NUISANCE scrap metal collectors are being told to stop broadcasting “any old iron” from loudspeakers because residents are fed up with hearing it.
Although councils are cracking down on noisy tannoy operators, ice cream sellers and politicians need not worry, as they are exempt from the same laws used to take scrap collectors to court.
When Stroud District Council took two collectors to court for unlawful loud hailing earlier this month, they were fined and given a conditional discharge.
Leighton Lorrimore, a scrap metal dealer from Caerphilly was found guilty of unlawfully operating a loudspeaker contrary to the Control of Pollution Act in his absence at Cheltenham Magistrates’ Court on January 6. He was fined £400 and told to pay a £40 victim surcharge and £195 costs for the offence committed in June 2013.
And when a district council housing officer and one of its neighbourhood wardens saw James Dutton, 45, in the Nordown Road area of Cam in August, they traced the vehicle to Lydney. He pleaded guilty and was given a 12-month conditional discharge and required to pay a £15 victim surcharge and £85 costs.
The council has received a number of similar complaints and two more offenders have been formally cautioned.
A district council spokesman said: “We have had numerous reports from members of the public regarding scrap metal dealers causing a noise nuisance. On these occasions we were fortunate that council officers witnessed the incidents and reported them.
“The law prohibits the use of loudspeakers to advertise entertainment, trade or business, however Citizen readers can be reassured that they won’t miss out on their favourite ice creams or lollies, as ice cream vans are an exception.
“They can use loudspeakers and bells between noon and 7pm to publicise their goods. Using loudspeakers on vehicles for the purposes of elections is also allowed as it isn’t classed as business, trade or entertainment.”
“The use of loudspeakers in this manner for the advertising of a business can cause significant disturbance across entire neighbourhoods and we do get complaints.
“These cases clearly demonstrate our commitment to addressing those issues.”
A city council spokeswoman said “numerous complaints about loudspeakers from scrap metal dealers” were made last year.
“Throughout the course of a year we run, in conjunction with the police, several joint operations,” she said. “Last year three of these targeted this issue and resulted in the city council issuing a number of verbal and written warnings to scrap metal collectors.
“We are currently in the process of bringing one case to court.
“The city council will continue to operate alongside the Police in tackling this issue.”
To report a noise nuisance call Stroud District Council on 01453 754 478 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Gloucester City Council can be emailed at email@example.com or called on 01452 396 396.