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New law call on car boot sales

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Powers for councils to clamp down on car boot sales causing traffic misery were today being demanded by a West Midland MP.

Powers for councils to clamp down on car boot sales causing traffic misery were today being demanded by a West Midland MP.

Communities in Featherstone and Himley are among those across the region brought to a standstill by traffic from the sales, says Tory MP Gavin Williamson.

The MP has raised the matter in Parliament and is calling for powers similar to those used in London that would allow local authorities such as the council in his South Staffordshire constituency to intervene and impose its own rules limiting the number of events.

Two boot sales are regularly held along the A460 Cannock Road, one at Featherstone and one 350 yards away at Shareshill, attracting thousands of bargain hunters.

But residents and councillors claim cars are parked on their driveways and block them in. Mr Williamson said the problem was spiralling out of control.

He is calling for South Staffordshire Council to be able to reduce the number of car boot sales in the area, which he said would enable people to go about their daily lives "without this terrible affliction".

He said: "I am asking for South Staffordshire District Council to be able to impose the same regulations as many London boroughs so that we can control those industrial car boot sales." The council is currently unable to impose restrictions.

Under planning regulations, organisers are allowed to hold 14 separate events in one year on any one site.

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Mr Williamson told MPs: "When you think of car boot sales, you probably imagine pleasant events involving 20 or 30 cars. But South Staffordshire is blighted by industrial car boot sales involving hundreds of traders.

"There is no regulation or control by the district council, and the events bring misery to many areas. In Featherstone and Himley on a Sunday, villagers are not able to leave their homes because of the traffic chaos inflicted on them."

By London reporter Sunita Patel

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