Victory in sight for ‘No to Nuisance Calls’ campaign – Mark Hunter MP

March 31, 2014 2:42 PM

Mark Hunter, MP for Cheadle constituency, has welcomed news that the Coalition Government is taking action to end nuisance calls.

Mark began his 'No to Nuisance Calls' campaign in January 2013, asking for local residents to sign a petition to protest at their home lives being constantly disrupted by unsolicited sales pitches. In October last year, he presented a petition of almost 1,500 names direct to 10 Downing Street.

Mark also took residents concerns directly to Maria Miller MP, Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport, both in person and in writing, and lent his backing to a Private Member's Bill on the issue put forward by a Lib Dem colleague. Nuisance calls number 10 petition

This weekend, Mark's campaign looks to have been successful as the Secretary of State for Culture announced plans to make it easier to fine firms that constantly disrupt and hound residents with nuisance calls.

The current rules require nuisance calls to cause 'substantial damage' to households before they can be fined. Under the new proposals, the Minister plans to lower the current threshold, as well as making it easier for regulators such as Ofcom, the Insolvency Service and the Information Commissioner's Office to swap data on suspected offenders.

Further, Chris Grayling, Secretary of State for Justice, has launched a consultation on whether firms that break the rules should face fines of up to 20% of their annual turnover, while also widening the remit of punishments to include companies that utilise information gathered by unsolicited calls and texts, such as claims management companies, thereby going after both cold calling firms and their financial backers.

Commenting, Mark said:

'I know many local residents will be as delighted as I am that the Coalition Government is moving to take action on nuisance calls. This blight on people's right to an undisturbed home life has gone on for far too long so these new proposals are great news.

'I want to thank all those who took the trouble to sign support my campaign by signing the petition to let the Government know at the highest level that "enough is enough!" I know that Ministers have been moved to act by being made aware of the size of the problem and the strength of feeling. I will of course continue campaign on this issue until the proposals have been brought in, and nuisance calls become a thing of the past.'

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