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Bill to curb scrap-metal sales passed

22 February 2013

THE Scrap Metal Dealers Bill, which seeks to reduce the high rates of metal theft from churches and memorials, was approved by the House of Lords on Tuesday of last week. It will now go forward for Royal Assent.

The Bill was introduced by the Conservative MP Richard Ottaway as a Private Member's Bill last year ( News, 1 June), and was introduced into the House of Lords by Baroness Browning. Its provisions include the licensing of all scrap-metal dealers, and obliging those selling metal to provide identification at the point of sale.

Anne Sloman, who chairs the Church of England's Cathedral and Church Buildings Council, said: "This has been a long battle. We are absolutely delighted that this two-year campaign, led by the C of E's Cathedrals and Church Buildings Council, will now become law. We are thankful that the deleterious and misery-making unregulated trade in scrap metal might now be brought to an end through proper regulation."

The Bishop of London, the Rt Revd Richard Chartres, was among bishops who lobbied MPs to vote for the Bill when it reached its Third Reading in the House of Commons last year ( News, 2 November). He spoke of the "devastating impact" of metal theft on England's churches. Church House has said that criminal damage amounting to £27 million has been inflicted on churches in England since 2007.


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