Martin Horwood MP

Martin Horwood MP (Liberal Democrat) MP for Cheltenham

E-mail: martin@martinhorwood.net Tel: 01242 224889 Office: 16 Hewlett Road, Cheltenham GL52 6AA

Digital Economy Bill

To the best of ORG's knowledge, this MP was not spoken to about the Digital Economy Bill.

Surgeries

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Electronic Voting

Aware of the problems with Electronic Voting in America and worried about technical glitches and a loss of voter confidence in this country. Thinks it would be better to look for simpler solutions.

Westminster Hall debate [1] e-Government

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Some critical thought must be applied to information and communications technology. E-democracy is another exciting, modern idea. Piloted in 2002, it clearly has some benefits. The "UK online annual report 2002", commenting on the e-voting pilot in St. Albans, states:
"As a result of piloting e-voting and counting, the election result in St Albans was announced just four minutes after the polls closed."
That would not produce quite the same atmosphere on election nights as we are all used to, but we would get to bed a little earlier—or our parties would start a little earlier, depending on the result. The Electoral Commission concluded that there was no evidence that fears of fraud were realised in practice. However, I should be interested to know how they knew that. Having anonymous people voting online seems to be open to great risks. Some of the experience of technical glitches in the US voting machines, some of which are not just electric and mechanical but electronic, should give us pause. Sometimes it is better to look for simpler solutions. If the Government want to boost turnout in elections, they might experiment with voting at weekends, which might boost turnout without the possible threat to public trust in election systems that e-technology might introduce.

Early Day Motions

Signed Early Day Motion 2699 Freedom of Information 10 December 2006

That this House welcomes the finding of the Constitutional Affairs Committee (HC991) that the Freedom of Information Act has `already brought about the release of significant new information and....this information is being used in a constructive and positive way' and the committee's conclusion that it sees `no need to change' the Act's charging arrangements; views with concern reports that the Government is considering changing these arrangements to permit an application fee to be charged for all requests or to allow authorities to refuse, on cost grounds, a significant proportion of requests which they currently must answer; and considers that such changes could undermine the Act's benefits of increased openness, accountability and trust in the work of public authorities.

Signed Early Day Motion 179 Software in Schools 21 November 2006

That this House congratulates the Open University and other schools, colleges and universities for utilising free and open source software to deliver cost-effective educational benefit not just for their own institutions but also the wider community; and expresses concern that Becta and the Department for Education and Skills, through the use of outdated purchasing frameworks, are effectively denying schools the option of benefiting from both free and open source software and the value and experience small and medium ICT companies could bring to the schools market.

Signed Early Day Motion 1135 Self-Regulation of Computer Games Industry 29 November 2005

That this House recognises the size and importance of the computer games industry and the popularity of computer games and welcomes the contribution the industry makes to the United Kingdom's economy; notes, however, that retailers and parents often do not strictly adhere to the age guidance on the games packaging and that the guidance does not properly inform parents about what content to expect; and therefore urges the industry to adopt a self-regulatory uniform system, based on that established for the DVD industry, showing the levels of, for instance, swearing, violence, sex and nudity, as for example, strong, frequent, graphic, moderate, etc. so that parents are better informed and can make better purchasing decisions and improve control of the use of computer games by children.

Illegal Music Downloading

Martin Horwood argues that the BPI acted heavy-handedly with young people involved in illegal music downloading and this undermined public support for very real concerns.

[1]

Reference

  1. http://news.bbc.co.uk/democracylive/hi/house_of_commons/newsid_9660000/9660426.stm

Links

Debate on Illegal Music Downloading