Knight Clears Second Hurdle in Battle Against Rogue Parking Companies

East Yorkshire MP Sir Greg Knight has welcomed his Private Member’s Bill, the Parking (Code of Practice) Bill, successfully completing its Committee stage today, after receiving its Second Reading in the House of Commons earlier in the year.

The Bill enjoys cross-party support, including the backing of the Government, and has now cleared its second Parliamentary hurdle. If successful, Sir Greg’s Bill will introduce a statutory code of practice for private parking companies which will prevent motorists being unfairly treated.

Following the ban on wheel clamping in 2012, privately issued parking ‘tickets’ soared to 4.7 million last year – one every 7 seconds with a number of these issued in dubious circumstances.

Sir Greg said: “The clear majority of car park providers are honest and fair but unscrupulous rogues are undermining the whole sector with bad practice”.

“Some dodgy operators are engaging in practices such as deliberately unclear signage, fining people whist they are getting change to pay for parking and tickets being issued despite parking payment machines being out of order. Currently there is no legally binding code to prevent this”.

“My Bill does nothing to diminish the rights of landowners to earn a fair income from their land, including seeking redress when motorists don’t play by the rules. But the scales need to be rebalanced so the system is fair for all involved. My Bill, will help stamp out rogues in the industry”.

“I am delighted that today Parliament took another step towards making parking fairer for motorists”.

Knight Backs Farmers at Westminster Reception

East Yorkshire MP Sir Greg Knight has backed British farmers at a reception at the House of Commons highlighting the importance of British farming which produces the world’s best food and provides the raw materials to keep 4 million people employed.

Sir Greg said: “As we prepare to leave the European Union it is crucial that we support the farming industry by ensuring measures are in place to encourage people to join the sector and to give farming a prosperous long-term future”.

“Farming is vital not only for the jobs it provides both in East Yorkshire and across the country but for its crucial contribution Britain’s £112 billion food and drink industry”.

After the event, which was addressed by the Secretary of Stater for Rural Affairs Michael Gove MP, Sir Greg met with Yorkshire farmers and NFU representatives to discuss slashing excess red-tape, flood prevention and policies which will encourage farmers to invest in infrastructure.

Pictured (l-r): Rt Hon Sir Greg Knight MP, Richard Bramley of York, from the National Farmers Union and Lord Kirkhope of Harrogate.

Knight: “Don’t Get Rooked – Be Scam Aware”

East Yorkshire MP Sir Greg Knight has joined other MPs across all major political parties to highlight the growing problem of scams. He is backing a motion in Parliament welcoming ‘Scams Awareness Month’ – which is this month.

It is estimated that scammers cost the British public £190 billion every year and the problem is getting worse, particularly with scams perpetrated through the internet. Studies also suggest that more people are not reporting scams, due to embarrassment, so the total cost to the public could be even larger.

Sir Greg, who has highlighted the impact of various internet scams, says: “Happily, crime across Britain is falling but criminals are always on the lookout for an easy, dishonest gain so people need to be alert to potential scams”.

“Special caution is needed when online and alarm bells should ring when someone makes unsolicited contact with us”.

“If someone who you do not know asks for your personal details, do not give them”.

Sir Greg urged people to remember that, “The golden rule, when it comes to scams, is that if it seems too good to be true, then it almost certainly is”.

Anyone who believes they have been the victim of a scam should contact their local Citizens Advice Bureau or ActionFraud.

Knight Welcomes Ivory Bill

East Yorkshire MP Sir Greg Knight has hailed the Ivory Bill as Britain demonstrating global leadership in dismantling the ivory trade which leads to thousands of African elephants being illegally slaughtered every year.

Sir Greg supported the Bill in the House of Commons, which was approved without dissent. This follows many years of pressure from Sir Greg and other politicians urging the Government to introduce a Bill to toughen up the current ban which is only partial and has easily exploited loopholes.

The new Bill introduces the toughest rules in Europe and amongst the toughest in the world by enacting a total ban on sale of ivory in the UK and the import and export of ivory for commercial use. Once the Bill becomes law the ban will cover ivory items of all ages – not just those produced after a certain date.

Sir Greg said: “It is a source of international shame that since 2006, the total number of elephants in Africa has decreased by approximately 20%, primarily due to poaching.

“British leadership in this area is the first step to closing legal ivory markets, reducing the price of ivory and removing the incentive to poach”.

The Bill provides certain narrowly-defined and carefully-targeted exemptions for items which do not contribute to the poaching of elephants and will not affect current ownership of ivory or those who inherit, donate or bequeath them.

Sir Greg with Lord Kirkhope of Harrogate campaigning for an ivory ban in 2017

Knight in Commons Plea: ‘Lets Keep Pubs in Business’

East Yorkshire MP Sir Greg Knight is one of the sponsors of a cross-party Parliamentary motion calling on the Government to help struggling pubs.

Sir Greg says: “Pubs provide employment for over 900,000 people and contribute £23 billion to the economy. However, figures just released show that 18 pubs are still closing every week.

Sir Greg, a long-term campaigner for pubs, said: “Across Britain pubs are still closing at an alarming rate, especially small family owned pubs in rural areas. 80% of pubs are ran as small businesses, employing local people and in many cases the pub is effectively the ‘hub’ of the local village community, so it is vital that the Government does everything possible to help them keep their doors open”.

