Campaigns. It is important that I continue to know the strength of feeling on an issue and I prefer to respond to every inquiry, but the sheer size of campaign correspondence means that it is hard to justify to the tax payer the cost and time taken for individual written replies, so regrettably I will no longer reply to every item of campaign correspondence.  I will  post a response to the campaign on the "Responses to campaigns" page of my website.

I am sorry to do this, as it is rather impersonal, but can see no other way of maintaining a good service for all my constituents unless I approach campaigns this way.


10 AUG 2017

EDM 176

Thank you very much for taking the time to email me about civilian enforcement officers and EDM 176.

I understand you would like me to sign EDM 176, however like many MPs I do not sign any EDMs no matter how worthy the cause. This is because EDMs now cost a huge amount per year to administer and have no chance of changing the Law. They are in effect petitions which only MPs can sign. They have also been superseded by online petitions which can be on any issue for which the Government or Parliament is responsible and any which receive 10,000 signatures will receive a response from the Government. Those petitions which reach 100,000 signatures will almost always be debated in Parliament – unless it is an issue which has recently been debated. There are also concerns that EDMs may give a false impression that action is being taken.

Nonetheless, I hope you will find the following information on this matter from the Ministry of Justice of interest:

The Government takes the recovery and enforcement of court fines extremely seriously. It is committed to ensuring that offenders with outstanding fines either pay or are brought back before the court. It is encouraging therefore that a record £440.5 million was recovered in 2016/17. However, it is also important that the Government continues to look at how it can improve this service and provide the best value for the taxpayer in the years to come.
It is for this reason that the Government is considering a range of options about how best to deliver this service. A tender process has now started which will allow the Government to make informed decisions about which steps to take. As part of this process, discussions are also being had with providers to consider extending the current use of Approved Enforcement Agencies for warrants of arrest. However no decision has been made at this current time.

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