Time called on Southport cowboy scrap dealers
TIME is being
called on the activities of cowboy car scrap dealers.
A loophole in vehicle licensing rules that has allowed millions of
cars to be scrapped but not deregistered is to be closed after a
campaign by Liberal Democrat Euro-MP Chris Davies.
Environmentalists claim that it has led to thousands of tonnes of
oil and brake fluid being poured down drains, while millions of old
tyres have ended up dumped on wasteland or in the countryside.
The loophole allows owners of old bangers to claim that they are
scrapping the cars themselves. It has been exploited by rogue
scrap dealers who use it to avoid paying to meet the depollution
requirements of EU end-of-life vehicles legislation introduced 10
Now the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) in Swansea is to
start the issue of revised V5C registration forms.
Davies has been working for 4 years with operators of licensed waste
treatment facilities to get the changes made and environmental
standards improved. He said:- “The figures suggest that
up to a million cars have been taken apart and scrapped on peoples’
driveways in the last 5 years. This is clearly absurd, but it’s been
an uphill task to persuade the DVLA to make the changes required.
Rogue scrap dealers advertising for old cars need to be put of
business. They are not paying tax, they harm the environment, and
they undercut legitimate vehicle dismantlers.”
However, the DVLA claims that it will take at least 2 years to issue
new registration documents to every car owner and that could mean
another 300,000 to 400,000 cars slipping through the net.
Davies, who will shortly meet with new Business Minister Mark Prisk
to discuss the issue, wants owners of every car destined for the
breaker’s yard to be told that they should insist now that scrap
dealers supply them with a key document. He said:- “A
Certificate of Destruction is essential. It ensures that the car is
deregistered and properly depolluted.”
Davies says that DVLA procedures have until now failed to ensure
that vehicles are deregistered even when they have in fact been
dismantled. He warns that if a car taken for scrapping is in fact
put back on the road by a rogue trader, the original owner will
unknowingly retain responsibility if it is involved in an accident.
“The EU end-of-life directive is a good environment law
intended to ensure that the millions of cars disposed of each year
are treated properly. The time is long overdue for Britain to apply
it across the board.”
Andy Kenny, spokesman for the End of Life Vehicle Recyclers
Association said:- “Cowboy dealers with a mobile phone and a
van have been undercutting legitimate businesses for years with the
help of the DVLA. Chris Davies has worked with us to slam the
door on the people who dump tyres in laybys and pour poisons down
the drain. There have been many false dawns on this issue and
I hope that this time the DVLA will stick to its guns.”
fined for Council Tax benefit fraud
man has pleaded guilty to fraudulently claiming Council Tax benefit
worth over £10,000 – when he owned properties worth a total of half
a million pounds.
Geoffrey Berg, of Carnatic Road in Mossley Hill, admitted falsely
receiving £10,799.34 between February 2003 and March 2010.
The case at Liverpool Magistrates Court was brought by the city’s
benefit fraud team, run by Liverpool Direct - the council’s joint
venture with BT.
Suspicions were aroused when the
Council Tax team noticed that Mr
Berg had two properties.
During the investigation it emerged he had moved into a flat which
he had bought outright for cash. He then sold his previous
residence, a house, for a £70,000 profit. He then bought a 2nd flat
outright for £205,000, which he rented out for around £1,000 a
month, which he has since sold.
The law states that people who have over £16,000 in savings are not
eligible for Council Tax benefit, and Mr Berg has around £200,000 in
Deputy council leader Paul Brant, who has responsibility for
finance, said:- “Every penny claimed fraudulently is a penny
less that can be used for people who are genuinely in need.
During these difficult economic times, it is more vital than ever
that benefits go to those who are eligible.
We will not hesitate to investigate and take action against people
where we believe they have lied and cheated in order to claim
benefits. If people think they may be mistakenly receiving
benefits they aren’t entitled to, they should get in touch with us
to discuss it as soon as possible.”
