Lighter Evenings

With regard to the Lighter Evenings Bill, I have had this letter from Nigel Beard MP (more than my own MP, who when written to on two issues, responds to one).

Nigel Beard MP, BexleyHeath and Crayford, House of Commons, London SW1A 0AA

Dear Mr. XXX

You kindly contacted me to offer support for the Lighter Evenings Bill, which was scheduled to have its Second Reading in the House of Commons on Friday 15 October 2004. Unfortunately, parliamentary time did not permit my Bill to be heard and so it slips off the schedule for this parliamentary session.

However, I am genuinely pleased with the response from members of the public that the Lighter Evenings Bill has generated and the publicity that has been gained for the idea of advancing our time one hour throughout the year.

There has been an additional benefit as well, in that during the course of the Bill, it has become clear that current Scottish hostility to this issue is based on incorrect information put out at the time of Sir John Butterfill's British Time (Extra Daylight) Bill in 1996 by the then Conservative Scottish Secretary, Michael Forsyth MP. He implied that the traffic casualty reductions resulting from a move to Central European Time (CET) would only apply to England and Wales, despite evidence to the contrary provided by the Transport Research Laboratory. Although the Scottish Executive have now recognised that CET would lead to 60 fewer deaths and serious injuries in Scotland, the comments by Michael Forsyth set the antagonistic climate of opinion in Scotland which still endures.

I am pleased to tell you that the Government are now re-examining the idea of moving our clocks forward. For this reason, it would be very useful if you were to write a brief letter to the minister responsible for time zones, Mr Gerry Sutcliffe, to express your support for Lighter Evenings. His address and title are: Mr Gerry Sutcliffe MP, Minister for Employment Relations, Competition and Consumers, DTI, V860 - 1 Victoria Street, London, SW1H OET.

To maintain momentum, it would also be wonderful if you were to write to local or national newspapers in preparation for the clocks going back on 31st October 2004.

Finally, if you are keen on getting more involved, then you might be interested to know about an organisation called Longer Day UK. This organisation is run by Noel Stevenson on a voluntary basis, and he has been very proactive in lobbying for my Bill. Mr Stevenson is attempting to create a network of interested individuals throughout the country who might be willing to form a grassroots lobby on this issue and he can be contacted by email on: ns@proconsul.xxxx, or by phone on: 020 8874 xxxx. details removed

Best wishes and many thanks for your support.

Yours sincerely,

Nigel Beard