All Party Parliamentary Group for Weddings
The All Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) for Weddings in an informal group of Members of Parliament and the House of Lords, representing all parties, to review and lobby for changes in areas of policy concerning weddings and associated events. This page will be kept updated with the latest information, announcements and links to resources.
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All Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) for Weddings has Inaugural Meeting
Following a request from the UK Weddings Taskforce, Siobhan Baillie MP has set up the All Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) for Weddings and the inaugural meeting took place on Tuesday 25th May 2021.
The APPG has been set up for MP's & Peers to deal with the ongoing issues facing the wedding industry through the pandemic, and to shine a light on the extent of work that businesses, couples, supply chains and all involved in the industry do for the UK. In addition to MP's & Peers, the APPG meeting is open to anyone from the wider wedding industry to attend.
The officers of the APPG were elected at the inaugural meeting this week, made up of cross-party MP's & Peers:
- Siobhan Baillie MP - Chair
- Simon Baynes MP- Vice Chair
- Carla Lockhart MP - Vice Chair
- Andy Slaughter MP - Vice Chair
- Gagan Mohindra MP - Vice Chair
- Yasmin Qureshi MP- Vice Chair
- Lord Popat - Vice Chair
- Andrew Griffths MP - Vice Chair
- Paul Bristow MP- Vice Chair
- Kevin Hollinrake MP - Vice Chair
- Felicity Buchan MP - Vice Chair
- Paul Howell MP - Vice Chair
- Andrew Lewer MP - Officer
- Sir Roger Gale MP - Member
The UK Weddings Taskforce will provide the Secretariat, gathering views from the wider wedding industry, and sharing them with the APPG.
Following the election of officers, the Paymaster General Minister Penny Mordaunt MP from the Cabinet Office, and Minister Paul Scully MP from BEIS spoke at the meeting.
Key takeaways were:
- The Government is looking at providing extra help where support is need in the industry, to get traction for the industry and couples, while keeping people safe.
- Her main effort is to ensure as many people can get married as possible and have the best day possible in a safe environment.
- She's aware that the tram lines of the roadmap don’t help the sector due to lead in times, and that financial support hasn't been there for the sector as it had to keep open, making it a fragile sector.
- She's having good meetings with Public Health England and clinicians to put together advice based on human behaviour and not isolated events.This will form the basis of a communication package for couples to navigate the guidelines going forward and create a risk matrix to make it easy for couples to calculate the risks themselves.
- In terms of the ARG grant, wedding businesses will be prioritised with local authorities and the grant will be made available to businesses, even those without a business rates code (and the cut off date for applications will be extended).
- For 21st June / Step 4, the Minister feels positive that opening without restrictions will happen. A lot is based on the vaccination programme and the Indian variant. She is aware of the effect of uncertainty for couples and businesses, and wants to help re-establish confidence going forward.
- Insurance: work is still ongoing to address the need to reduce risk to make insurance viable.
- Bridal retail: classification as non-essential retail will be looked at.
- Registrars: the Government is looking at supplementing registrar teams with volunteers to ensure the backlog of weddings is not held up by a lack of registrars.
- Heritage venues: DCMS are working to help heritage venues by changing some restrictions going forward.
- Classification in tax system: looking at how to classify wedding businesses for HMRC which would help identify the sector going forward
The full minutes of the meeting will be available on the UK Weddings Taskforce website on the APPG page next week, along with details of future meetings. For further information, please email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
The UK Weddings Taskforce is delighted that, with the support of their championing MPs, an introductory meeting to announce the setting up of the All Party Parliamentary Group for Weddings took place earlier this week. APPGs are informal, cross-party groups formed by MPs and Members of the House of Lords who share a common interest in a particular policy area, topic or industry.
The APPG will offer the weddings sector opportunities to regularly discuss the issues faced and influence politicians. The UK Weddings Taskforce will perform the role of secretariat. At the next meeting MPs and peers will elect officers from within their ranks, including a Chair and several Deputy Chairs, and will discuss how the APPG will be run. When it has been formally established the Chair and members will be invited to an open meeting with industry to discuss the role of the APPG and how businesses can get involved and influence the agenda. The APPG is a significant, positive step.