Knight's Days - life at Westminster with Sir Greg Knight MP
Parliament is currently in recess, so this is the time of year when MPs and their staff have to take their holidays.
However, the whole of the recess is not itself a vacation because other work still needs to be done, such as answering post, and dealing with important issues that arise.
The work that is undertaken by MPs during a Parliamentary recess is never mentioned by the national press but even so I was recently surprised by one constituent who, at my advice bureau, asked: “How are you enjoying your six week holiday?”
He looked a little stunned when I replied: “If I was on holiday, this advice surgery would not be taking place!”
Official figures show the number of motorists handed tickets by private parking companies has soared by almost two thirds in 12 months.
The vehicle owner records of a whopping 1.74 million motorists were obtained by private parking firms from the DVLA, allowing them to chase motorists for penalties of up to £100. This is a rise of 64% on the same period last year.
It seems to me there is an overwhelming case here for introducing a legally enforceable code of conduct for private car park operators, as private parking in the UK has turned into a profitable industry worth hundreds of millions of pounds. It seems that many firms are relying on enforcement fines as their main way of making money.
In my view, this needs to be addressed by parliament when the House returns from recess.
One of the first Parliamentary motions to be tabled following the General Election, was on the subject of endangered species around the world.
Latest figures show that the population of African elephants is down by 140,000 since 2007. Most of this decline has been brought about by poaching and recent seizures of smuggled ivory confirm this.
For years now politicians of all parties in Britain have been trying to supress the demand for ivory. Although international trade in ivory is illegal, some countries still permit internal sales and do not enquire too closely about where the ivory has some from.
China has been the main culprit for many years. But now, at last, even they are concerned about the dwindling numbers of elephants. By the end of this year, any sale of ivory in China will be illegal and all ivory dealers are to have their licences revoked.