MP for North Herefordshire


Media Releases

Bill Wiggin MP backs farming for nature

Bill Wiggin, MP for North Herefordshire, is backing farming that is better for animals, people and the environment ahead of the forthcoming Agriculture Bill.

Last week Bill Wiggin MP joined with farmers and NGOs to celebrate sustainable farming across the UK at a Farmers’ Market event in Parliament, organised by the environmental coalitions Wildlife and Countryside Link and Greener UK. The coalitions include organisations such as RSPB, Pasture for Life, National Trust, WWF and RSPCA.

The event comes just before the forthcoming Agriculture Bill is expected to be introduced to the House of Commons and was well-attended with cross-party support from more than 60 MPs and Peers. It showcased nature friendly UK farming produce, explored the reasons why it is essential for the environment to thrive if farming is to do the same, and demonstrated consensus on the need for a strong Agriculture Bill which enables us to use public money to both help farmers and enhance and protect the environment.

Bill Wiggin MP, said: ‘The environment, plants, wildlife and farming are inextricably linked. Farming must be profitable and can be more successful with the natural resources it relies on. Nature is dependent on the stewardship of farmers, who care for so much of our treasured British landscape. Our environment and our farmers need our support, and that’s why I’m excited by an Agriculture Bill that will allow them to work in harmony and enable both to survive and thrive.’


Bill Wiggin MP is working with the RSPCA to help improve animal welfare in North Herefordshire

Bill Wiggin MP attended the RSPCA’s annual drop-in in the House of Commons last week. As part of this, he heard directly from RSPCA Inspectors about their frontline work to protect animals in North Herefordshire and across the UK.

At the event, the scale of animal cruelty complaints across Herefordshire were revealed. In 2017, the RSPCA investigated 496 complaints about animal cruelty in the county, with the charity’s nationwide 24-hour cruelty line receiving over a million calls.

The RSPCA has been investigating and prosecuting animal welfare offences since its foundation in 1824. To this day, they are increasing their work to prevent cruelty occurring in the first place and to educate the next generation of animal lovers.

Commenting after the event, Bill Wiggin MP said:

“I welcome the work that their Inspectors do to protect animal welfare in North Herefordshire. It was fantastic to meet some of their hard-working Inspectors and to thank them on behalf of the animal lovers in our area for all that they do.

However, I am saddened that the RSPCA’s latest statistics show animal cruelty complaints are continuing in Herefordshire. We all have a duty to be vigilant against abuses of animal welfare and I will continue to work closely with the RSPCA to help improve standards of animal welfare in Herefordshire and across the UK.”

Bill Wiggin MP uses PMQs to ask for more beds for Hereford County Hospital

Bill Wiggin, MP for North Herefordshire, continued his campaign for more beds for Hereford County Hospital during today’s Prime Ministers Questions.

Mr Wiggin asked the Prime Minister:

“My Rt Hon Friend will be aware I have raised the issue of more beds for Hereford Hospital no fewer than twelve time over the years.

Can she now confirm that the funding is in place to deliver these much needed beds?”

The Prime Minister responded by saying:

“Can I say to my Hon Friend that I know he has been a consistent campaigner on this issue? We have announced over £3.9 billion of new additional capital funding for the NHS up to 2022-23. The majority of that is to support the implementation of the local Sustainability and Transformation Partnership Plans for local communities.

Major projects are under consideration across the country, we intend to announce one large-scale scheme the size of the Shrewsbury and Telford plan every year going forward based on high-quality plans, but coming forward from local NHS leaders. It is important that these plans are driven by the local NHS but they will ensure better care for patients.”

Speaking after the session, Bill Wiggin MP said:

“I was pleased to be able to press the Prime Minister on this ever important issue. I welcomed her reassurances and plans for local healthcare, but I remain determined to ensure we get the beds that Hereford Hospital so badly needs.

I will not stop campaigning for this as the problem has never ceased to be absolutely relevant, and I am hopeful that the money will be made available for us in Herefordshire.”

Bill meets with Hugh Grant for press regulation discussion

Bill Wiggin, MP for North Herefordshire, last week met with actor Hugh Grant to discuss press regulation ahead of the remaining stages of the Data Protection Bill, due on 9th May.

Mr Wiggin had previously spoken in Parliament of his disappointment at the Government’s decision to abandon the recommendations of the Leveson inquiry, while Mr Grant is a member of Hacked Off, the campaign for an accountable Press.

