Duncan Hames, MP for Chippenham - Delight that good causes will bag cash from levy (From The Wiltshire Gazette and Herald)
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Duncan Hames, MP for Chippenham - Delight that good causes will bag cash from levy
12:00pm Thursday 17th October 2013 in News
Back in the summer, Climate Friendly Bradford on Avon handed me a petition they had collected calling for a 5p charge on single-use plastic carrier bags which was signed by more than 1,100 residents.
I sent their petition on to the Environment Secretary with my support, having already discussed the issue with the Deputy Prime Minister, Nick Clegg. I was therefore delighted when, at the Liberal Democrat party conference, Nick Clegg announced that the levy will be introduced in 2015.
Returning to Parliament last week, I asked the Environment Minister how he will ensure that neither the Treasury nor the supermarkets cling on to the money raised by the levy, and was encouraged to hear that the government will work with retailers to direct it towards good causes instead.
MPs debated and voted on the ‘Lobbying Bill’, making important changes to address concerns about the effects on campaigning organisations. We passed amendments which make clear that only activity intended to promote a party or candidate standing for election will be covered by the expenditure limit, so the Bill should not prevent charities from campaigning.
I raised with the Justice Secretary the case of Tony Nicklinson, of Melksham, who had locked-in syndrome and sought the right to die.
I asked whether, under his proposed new rules, cases like Mr Nicklinson’s would still be eligible for legal aid. I will pursue the matter with the minister.
In a parliamentary debate about wildlife crime, I highlighted the links between the illegal ivory trade and organised crime and terrorism in Africa. I argued that governments around the world should urgently come together to crack down on it, as they did when money laundering was similarly linked to terrorist activity.
Back in Wiltshire, I met local business people at a breakfast meeting of the Holt Business Network at the Glove Factory Studios.
With the Rev Andy Gubbins, of St Peter’s Church in Chippenham, I discussed the role churches play in our local communities, before joining the children, parents, staff and governors of St Peter’s School to celebrate its 40th anniversary.
After a constituency surgery at The Pound arts centre in Corsham last Friday, my next are at my office in Avonbridge House, Chippenham, on Saturday between 10am and 11.30am and at Bradford on Avon library on Friday, October 25, between 3.30pm and 5pm.
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