'Several important bills are being progressed through Parliament' - Mid Worcestershire MP's Westminster Diary - The Droitwich Standard
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13th Aug, 2022

'Several important bills are being progressed through Parliament' - Mid Worcestershire MP's Westminster Diary

Droitwich Editorial 6th Mar, 2022

Nigel Huddleston writes for the Standard.

SINCE my last update I have been busy in Parliament progressing several matters in my ministerial capacity, as well as spending time with constituents in Droitwich and across the constituency.

In my Westminster work I am pleased to tell you about the progress of a number of Bills. Firstly, the Dormant Assets Act has now gained Royal Assent having gone through rigorous debate and scrutiny processes in both Houses.

This new Act will help charities by providing more funding to tackle things like youth unemployment, by expanding the scheme which releases funds from dormant bank and building society accounts where it is no longer possible to identify the owner or beneficiary of the money. This year, an additional £44million has been made available with potential for an additional £880million to come.

I have also responded to Oral Questions on the floor of the House, covering a range of Department of Digital, Culture, Media and Sport matters including the tourism industry and diversity in cricket. The debate also covered phone signals in rural areas.

Representing a largely rural constituency, I was pleased to hear the Shared Rural Network programme is progressing and due to complete in June 2024.

It follows a deal with mobile operators to ensure more widespread coverage whilst minimising the visual impact of the necessary infrastructure – a topic the residents of Dodderhill have been all too familiar with since the transmitting station was installed in 1934.

Another Bill I have been working on is the Cultural Objects (Protection from Seizure) Bill, currently at Second Reading in the House of Lords, and which aims to ensure UK institutions can borrow important items for display in the UK. It was prompted by events in 2005 when 54 paintings including works by Picasso, Matisse, and Cézanne were seized by customs officials in Switzerland on their way to the UK.

The Charities Act, which I also worked on, gained Royal Assent in the same week. This carries several technical, but important, changes to charity law which will increase efficiency in the charities sector by reducing unnecessary administration and bureaucracy.

As you can hopefully see, the work in Westminster is keeping me busy, which is why I enjoy my time in the constituency conducting visits such as a recent trip to Aztec Adventure Park and Webbs of Wychbold.

I hope those of you with children or grandchildren have been able to enjoy some time together this half-term, despite the weather and recent storms.

I am grateful to everyone who has helped with fallen trees and all those dealing with local flood risks.

 

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