Bill Wiggin MP also offered his reaction to an announcement from the Independent Press Standards Organisation, stating they are to implement a compulsory low-cost arbitration scheme.

Mr Wiggin welcomed the announcement, however he added a note of caution, saying:
“I have been campaigning for a compulsory low-cost arbitration scheme ever since the Leveson Inquiry.

The problem is that the so called ‘compulsory’ scheme is actually voluntary.
Newspapers are under no obligation to sign up, newspapers do not have to be members of IPSO and IPSO is not an approved regulator.

Any newspaper who is not signed up to the scheme, or who decides to leave IPSO, has no obligation to provide low-cost arbitration to victims of press abuse.
This announcement is therefore utterly meaningless without the legislation to enforce it.

IPSO, in saying that the newspapers must no longer be able to pick and choose, agree that the newspapers can no longer be trusted to provide the access to justice which Lord Leveson said was necessary – low-cost arbitration.

I welcome IPSO’s newly prompted commitment to low-cost arbitration, and want it to be compulsory for all members. I hope all their members sign up voluntarily and then remain in the scheme, but this does not change the need to legislate in order to protect the rights of the vulnerable to low-cost arbitration.

This is a step in the right direction, but until it is compulsory for all cases against all newspapers, but I am worried that it is still simply a sidestep by the media to avoid being forced to provide access to justice for the most vulnerable victims of press abuse.”


Bill Wiggin, MP for North Herefordshire, visited one of his constituency’s award winning five star holiday and leisure parks during national tourism week.

Mr Wiggin, accompanied by Managing Director Glenn Jones of ‘Discover Parks’ and Manager of Pearl Lake Leisure Alex Davidson, undertook a tour of the 80 acre park at Shobdon, where over 200 hundred holiday parks homes are attracting visitors from near and far.

“There’s a huge rise in the number of people wanting to buy into holiday home ownership”, said Mr Jones. “Our three parks at Shobdon, Eardisland and Presteigne are proving very popular already this season keeping over thirty employees extremely busy.”

Commenting afterwards, MP Bill Wiggin said he was very impressed with what he saw:

“Employers like Glenn are crucial to the local economy creating revenue for both the workforce and surrounding businesses who benefit from over 10,000 visitors that are drawn to the area due to Discover Parks each year. I’m amazed at what they offer here, five star facilities in the stunning surroundings of North Herefordshire, a real jewel in the constituency crown.”

Bill Wiggin MP welcomes cash for councils to fill potholes

Thousands of drivers and cyclists across West Midlands will soon have safer journeys thanks to a £1,702,946 Government investment to repair potholes.

Bill Wiggin MP has welcomed new dedicated funding from the Government, which will fill approximately 32,131 potholes across the West Midlands area.

An estimated £1,252,647 will be allocated to Herefordshire specifically, allowing local road users to enjoy their journeys without having to dodge potholes.

This is on top of the £75 million of funding already given to councils from the Pothole Action Fund this year, as well as the additional £46 million boost for highways authorities announced just before Christmas.

The funding will also help to protect the roads from any future severe weather.

Commenting, Bill Wiggin MP said:

“The state of our roads remains a great source of frustration for drivers, especially after the unusually prolonged spell of freezing weather – it’s one of the biggest issues that’s raised with me by my constituents.

“This new funding is welcome news for our families and businesses who rely on our roads to get around, and I will work hard to ensure that we in North Herefordshire get our fair share.

“I’m glad that the Government is investing to improve the standard of our local roads – delivering on our commitment to build an economy fit for the future.”

Bill Wiggin MP responds to PM Syria statement.

I fully support the Prime Minister in her decisive action following the despicable use of chemical weapons by the Syrian regime against its own people in Douma. The co-ordinated and precise attacks, supported by our Allies in the USA and France, send a strong message that the continuous abhorrent use of chemical weapons will not go unchallenged.

As the Prime Minister has stated, this was not an intervention in the ongoing Syrian Civil War which has caused immeasurable suffering, but rather a clear and proportionate reaction to the crimes against humanity committed by the Assad regime. The airstrikes were precise, targeted and had a clear objective; to degrade the capabilities and deter the use of chemical weapons by the Syrian regime.

I firmly believe that the use of chemical weapons cannot go unchallenged, and tolerated in conflict through wilful inaction. We cannot turn a blind eye to these reprehensible acts, whether on the streets of Salisbury or in Eastern Ghouta. These barbaric acts contravene all international laws and conventions. We must hold the Assad regime accountable to the rule of law.

