Birmingham & Black Country

Walsall council bid to ban cash for scrap metal

An e-petition calling for cash payments by scrapyards to be banned has been started by a Midlands council.

Walsall council started the petition after there were more than 1,000 metal thefts in the borough in the past year.

Council leader Mike Bird said: "This underlines the need to clamp down on the sale of scrap metal."

A spokesman for the British Metals Recycling Association (BMRA) said a ban on cash trading would drive "legitimate business into the unregulated sector".

Ian Hetherington, director general of the BMRA, said: "Many of the problems lie with the ineffective enforcement of existing regulations and the proliferation of the illegal, unregulated trade, and not with the majority who operate highly regulated, licensed and permitted sites."

The e-petition is on the Downing Street website and needs to get 100,000 signatures by August 2012 to trigger a debate in parliament.

So far more than 16,000 people have signed the petition online.

Councillor Zahid Ali said: "Walsall is no different to other parts of the country in that we have seen a significant increase in metal thefts and we are now saying enough is enough and are calling on people from across the country to back our call for a change in the law."

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