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North Oxfordshire MP welcomes action to tackle metal theft

18 February 2013

North Oxfordshire MP and Second Church Estates Commissioner, Sir Tony Baldy, has welcomed the a new law which will reform the scrap metal industry and tackle the scourge of metal theft.

The Scrap Metal Dealers Bill which was introduced to the House of Commons as a Private Members Bill by Richard Ottaway MP cleared its final legislative hurdle in the House of Lords last week and now goes forward for Royal Assent. The Bill reforms the outdated rules governing the scrap metal industry by creating a tougher, locally administered licence regime and gives the police and local authorities the power to close down unlicensed dealers.

Sir Tony worked closely with Richard Ottaway and the Church of England to ensure that the Bill was supported in the House of Commons. The Chair of the Church of England’s Cathedral and Church Buildings Council, Anne Sloman, recognised the support Sir Tony had given and expressed her gratitude to him when speaking about the Bill becoming law.

Mrs Sloman said:

“This has been a long battle. We are absolutely delighted that this two year campaign, led by the CofE’s Cathedrals and Church Buildings Council, will now become law…I am grateful for the number of organisations and individuals whose hard work has led to the successful passage of this Bill, not least the Bishop of London, Lord Faulkner of Worcester and the Second Church Estates Commissioner Sir Tony Baldry MP.

Sir Tony said:

“The theft of metal from churches, war memorials and railway lines to name but a few regular targets of these thieves is a despicable crime.

“It is therefore very good news that the Scrap Metal Dealers Bill is becoming law and I hope that the unregulated trade in scrap metal might now be brought to an end through better regulation and enhanced powers for the police to close down unlicensed dealers.

“I hope that the police will be vigilant to cash criminals and the new law will reform the scrap metal industry and tighten the net around those carrying out dodgy deals so that this despicable offence can be stamped out once and for all.”