This action, taken by the Prime Minister is not only in the national interest but also part of our wider duty to react to and prevent further humanitarian suffering. I fully support her actions, and her right to take those actions as Prime Minister.

Bill Wiggin MP welcomes progress toward hutted ward replacement

Bill Wiggin, MP for North Herefordshire, has today welcomed the ‘highly encouraging’ news that further progress has been made towards the replacement of the 1930s hutted wards at Hereford County Hospital.

Mr Wiggin was reacting to the announcement from Wye Valley NHS Trust that it has cleared another hurdle in its bid to demolish the 1930s hutted wards replace them with wards fit for 21st century healthcare.

Mr Wiggin commented:

“I have been looking for this extra investment in more beds since I was elected in 2001 and remember chasing Alun Milburn down Whitehall seeking extra beds (pictured). I have never given up.”

In 2014, Bill Wiggin MP addressed the issue with the former Prime Minster at PMQs, saying:

‘Nothing matters more to my constituents than their health. The increase in spending from the Government is welcome but our Hospital is full and we continue to need more beds. The failing PFI contracts and Care Quality Commission challenges facing the Hospital don’t alter the fact that we need to ensure there are enough beds available for those that need them.

I use the NHS and understand the need to build on the hard work and commitment of our fantastic staff. We have skilled consultants and we need to ensure that our old hutted wards are replaced with state of the art modern buildings with more capacity.

I visited the old wards recently and was deeply impressed by the teams delivering patient care. I want the Prime Minister to ensure that Hereford Hospital is now top of the list for future capital investment.’

Responding to the latest news, Bill Wiggin MP said:

“It is fantastic news that the removal of these hutted wards has moved one step closer. I have long been campaigning for these huts to be removed and replaced by modern facilities that will be of enormous benefit to patients and the brilliant staff at the County Hospital.

I fully support the Wye Valley Trust’s timely plans that will provide extra beds and enable the staff to give patients the best possible care. These plans will cement the excellent progress made by Hereford Hospital, which was removed from special measures in November 2016.”

Bill Wiggin MP speaks in Data Protection Bill Debate

Bill Wiggin, MP for North Herefordshire, has spoken of his disappointment at the Government’s decision to abandon the recommendations of the Leveson inquiry. Mr Wiggin spoke at length during a Data Protection Bill debate, where he highlighted failings in the IPSO (Independent Press Standards Organisation) complaints procedure as an example of the need for the implementation of section 40 of the Crime and Courts Act 2013.

Mr Wiggin said:

“I am obviously extremely disappointed that the Government last week chose to abandon Lord Leveson’s recommendations. The inquiry was always one inquiry in two parts, not two inquiries, and it should not stop halfway through.

Sir Brian Leveson was absolutely clear in his letter to the Secretary of State that he does not want the inquiry to stop halfway. However, there is no justification for spending millions on part 2 if we are simply to abandon the recommendations of part 1. We must carry out the recommendations of part 1 and then continue with the second half of the inquiry.”

Mr Wiggin disagreed with the Secretary of State for Culture Media and Sport’s assertion that the current system of press regulation was sufficient, and that implementing section 40 would damage the freedom of the press and hurt vulnerable local papers, saying:

“In response to the idea that the current system of regulation is sufficient, I point out that IPSO cannot be “largely compliant.” It is not possible to be largely pregnant—someone is either pregnant or not.

As per the Secretary of State’s statement, a regulator either follows all 29 criteria or it does not. IPSO does not, and therefore it is not the method of press regulation that Leveson recommended and that has already been passed into law.

The Secretary of State suggests that we do not need further regulation. Why would we regulate energy providers, communications providers and even exam providers, but simply decide to trust newspapers that have criminal convictions?”

Latterly, Mr Wiggin called for the members on both side of the House to support those victims of press abuse who are unable to afford proper arbitration. Mr Wiggin said:

“Section 40 is not only desirable but necessary. IPSO will never agree to apply to become an approved regulator unless it is forced to, and section 40 would ensure that it happened. These measures already received the full support of both Houses in proceedings on the Crime and Courts Act. We must now implement them. The challenge goes out to the Opposition parties: there is support on both sides of the House for section 40, but if there are not sufficient Members here to vote for it, the Government will have their way.

I hope we will make sure that this House does not bend the knee to the power of the press barons, but remembers its role to speak up for the vulnerable—the people who have no money, and who need a proper, fair and low-cost arbitration system.”

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