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9 March 2016 - Statutory Instrument affecting the Pedlars Act PDF Print E-mail


email 9 March 2016 from to the Chair of the Joint Committee on Statutory Instruments This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it


Dear Mr Twigg

Statutory Instrument - (SI) affecting the Pedlars Act

Since 2007 pedlars have been consulted as stakeholders to the government department BIS researching conditions applying to Street Trading and Pedlary.

The most recent response by government has been the BIS document BIS/14/776 setting out various proposals to be introduced by Statutory Instrument into law by October 2016.

Pedlars are concerned that the public will not have an opportunity to comment on this provision and are alarmed that gross error is yet again likely to be committed against the constitution of GBUK. 

This error was noted by pedlars through the pedlars website warning the public and government about probable consequences unless remedied.

Pedlars request that your Committee alert the public and pedlars to any possibility of a Statutory Instrument being introduced without the public being informed well in advance to allow time for consultation.

To help general understanding has made inquiry about government conduct and so is able to set out the following correspondence as a guide.

On 20 October 2015 BIS informed stakeholders:

Since the election in May Ministers have been considering their priorities and have come to the decision that for now they would like to suspend further consideration of the changes to pedlary and street trading legislation. BIS now intends to make the relevant changes in time for the October 2016 common commencement date.

On 21 October 2015 replied:

Thank you for the notification.

We are being asked to explain what is meant by "suspend further consideration of the changes".

If changes are "suspended" then please explain what is meant by "relevant changes".

Please list what are the relevant changes and if Secondary legislation is intended?

If so please confirm that we as stakeholders will have an opportunity to consult prior to any public announcement?

Please confirm if BIS consultation with police to develop an objective test of good character has also been suspended?

On 3 November 2015 BIS wrote:

Secondary legislation is still intended but will now be brought forward in 2016. All the changes that the Government will be making are set out in the Government response:

Changes being made to pedlary include:

        • Retain the Pedlars Act 1871 and 1881
        • Remove the requirement for a pedlar to have lived in the area where he or she wants to operate
        • Working with the Police to make sure that the good character check for a pedlar’s certificate is objective and is applied consistently across the UK

The primary legislation is the Pedlars Act: pedlars understand without the Act being repealed or amended a Statutory Instrument is conditionally effective to alter the Act.

What concerns pedlars is whether those Conditions substantively alter the Act so that its Principle is changed.

Previously the legal office of BIS introduced the Provision of Services Regulation 2009 by Statutory Instrument signed into law by the then Minister Jo Swinson.

BIS the Minister's department dismissed pedlars' warnings that Section 45 incorrectly interpreted the European Services Directive Article 4 (1) to result in erroneous discrimination against two descriptions of a pedlar's trade. 

Despite formal notification through direct communications and ongoing URN consultation the error remains ignored by the department.

Pedlars formally registered concern about failures in BIS to the Permanent Secretary by letter 1 Jan 2014 - this too was and continues to be ignored.

On 31 July 2014 pedlars as part of public information concerning pedlary registered concern with the Metropolitan Police about inaccuracies concerning pedlary on the website resulting in some but not all suggested updates.

On 31 October 2015 pedlars registered concern with the government digital service about inaccuracies and anomalies on the website and have been waiting for so-called "fact check" by BIS for four months without receiving any response or engagement. 

Primary stakeholders have no confidence in BIS as a department and although during 2011-2014 pedlars have been content to have defeated the department's intended policy to Repeal the Pedlars Act pedlars consider the Government Response BIS/14/776 fundamentally flawed on two counts.

Firstly: pedlars' concern has been registered with the Permanent Secretary that proposed legislative changes to the Pedlars Act fall outside the remit of BIS.

Secondly: pedlars' request to be consulted on bringing forward "an objective test of good character" for Pedlars Certificate Applications continues to be ignored by BIS.

Pedlars' work with the Metropolitan Police, Ask the Police, Dorset Police, Sussex Police and others qualifies to consult competently with authorities about pedlary. Pedlars are concerned that BIS will draft a further SI that has had no scrutiny by the stakeholders most directly affected namely pedlars.

Given BIS notification about changes in time for the 2016 common commencement date pedlars are concerned to know what that date refers to.

Time is now of the essence and pedlars do not relish a repeat of the 2009 scenario by BIS of a last minute scramble towards what inevitably becomes unsafe and discriminatory secondary legislation by BIS.

In November 2013 pedlars published an article about a "good character" test and that was updated in January 2016. Further input is available by pedlars at and can be directed to those planning a draft Statutory Instrument.

Questions to your committee:

  1. Has the Committee been advised about which government department has been tasked to draft the "good character test"?
  2. Is the Committee aware of which office of government/police jurisdiction and who by name is being or has been remitted with the task?   
  3. Has any of the task yet begun?
  4. Will the Committee undertake to invite pedlars through to participate with advice and scrutiny? 
  5. As a matter of public interest and information it is helpful for the Committee to advise about the precise process required for a Statutory Instrument to proceed from draft into law. 
  6. Please advise the correct procedure for all primary stakeholders to be engaged with proposing the draft and then to further assist the Committee.
  7. Response to this inquiry aids to notify the public about the work of Parliament safeguarding the common interest.

yours sincerely

Robert Campbell-Lloyd




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