Home Office launched its review of the Scrap Metal Dealers Act (SMDA) in early December. The review has been brought forward by some 18 months following extensive lobbying by the BMRA, concerned that the Act was not being effectively enforced and with members’ businesses suffering as a consequence.
Initially, the Home Office had allowed seven weeks for consultees to submit their views and evidence on whether the Act had been effective in reducing metal theft. However, the BMRA requested that this timeframe be extended to 12 weeks, given how the Act impacts on every BMRA member company and that no further formal review is planned.
The BMRA has announced the Home Office has indicated it is prepared to extend the deadline, yet written confirmation is yet to be received.
The review has been brought forward by some 18 months following extensive lobbying by the BMRA, concerned that the Act was not being effectively enforced and with members’ businesses suffering as a consequence.
The BMRA Board discussed extensively the review at its December meeting. It agreed that, in addition to submitting a comprehensive written response to the Home Office, the BMRA should also seek cross-party parliamentary support for its concerns regarding the Act (specifically around lack of enforcement, misleading ONS data and opportunities to strengthen the SMDA) and identify common areas with other (industry) stakeholders.
To that end, the BMRA has appointed Blue Rubicon, a specialist public affairs agency, to identify and arrange meetings with key parliamentarians, refine its arguments and potentially co-host a Parliamentary Reception with other industry partners.
Later this month, the BMRA will be holding a members’ meeting to canvass opinions and help gather evidence to support our submission. Concurrently, BMRA will be meeting senior representatives of relevant industry and infrastructure organisations such as the Energy Networks Association, BT, Virgin Media, and Ecclesiastical Insurance Group.
“We are confident that we have a number of common concerns with these bodies and could therefore develop consistent messaging to feed back to the Home Office when we submit our individual responses,” it says.
“At the same time, we will maintain dialogue with our contacts in various government agencies to ensure they understand our concerns, including the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy and the Environment Agency.
“We will continue to update our members as we gather the evidence and make our submission.”