District Judge Ian Lomax today ordered Mr Berg to repay the whole
amount, with £5000 of it to be handed over within a month. He
was also fined £5,000 and ordered to pay the council's full costs of
OVER A 3RD OF BRITISH ADULTS STILL SLEEP WITH A TEDDY BEAR
ITS not just
kids who need a bed time cuddle from their favourite teddy to send
them to the land of nod. Over a 3rd of British adults also rely on a
bear hug, to send them to slumber; new research has revealed.
The survey conducted with 6,000 Britons by Travelodge revealed 35%
of adults admitted they sleep with their teddy because they found
cuddling their bear comforting. Also the calming feeling of a bear
hug also helps them to de-stress after a hard day – which aids
The survey was conducted to investigate the nation’s fascination
with sleeping with a teddy bear. As in the last 12 months, the hotel
chain has had to reunite over 75,000 forgotten cuddly bears that
have been left in its 452 hotels with their owners.
Research findings also revealed 25% of male respondents reported
they take their teddy bear away with them when going away on
business. As it reminds them of home and a bear cuddle helps them to
nod off as they miss a bedtime cuddle from their partner.
Corrine Sweet, Psychologist, said:- “Cuddling a teddy bear is
an important part of our national psyche as it evokes a sense of
peace, security and comfort. It’s human nature to crave these
feelings from childhood to adult life, which is why 35% of British
adults sleep with their teddy bear. It's not surprising, then, that
taking a cuddly bear on a business trip is so popular, even among
men (25%). As a bedtime bear evokes the secure feelings of home and
warmth which can aid sleep - just like in childhood.”
Further findings from the research revealed that 51% of British
adults still have a teddy bear from their childhood and Briton’s
average teddy bear is 27 years old. 10% of single men surveyed
admitted they hide their teddy bear when their girlfriend stays
over. 14% of married men reported they hide their teddy bear in the
wardrobe or under bed when any family and friends come to visit.
Interestingly more men at 15% compared to 10% of women reported they
treat their teddy as their best friend and will share their intimate
secrets with their bear. Also 26% of male respondents stated
it is quite acceptable to have a bear regardless of your age.
'Dawn James, Arctophile and editor of Teddy Bear Times said;-
“Teddy Bears represent happiness and security in childhood. They are
the best friend that always listens and never criticises. This is
why so many adults hang on to their childhood bears, because they
see them as a lifelong friend.
The popularity of teddy bears is going from strength to strength.
There are collectors across the UK who have thousands of bears in
The research also looked into which bear has the ‘Zzz ‘factor and is
the nation’s favourite bedtime bear. Topping the ‘Zzz’ factor bear
poll was the traditional teddy bear – which has also appeared in
cult TV programmes such as: Playschool (Big & Little Ted), Andy
Pandy (Teddy) and Brideshead Revisted (Aloysius).
Listed below is the nation’s all time top ten favourite cuddly
1. The classic teddy bear
2. Winnie the Pooh
3. Paddington Bear
4. Tatty Bear
6. Care Bears
7. Yogi Bear
8. Fozzie Bear
9. Rupert the Bear
10. Super Ted / Baloo
'Dawn James, Arctophile and editor of Teddy Bear Times said;-
I'm not surprised that the traditional teddy is the nation’s
favourite bear. It’s a design that has lasted for well over a
hundred years and most people have had a traditional teddy bear as
part of their toy collection whilst growing up. The movie industry
has recognised the importance of teddy bears and has included a new
character in Toy Story III a beautiful big pink teddy bear called
Shakila Ahmed, Travelodge Spokeswoman said:- “We are
definitely a nation obsessed with teddy bears. We have never had as
many as 75,000 cuddly bears left behind in Travelodge hotels before.
Our hotel staff have worked extremely hard in reuniting the bears
with their owners. Interestingly the owners have not just been
children, we have had a large number of frantic businessmen and
women call us regarding their forgotten teddy bear.”
Other key findings from the research were:-
► 26% of adults use a teddy bear hot water bottle so that they can
have a warm bear hug to help them nod off.
► 14% of parents surveyed said they had passed down their favourite
teddy bear to their children as a keepsake.
► 80% of parents reported the first toy they brought their child was
a teddy bear
► 62% of parents said it is important for a child to grow up owning
and loving a teddy bear as it helps them to develop a more caring