The CLA has welcomed the passing of the second reading of Richard Ottaway MP's new Scrap Metal Dealers Bill as part of its ongoing "Scrap the Cash" campaign.
CLA Wales Director Ben Underwood said: "Increased metal theft has a significant impact on rural business and communities.
"CLA members have reported lead stripped off their roofs, metal front gates stolen, being without phone lines for weeks after copper cable was taken and the theft of machinery.
"The second reading of the Bill shows that MPs think the current system for dealing with metal theft is not working and understand it has led to major problems for rural businesses. Although the CLA favours a light touch to regulation, it is clear increased regulation of some kind is needed."
The CLA's Scrap the Cash campaign won a major victory with the passing of the Legal Aid Act earlier this year after the CLA President met Home Office Minister Lord Henley to ensure cash payments by scrap metal dealers would be prohibited.
The CLA has made it clear to MPs that to combat the rise of metal theft the following measures should remain within the final Bill:
- the extension of the licensing regime to itinerant traders through the proposed collectors licence mechanism,
- making the grant of a licence conditional on the suitability of the applicant,
- the introduction of powers to revoke a licence in cases in which the authority considers that the holder is no longer a suitable person,
- the introduction of a power to close unauthorised scrap dealers, and
- the proposed enhancement of the record-keeping requirements because it is essential there is a full and proper paper trail for all scrap metal transactions so that the origins of any metal sold can be traced back to its original owner.