A NEW law has "successfully prevented fraudulent companies" being set up in a Leigh street were 82 companies were registered earlier this year.

Back in September, residents were left feeling “petrified” that “bailiffs could turn up at their doors” after an influx of businesses were registered in Henry Drive, Leigh in the space of three months.

One address was home to eight companies, four were home to six each, and only one of the businesses was registered to a UK resident.

Following the concerns, Owen Cartey, Tory councillor representing West Leigh, called for legislation around how new companies are registered on Companies House to be updated urgently.

At the time, the Government was already considering reforming Companies House as part of the Economic Crime and Corporate Transparency Bill, which came into effect at the end of October.

Since, not a single new company has been registered in the street, according to Mr Cartey.

Mr Cartey said: “So far, we have made some good progress raising the profile of security concerns around company registrations and I am glad to see that the Government has addressed some of these in the Economic Crime and Corporate Transparency Act which came into effect on October 27.

“This legislation makes changes to the powers of the registrar of companies which allows them to more effectively challenge registrations when there are concerns.

“I am pleased that there haven’t been any additional registrations on Henry Drive so far this November.”

The Economic Crime and Corporate Transparency Bill provides Companies House with the tools to take a much harder line on criminals who take advantage of the UK’s open economy.

Companies House will receive enhanced abilities to verify the identities of company directors, remove fraudulent organisations from the company register and share information with criminal investigation agencies.

Lydia Hyde, Labour councillor responsible for St Laurence ward, added: “This caused a huge amount of distress for residents. At least, residents know now because it has been raised, there shouldn’t be any further ones being added to their addresses.

“But it needs to be made sure that all the original companies set up at their addresses are sorted too.”.

A spokesman for Companies House added: “We are sorry to hear about the ongoing problems people in Leigh are experiencing and are taking action where the law allows to assist those affected.

"The new Economic Crime and Corporate Transparency Act, which achieved Royal Assent last month, will significantly enhance the role and powers of the Registrar of Companies, enabling us to crack down on the use of false addresses.

"We look forward to applying our new powers to improve the quality and reliability of our data and to act more quickly if people tell us their personal information has been used on the register without their consent.”