MP Jeremy Wright continues push to improve disability access - The Leamington Observer

MP Jeremy Wright continues push to improve disability access

Leamington Editorial 18th Feb, 2022   0

I WROTE in January about the Private Member’s Bill I am seeking to introduce to improve the access people with disabilities have to taxis and private hire vehicles.

You can read more about it here www.jeremywright.org.uk/news/second-reading-taxis-and-private-hire-vehicles-disabled-persons-bill.

Like every other piece of legislation, it needs to go through several stages to become law. First there is a general debate on the principles underpinning the Bill known as its Second Reading, then a more detailed consideration of the Bill by a Committee of MPs, then the Bill returns to the House of Commons Chamber for its Remaining Stages and Third Reading, before moving to the House of Lords for the process to be repeated.

Private Member’s Bills are unusual pieces of legislation for several reasons. The opportunity to present one comes from being drawn early in the ballot of backbenchers conducted at the beginning of a new session of Parliament. The higher on the list you are, the more time your Bill will get for consideration and the higher the chances it will become law.




The Bill will not get as much time to be considered as Government legislation though, so it has to be relatively narrow in scope, and the Member presenting it is primarily responsible for shepherding it through the legislative process, even down to finding other Members of Parliament to serve on the Committee when it reaches that stage. My Bill reached, and I am pleased to say passed, its Committee stage last week. It will, I hope, finish its passage through the House of Commons on March 18.

Private Member’s Bills also often rely on widespread support to make progress and they can illustrate a lesser-known feature of Parliament. The hostility you see at Prime Minister’s Questions does not characterise much of Parliament’s work. Cross-party Select Committees conduct the most serious and in-depth scrutiny of the work of Government departments. All-Party Groups provide a forum for non-partisan discussion of a huge variety of issues. Government legislation can make progress through several of its legislative stages with no votes at all, and sometimes Private Member’s Bills produce widespread consensus too. It has been good to see that my Bill has been one of them. It has the support of a range of charities who campaign on disability issues, as well as those who represent many taxi and private hire vehicle drivers. It has the backing of the Government and the Labour Party front bench, as well as the unanimous approval of every backbencher who has spoken in the debates about it so far.


Politics has seemed fractious for some time now, and sometimes divisions are deep and feelings do run high, but it’s worth remembering we can also do good things together.

 

Jeremy Wright

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