made the following statement required by Standing Order 38(3) of the Standing Orders relating to Private Business:
In my view the provisions of the City of London (Various Powers) Bill are compatible with the Convention rights.
|© Parliamentary copyright 2013||Prepared 13 August 2013|