Don Foster puts forward safe standing bill
Thus began Don Foster's speech in the House of Commons on December 7th 2010, as he set the wheels in motion for the legislative process that could see the right of football clubs to have safe standing areas in their grounds enshrined in law.
However, it takes a long time from this first reading of a bill until it may ultimately pass into the statute books. To get that far, the proposals also have to get through a number of votes. The first of these comes on 21st November 2011.
On that day in mid-June, the bill comes forward for its second reading. While the first reading was just a matter of Don Foster putting on record his wish to pursue this proposal, without any debate of the matter, on 17th June there will be a debate - and a vote.
On that day, Don Foster, Liberal Democrat MP for Bath, will outline the basic principles of his proposal, an opposition spokesperson will respond and other MPs with an interest in the subject will also have a chance to share their views.
At the end of the debate a vote will be taken.
This is essentially to see if sufficient MPs think the basic concept is worthy of being explored in greater detail in committee. At this stage, a 'Yes' vote would still mean that the bill had a long way to go... but it would at least be progressing to the next stage. A 'No' vote would be the end of the road for this bill and while the safe standing campaign would no doubt go on, opponents of standing would clearly use such a vote to back up their arguments against any change in the status quo.
It is therefore very important that we get a 'Yes' vote on November 21st.
So, please write to your MP and urge them to vote in support of Don Foster's bill! You can find out who your MP is and to contact them via the input box above or here at www.WriteToThem.com.