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Park the Charges FAQ

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What is a Private Members' Bill?

A Private Members' Bill is a way for an MP or a Member of the House of Lords who is not a Government minister to try and change the law by introducing new legislation. 

Private Member's Bill that are drawn first in the ballot have a higher chance of becoming law as they have priority for the debating time available over the other types of Private Members' Bills. As Julie Cooper's Bill has been drawn fourth, there will definitely be time for her Bill on 30 October 2015, when her Bill has its Second Reading.

How do Private Members' Bills become law?

In the same way any Bill becomes law. The Bill is debated several times in both Houses of Parliamnt and is voted on at each of these stages. If it receives a majority of the vote from both Houses of Parliament (Commons and Lords), it is then approved, receives Royal Assent and becomes law (at which point it becomes an Act). There is no guarantee Private Members Bills will become law, but they do create publicity around important issues, which in turn might encourage the Government to change existing legislation.

Why is the Bill just about England? / What about car parking charges in Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland?

Hospital car parking is already free in most hospitals in Scotland and Wales, and for some patients with chronic conditions in Northern Ireland. By comparison, few hospitals in England have concessions in place for carers to park for free when visiting the person they care for.

Why does the Bill only exempt carers entitled to Carer's Allowance?

The text of the Bill has been put forward by Julie Cooper MP who decided it had a better chance of being successful if it applied to carers who are entitled to claim Carer's Allowance to begin with. If the Bill makes it into law Julie hopes to persuade the Government to widen the provisions of the bill to include all carers.

Where can I read the text of the Bill?

When the Bill is published it will be available on the Parliament website here.

Who can I contact for more information?

Please contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. with any questions.

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