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13th October 2005


Autojumble Legislation

The future of autojumbling in the UK has been under discussion recently, as new legislation threatens to drown informal jumbling in red tape. Good news! One such set of regulations have just been headed off at the pass...

If you read much of the motoring or motorcycling press then you may well have seen mention of the 'Kent Act' - local restrictions brought in by Kent Country Council to control informal sales, like car boot sales, and which also affect autojumbles. Much of the kerfuffle about these rules and regs is overstated - Elk Promotions, for example, hold a series of thriving autojumbles and shows in Kent without any problems and, as a show-going trade stall, we ourselves found it no harder to open up the RC Roadshow in Kent than in any other location.

Probably not cheap counterfeits.

However, being snarled in a growing tangle of red tape isn't something which any trader would welcome; and the possible extension of the Kent Act - with even more restrictive provisions -- throughout the UK has been greeted with some trepidation.

But the Kent Act is only one of a series of looming restrictions - a similar Private Members' Bill is currently on the books for this parliamentary session. This Bill is being promoted by John Whittingdale MP and is entitled the 'Occasional Sales Bill'. Although primarily aimed at restricting the sale of stolen or counterfeit electrical and electronic goods - such a dodgy DVDs and CDs - the Occasional Sales Bill threatened to include vintage vehicle spares within its remit.

These men think a pirate video is one that contains the whole first series of Captain Pugwash. (2.99 from Amazon)It's at this point that Greg Knight MP, Chairman of the All Party Parliamentary Historic Vehicle Group, stepped in, to lobby on behalf of classic car and bike enthusiasts. Greg Knight is an active campaigner on behalf of the motoring community - for instance, he has previously lobbied for a rise of the motorway speed limit to 80mph.

Greg Knight met with the Sales Bill's sponsor, John Whittingdale, and expressed the concerns of autojumblers across the UK. As a result, Mr Whittingdale has agreed to accept an amendment from Mr Knight to exclude autojumbles from the scope of the legislation.

Greg Knight is, naturally, extremely happy with this outcome as he explained: 'It is a never-ending task to try to prevent the classic movement being hit with extra restrictions emanating from new legislation. Having ascertained that Mr Whittingdale's main concern was the trade in counterfeit CDs, I have managed to persuade him that his Bill should exempt autojumbles.

Greg Knight (CON, on the left) and John Whittingdale (LAB, on the right)'I am obviously delighted with this result.'

Greg Knight will need to remain vigilant, however. This is a small victory -- Private Members' Bill's don't often get through the entire parliamentary process, although their aims are frequently later incorporated into Government policy.

Meanwhile, the Home Office is still considering the possible extension of the Kent Act, which would have a considerable effect upon all autojumbles across the UK.

If you are in contact with your MP then now would be a good time to express your opinions on this issue. If you're not sure about how to get in touch with your MP, then try this method: www.writetothem.com

www.fhbvc.co.uk
Random Rebuild Stuff on eBay.co.uk

The FBHVC is a grouping of some 370 clubs and museums together with over 1500 trade and individual supporters. RealClassic is a paid-up supporter of the FBHVC, and we encourage all marque and enthusiast clubs to join the scheme. You can also take out individual membership. See www.fbhvc.co.uk

Can't wait for next spring?

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