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.”

Knight Backs Salt Awareness Week

East Yorkshire MP Sir Greg Knight has backed ‘Salt Awareness Week’ at the House of Commons to highlight the impact that a high salt intake can have on health.

‘National Salt Awareness Week’, is taking place between Monday 12th – Sunday 18th March 2018. It is supported by many expert bodies including the British Heart Foundation, Cancer Research UK and the Stroke Association. Organisers hope to encourage the food industry and food outlets to reduce unnecessary salt, in both processed food and cooked meals.

Sir Greg said: “Some food manufacturers and restaurants still use excessive and unnecessary levels of salt. They need to be shamed into providing food with less added salt”. Sir Greg pointed out that some Chinese take-away meals contained half the recommended daily salt intake and said if restaurants refused to cut salt they should be forced to issue health warnings because they are often too high in salt.

Sir Greg said, “Many people still don’t realise that a high salt diet can not only lead to high blood pressure, but also to osteoporosis and other diseases and National Salt Awareness Week is to be congratulated for drawing attention to the risks”.

Knight Backs Hospital on its 30th Anniversary

East Yorkshire MP Sir Greg Knight has given his backing to Bridlington Hospital and praised all who work there, on the occasion of its 30th anniversary calling it a ‘highly valued local asset’.

Sir Greg said: “This hospital was opened under Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher and is a relatively modern building. It is hugely valued by local people who want more healthcare services in their local community not at further-flung regional hospitals.”

“Despite taking some knocks over the years I am confident that the hospital will continue to serve the people of Bridlington and the surrounding areas for the next 30 years and I intend to continue to raise the importance of this facility to our community”.

Sir Greg revealed that he has invited the Secretary of State for Health, Jeremy Hunt MP to visit Bridlington Hospital in its anniversary year and is hoping that the Minister will visit the town later this year.

Knight Calls for Puppy Farm Ban

East Yorkshire MP Sir Greg Knight is sponsoring a Parliamentary Motion calling for an end to both puppy farms and the sale of young puppies in pet shops.

The motion, which has received cross party backing, highlights government advice that purchasers should see puppies interacting with their mother in the place where they were born.

Sir Greg said: “It is neither right or necessary for puppies to be sold away from their mothers, often caged in small perspex boxes in pet shops”.

“Sadly, there are still some irresponsible and unscrupulous practices by a number of dog breeders. The Government should protect breeding dogs and puppies by making all breeders accountable and cutting out third party ‘dealers’ of puppies from the market”.

Knight Clears First 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, receiving its Second Reading in the House of Commons today.

The Bill enjoyed cross-party support, including the backing of the Government, and has now cleared its first 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 the first step towards making parking fairer for motorists”.

East Yorkshire Farmers See Behind the Scenes at Westminster

East Yorkshire MP Sir Greg Knight has met with East Yorkshire farmers and representatives of the National Farmers Union in Westminster to discuss issues of concern.

Before the meeting the farmers were given a tour of the Palace of Westminster including the Queen’s Robing Room, the House of Lords and Westminster Hall.

The meeting, organised by the NFU, covered a wide range of issues from fly-tipping and badger culling to pesticide use and EU red-tape, with a focus on getting the best deal for farmers as Brexit negotiations unfold.

Sir Greg thanked the NFU for organising the event and said the meting was ‘positive and constructive’. He agreed to take up several the issues raised by farmers with farming minister George Eustice MP.

Sir Greg said, “It is vital that we have good farming policy as we approach Brexit not only because of the jobs that farming provides both here in East Yorkshire and across the country but for its crucial contribution to Britain’s food and drink industry and for our food security”.

Knight Backs Plans for Food Labelling Shake-Up

Sir Greg Knight, MP for East Yorkshire, has welcomed comments from farming Minster George Eustace MP indicating that Britain could see a shake-up of food labelling rules after we leave the EU.

Currently food labelling regulations disadvantage British farmers, confuse consumers and do not promote animal welfare and currently, ministers are powerless to act because these rules are set by the EU.

Sir Greg, who has been a long-term campaigner on this issue, said: “Food labelling should be simple, clear and truthful but at the moment it is lacking all of these”.

In just this past year we have seen New Zealand lamb slipped into a major supermarket chain’s ‘Lancashire’ Hot-Pot, bacon from foreign reared pigs regularly passed off as ‘British’ because it was processed in the UK and, despite many concerned consumers asking for the information, people still have no idea if the meat that they buy has been pre-stunned before slaughter”.

“More and clearer information is desperately required. When these rules are updated it will not only be good for consumers but it will also give a boost to East Yorkshire farmers who pursue some of the highest animal welfare standards in the world but currently cannot differentiate their superior product on the supermarket shelves”.

Speaking about the method of slaughter used, farming Minister George Eustace recently made clear that he believes the public should be told how their meat is slaughtered. He said: “The Government believes that consumers should have the necessary information available to them to make an informed choice”, he added, “This is something we can consider in the context of leaving the EU.”

Knight Backs Bill to Protect Live Music

East Yorkshire MP Sir Greg Knight has joined other MPs and music industry figures outside the Houses of Parliament to give his backing to the introduction of the Planning (Agent of Change) Bill.

The MPs, from across all political parties, were backed by Pink Floyd drummer Nick Mason, singers Feargal Sharkey and Sandie Shaw and UK Music Chief Executive Michael Douger.

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The Bill, presented to the Commons by John Spellar MP and sponsored by Sir Greg aims to incorporate the ‘agent of change’ principle within planning law.

Presently when buildings near a much-loved local music venue are converted to residential use or a new development is erected, the onus is on the music venue to ensure the new dwellings are protected from noise.  This situation is having a crippling effect on some of them.

This Bill would flip this responsibility and means that residential developers would be obliged to deal with the impact of sound from pre-existing businesses like music venues before going ahead with their plans.

Sir Greg said, “I welcome the introduction of the agent of change Bill as a vital means of protecting the future of our local music venues. All too often planning laws have placed unreasonable demands on small venues, threatening the development of our music industry.

I am pleased that this Bill recognises the challenges that music venues face. I hope the Government will take action to secure the changes needed.”

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