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UNLICENSED TRADERS SAVED AS MP KILLS BILL

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A private member's Bill designed to close the loophole giving lenient treatment to unlicensed traders inside the ro...
A private member's Bill designed to close the loophole giving lenient treatment to unlicensed traders inside the royal parks was thrown out of the commons on Friday and the problem will now continue at least until next autumn, reported The Independent (24 July, p8).

On streets outside the royal parks council officers have power to seize illegal traders' cooking equipment for hot dogs and burgers and they can be fined up to£1,000. But once inside the parks, which as privately-owned land are not covered by the legislation, the traders can be fined only£200 and their equipment cannot be confiscated.

Peter Brooke, Conservative MP for the Cities of London and Westminster, put forward The Royal Parks (Trading) Bill to close this loophole and give greater powers to the royal parks police. The Bill, which was drawn up in consultation with the royal family, was killed off after Eric Forth, Conservative MP for Bromley and Chislehurst, said he would object on principle. He is a fierce critic of the procedures for private member's Bills, saying that if they all got through there would be hundreds of new laws every year.

A spokesman for the royal parks said the failure of the Bill meant yet another summer of unpleasant smells and tourists being duped into risking their health with unhygienic foods.
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