He added: “The Government is to be applauded for cutting the beer duty, extending rate relief for pubs until March 2019 and reducing red tape but there is still more that can be done and it is important that this issue is kept high on the agenda.”

‘Stronger Case for My Parking Bill’ says Knight

East Yorkshire MP Sir Greg Knight’s Parking (Code of Practice) Bill has received a further boost with figures just released showing that the number of private parking ‘tickets’ given to drivers has risen by almost one million in just 12 months.

Government data now shows in the past year an eye-watering 5.65 million vehicle keeper records were obtained from the DVLA for the purpose of issuing so called ‘tickets’ to motorists on private land.  This figure represents a 20% increase in the past 12 months and is up from fewer than 0.5 million in total a decade ago.

Sir Greg’s Bill will introduce a statutory code of practice for private parking companies which will prevent motorists being unfairly treated.  The Bill successfully cleared its Second Reading in the House of Commons and has received cross-party support, including the backing of the Government. 

Sir Greg said: “Not only am I very concerned by the deplorable practices from some dodgy operators in the industry, I am also alarmed by the number of parking notices issued and by the fact that these keep going up. With a ‘ticket’ now issued every 6 seconds my Bill is more needed than ever to ensure fair play across the board.  This industry must be controlled to see that it operates on a fair and above-board basis’.

Sir Greg’s Bill is expected to be considered by a cross-party committee in the Commons before the summer.

Knight Backs Crackdown on Knife and Acid Crimes

East Yorkshire MP Sir Greg Knight is welcoming Government plans for new legislation which will make it illegal to buy and keep offensive weapons.

The crackdown, part of new Serious Violence Strategy announced by Home Secretary Amber Rudd, will mean police will get powers to search, seize and prosecute anyone caught with weapons and tough jail terms will follow for people possessing acid without lawful excuse.

In addition, no one will be able to buy knives online for delivery to their homes and shopkeepers will be banned from selling potentially dangerous cleaning products to children.

Sir Greg said: “We have recently seen a spate of violent crime in our big cities but this is not just an issue for urban areas.  Fewer knives, fewer dangerous chemicals and tougher powers for the police across the whole country are all sensible moves”.

“To tackle violent crime effectively, robust legislation must be in place so I fully support these proposals from the Home Secretary”.

The Serious Violence Strategy also includes measures to tackle the misuse of drugs and to support early intervention to steer young people away from crime.

Knight Backs Hedgehog Campaign

East Yorkshire MP Sir Greg Knight is supporting the campaign to arrest the decline in hedgehog numbers.

Recently hedgehogs have topped a vote for a national species for Britain, but their numbers have plummeted by more than half since 2000.  Nocturnal and notoriously difficult to count there are perhaps just a million left, representing a 97% fall from the 1950s.

The reasons for the decline in hedgehog numbers are complex but include a rise in numbers of the hedgehog’s main predators, the badger, and changes in land use.

Sir Greg is backing the ‘Hedgehog Street’ campaign and encouraging people to visit their website www.hedgehogstreet.org to find out what they can do in their own gardens including creating ‘hedgehog highways’, removing plastic litter, making ponds safe, checking before strimming and being careful with bonfires.

Sir Greg said: “The Hedgehog is an iconic animal and one of the most familiar of Britain’s wild mammals.  They now need our help.  By taking just a few basic steps, we can help stop the decline of this much loved little creature”.

Knight Pays Tribute to “larger than life” friend Bill Maynard

East Yorkshire MP Sir Greg Knight today paid tribute to actor Bill Maynard. Maynard, who passed away this week aged 89 was one of Britain’s best known actors and had been close friends with Sir Greg for over 40 years.

Born in 1928, Maynard (real name Walter Williams) started out as a stand up comic before moving into television with the late Terry Scott. Later, he starred in various TV sitcoms including ‘Oh No, It’s Selwyn Froggitt’ and ‘The Gaffer’.

In the nineties he played lovable old rogue Claude Jeremiah Greengrass in the popular and long-running television series Heartbeat and its spin-off series The Royal.

Maynard once dabbled in politics, standing unsuccessfully as an independent against Tony Benn in the 1980’s.

Having originally retired from acting in 2000 due to ill health Maynard made a return to the stage in 2009 when he appeared as the guest of honour at the Pride of Bridlington Awards organised by Sir Greg.

Maynard was widowed when his first wife Muriel died in 1983. In 1989 he married Tonia Bern, widow of land speed record holder Donald Campbell but the marriage did not last.

Sir Greg said, “It is a very sad day for me and my thoughts are with Bill’s family.

“Bill was a great actor and he was, more often than not, bigger than the parts he played. He brought many a colourful character to life on the screen making them believable in a way not many others could.”.

“However, if he thought others were not doing their best,he could be “difficult”.

“I am upset at the loss of a great friend”.

 

Knight Welcomes New Health Funding for Region

East Yorkshire MP Sir Greg Knight has welcomed the announcement of £7.5 million investment for adolescent mental health in the East Riding.

The funds, allocated to the Humber, Coast and Vale Sustainability and Transformation Partnership, will provide 13 additional hospital beds for adolescents with mental health problems. The new funds mean that children requiring admission for mental health needs will not need to travel out of the region.

Sir Greg said, “One of the worrying realities of modern life across the world is the increasing occurrence of mental health issues in teenagers, so I welcome new funding that will make this treatment possible.”