WYRE Forest’s MP has welcomed the passage through the House of Commons of a Bill to regulate the scrap metal industry.

Conservative Mark Garnier is Vice-chairman of the All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on Metal Theft.

The Scrap Metal Dealers Bill, which has passed through the Commons, would give councils the authority to license scrap metal dealers and the police powers to shut down those not trading properly, making the sale of stolen metal more difficult.

Now approaching its Second Reading in the House of Lords, last week’s opposition by some MPs was dropped after assurances that the legislation would be reviewed after three years to ensure the measures are effective.

Mr Garnier said: “Metal theft costs the UK around £770 million per year. It damages our transport networks, communications and data access and buildings and infrastructure - the foundations of our economy. Clearly, it cannot be allowed to continue.

“I have worked on combating metal theft for over a year and am pleased to see the Scrap Metal Dealers Bill has successfully passed through the Commons.

“It will provide a strong framework for tackling this systemic issue, with an effective licensing system and a complete ban on cash payments.”