Mark Lancaster MP

22 APR 2016

Parliament Votes to Save Vellum

This week MPs voted to save the thousand-year-old practice of recording public Acts of Parliament on vellum.

The debate came after the House of Lords said that in future all legislation will be printed on simple archive paper instead. MPs voted 117 to 38 to approve the motion to safeguard the tradition, with the Cabinet Office prepared to use its budget to cover the cost.

The vote means that William Cowley Parchment and Vellum, based in Newport Pagnell and established in 1870, will continue to supply Parliament with calf-skin as it has done for over a century.

I was delighted for Wim, the great, great grandson of William Cowley and his daughter Julia, that Parliament has recognised the value of continuing to use vellum. It is because of this practice that we can read so much of our rich history, whether it be the Magna Carta that celebrated its 800th anniversary last year or the death warrant of King Charles I. I am also delighted for William Cowley, which I know are a hard-working, passionate local business and a cause of great pride in MK.

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