A SCRAP metal dealer caught without a licence has pleaded with Wiltshire Council to give him a second chance and save his business.

Fined last year for dealing without a licence, Richard Whiting has now gone down the official route of applying for a licence only to be told he is not ‘fit and proper’ due to his previous conviction.

He has warned others not to get caught without a license and avoid a hefty fine.

Mr Whiting. 46, was fined £1000 at Swindon Magistrates Court last November and has since paid the bill.

But he is unable to begin work again until he is awarded the correct licence, which the council have refused.

He was told to “get another job” by council officers during the application process despite working in scrap metal for 20 years.

Despite paying for a criminal security (DBS) check and being told that he could apply right away after the conviction, Wiltshire Council have blocked his bid.

He said: “I had a waste carriers licence and in some areas that entitles you to pick up scrap metal but with Wiltshire Council I needed another licence which I didn’t have. As soon as I left court I was told by the council to apply for a licence and then I could continue my work.

“Then it wasn’t until a few weeks ago that I was told that I couldn’t apply until November this year when one year has gone by. They have strung me along when they could have told me this in the first place. I feel like they are waiting for me to slip up and start doing it illegally. I have done everything they wanted and they have just been rude to me back.”

Bridget Wayman, cabinet member for Waste, said: “Anyone can apply for a scrap metal dealers licence. As part of the application process we carry out checks to ensure the applicant is fit and proper to hold a scrap metal dealers licence. We refused the licence application by Mr Whiting as we did not deem him fit and proper to hold a licence. This was due to Mr Whiting being convicted by Wiltshire Council for dealing in scrap metal without a licence in November 2018.”

Guidelines on the Wiltshire Council website state it has the “power for the council to refuse or revoke licence or impose conditions where appropriate.”