A scrap metal dealer has been refused a licence to trade in Shetland after police discovered he had criminal convictions that he had failed to disclose to the authorities. Councillors on Shetland Islands Council’s licensing committee met in private on Monday to throw out the application for an itinerant trader’s licence. Afterwards chairman Jim Budge declined to reveal details or discuss any aspect of the meeting.
With the price of scrap having risen greatly there has been a dramatic rise in the number of operators appearing in Shetland to compete with established businesses. Some of the newcomers do not hold licences and have had to be cajoled into applying.
Recently the police apprehended some scrap dealers following complaints that property was being stolen around the islands. Court appearances are expected in the coming months.
This year so far the council has received eight applications for metal dealer licences and five have been granted. In the previous two years there was just one application each year, both granted.
There are two applications currently in the pipeline. One is from a dealer who has recently extended operations to Shetland – Jimmy Welch of Chariot Trading.
Mr Welch works in association with his father-in-law, Charles Barton, who owns the long-running 60 North Recycling company at Rova Head. All the scrap he buys goes to that yard, he said this week.
Scrap metal dealers have to be able to prove they are fit and proper people to buy and sell potentially precious materials as part of national measures to prevent crime. They also have to keep records of every purchase and sale.
Anyone approached about selling scrap is advised by the council to ask to see the trader’s licence.
An up-to-date public register of licensed traders can be checked by phoning the council’s enviromental health manager Maggie Dunne on Lerwick 744841.
She said the rise in the number of applications coming through was partly due to her department pursuing operators who are not legitimate. She said: “The value of metal has gone up. The market has reached a peak and people see Shetland as a place where scrap is available.”