‘Fingers Crossed’ email 22nd October 2012

Coming up to date

 Well the first round is now over and done with. The feedback I have been able to glean from various sources is that the Law Commission is quietly saying that there may well be some reasons for the exemption for wedding and funeral cars to continue but that will have to be up to the Minister involved. So it seems that clause 42 will remain in the draft bill presented to the Minister and that we will have to lobby all over again but this time directly to the Minister who can make the decision to continue or remove the exemption.

 The draft bill is due to be presented to the Minister at the end of November 2013 but with all the responses the Law Commission have received this is very likely to be delayed to early or mid 2014. During the intervening time we have to grow as the National Association in order to be taken seriously by the Minister and Parliament and participate in negotiations as to our fate, as part and parcel of the wedding services industry not the transport industry. The national associations for the private hire and taxi industries have many tens of thousands of members. We can never aspire to those sorts of numbers as our total industry comprises around 1500 companies nationwide.

 If the Minister does not continue the exemption he/she may well decide on a different form of licensing, if so we need to be there to negotiate the best possible outcome for the continuation of our industry and a wonderful British tradition. We won’t be able to do that without a really strong association representing at least half of our industry.

Should the final draft bill reach Parliament – not likely before the end of 2014 early 2015 it would take somewhere in the region of five to six months to be passed or not. It is almost certain the bill in one form or another will be passed. But during its transition through the Commons and the Lords the clause, with vigorous campaigning by us as a body and you as individuals, could well be deleted by the MPs/Lords. If the worst comes to the worst my guess is that we would be out of business late 2015 or early 2016, probably with a wind down period of around 18 months.

 So you can see membership of the association is vital to our eventual success. Several new members who have joined since the end of the Law Commission’s consultation period have said they never knew about the proposed bill so it is incumbent on all of us to tell all of our friends and competitors in the industry about the disastrous consequences should the bill somehow get passed and gain royal assent.

 A little good news

 A totally different piece of news, good for a change, concerns those of you who are members of the NAWCP and are on www.hitched.co.uk. You are now able to add accreditations to your listing. In other words you can add the logo to your entry thus showing all your visitors that you are a member of a professional body namely the NAWCP. To add an accreditation, log on to your ‘Supplier Admin’ at Hitched and choose the ‘Accreditation’ tab from your ‘Manage My Listings’ navigation menu. We will appear as the only professional body recognised by Hitched, just click on it to select. It will appear in your listing automatically and take effect immediately. Hitched do not charge for this service. If you are not a member of the NAWCP and put the accreditation on your entry Hitched will almost certainly remove your entry for fraud and ban you forever.

 Moving On  —  Bad news, the proposed new Europe wide MOT style tests

 This is all we need when the consequences of clause 42 have nowhere near been sorted out. There are considerable implications with these proposals coming from Brussels which could have a dire effect on quite large parts of the wedding car industry. Needless to say we are studying the implications and will report back as soon as possible.

 Help needed

 We are in desperate need of a lawyer who is a classic and or vintage car lover – does not have to be an owner – who can give us some definitive answers to various legal questions pertaining to our industry. If any of you are lawyers or know of one that might help please contact us asap as having to pay full fees is way beyond the means of our association.

 That’s it for now, I will try to keep you up to date on all matters relating to our industry. If there are any other issues affecting our industry that you think we need to explore please email us at admin@nawcp.co.uk.

 Have a great booking season

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