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1 December 2015 - BIS.GOV Stuck in Factcheck PDF Print E-mail

In October 2015 pedlars registered concern about published information on the BIS web portal.

It appears that BIS is unable to conclude the required factcheck leading pedlars to perceive the department's incompetence.


Helen Nickols (GOV.UK)

Dec 1, 09:40

Dear Robert

Please note that this content is in factcheck with the relevant department at the moment.

Best wishes


Robert Campbell-Lloyd

Nov 27, 16:56

I am informed as at today's date 27 November 2015 no update has been lodged... please confirm an update date... Robert

Pedlars Admin

Nov 4, 12:23

OK understood

Helen Nickols (GOV.UK)

Nov 4, 11:32

Hi Robert

Thank you for your further correspondence on this issue.

In order to coordinate the factcheck with BIS I think it makes sense to pick this up when the most recent edition has been published.

Best wishes


Robert Campbell-Lloyd

Nov 4, 08:13

Thanks Al

Would it not be helpful to put me in touch with BIS fact check person directly?
The issue of "door to door" requires addressing... taken in isolation it has no lawful meaning and requires context so as to avoid wrong understanding.
Trading done by a person in private and on private land is a private matter with no regulatory controls or sanctions so the proper construction of the Pedlars Act legislation "town to town or to other men's houses" cannot be altered to infer a meaning of "at the door of houses" or "door to door".
A pedlar acts in the Public Domain.
A person is not required to carry a pedlar's certificate if acting only in a Private Domain.

This issue requires careful wording so as not to mislead.

I look forward to consulting further with the contact person.


Robert Campbell-Lloyd

Al Smith (GOV.UK)

Nov 2, 15:26

Hi Robert,

I've just been informed that this page is currently being looked at by one of our content designers. The page is in internal review and will go across to the department for fact check - so I'm hopeful this will address your issues.

It's likely to be a few days until this goes live, but please feel free to get back in touch if you have further queries about the content in a week or so.

Kind regards,


Robert Campbell-Lloyd

Nov 2, 11:54

Hi Al... thanks for your response.
The matter does not rely on local Guidance but the legislation itself.
I refer to the Pedlars Act 1871 Section 23 - "Nothing in this Act shall render it necessary for a certificate to be obtained by the following persons as such; (that is to say,)
(2) Sellers of vegetables, fish, fruit, or victuals:"
What the legislation says is that it is not NECESSARY.
The GOV.UK article's text says:
"Certificates are not required by commercial travellers, sellers of fish, fruit, or victuals or people selling at markets or fairs."
This leads a member of the public open to potential victim status if they simply begin trading without an Authority.
They are automatically caught under criminal sanction for "trading without Licence/Authority" in places where Street Trading Legislation is in force.
The information on the website should not expose the public to automatic criminal sanction.
We suggest that you consider the following revised text:
"Certificates are not required by commercial travellers, sellers of fish, fruit, or victuals or people selling at markets or fairs... but a Pedlar's Certificate may be required to avoid the commission of an offence under Local Street Trading Regulation"

Our work with the Metropolitan Police also includes helpful additional information for those considering the profession of pedlary - namely
"Applicants are advise to read the Pedlars Act 1871 and 1881 - see related links - for further online information search pedlar, pedlary, pedlars certificate."
We have published an article about victuals/foodstuffs online at this link:

As recommended previously we strongly advise amending the contact information to conform to the Pedlars Act 1871 Section 5 (1) "... a pedlars certificate shall be granted to any person by the chief officer of police of the police district in which the person applying for a certificate has, during one month previous to such application, resided..."

Please advise if you require further information.
Robert Campbell-Lloyd

Al Smith (GOV.UK)

Nov 2, 11:07

Hello Robert,

Many thanks for your comments. Would you mind explaining why you think the information about victuals is misleading?

Police and regulators should have their own guidance about this. This information is aimed specifically at members of the public who are thinking about applying for a pedlar's certificate - or want to find out more about it.

If there's something that's factually inaccurate or stopping them doing that, then do let us know what that is and we'll review the copy.

We'll look at that link to councils at the top of the page. It could be that that would be better off pointing somewhere else.

Many thanks,

Al Smith
Government Digital Service


2015 Oct 31, 07:38

what_doing: scrutinising government information about pedlary
what_wrong: information is anomalous, incorrect or misleading - contact for a pedlars certificate is not the local council but local police; the expression "door to door" has no definition in law and causes interpretation problems for regulated and regulators - in proper pedlary context it means ambulant trading in public without restriction; the information about "victuals" misleads police to restrict persons wanting to trade in victuals or foodstuffs but nothing in law prohibits victual pedlary when there is good reason of avoiding the commission of an offence under street trading regulation; please contact This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it to assist editing the public information. 



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