PARLIAMENT is full of quaint – if slightly odd – traditions and the prorogation ceremony, marking the end of the parliamentary session before next Tuesday’s King’s Speech, is definitely one of them.

MPs and Peers gather in the House of Lords to hear the King’s proclamation being read out, together with a kind of end-of-term report listing some of the things that Parliament has done in the past year.

It was a bit strange hearing Royal Assent being given in medieval Norman French to the Online Safety Act, which tackles some of the big issues around social media and other fast-developing technology.

As a parent of children who are starting to use online social networks, I know first-hand how worrying it can be to see some of the material that young people are exposed to and how much we need sensible controls. No matter how careful parents are, we cannot always see who our children are talking to or what they are viewing online.

The new Act will protect children by removing illegal content like sexual abuse, but will also make social networks legally responsible for making sure that harmful and inappropriate content like cyber bullying, pornography and material that encourages self-harm is not shown to them.

Tech companies will have to use effective age checking measures to make sure that only people who are old enough to access networks or material can do so.

Adults will be able to make their own choices about whether they want to see “harmful but legal” content, being able to opt in to seeing online things that it would be legal to say or print offline.

Seeing the new law pass also meant a lot to me personally as I was responsible, in my role as a Government Whip, for taking it through part of its process last year. It will be fantastic to see these changes making a difference in keeping young people safe online.

I always enjoy visits to our local schools, and last week I had the pleasure of spending some time with a dozen School Council pupils at Brook Primary school in Audnam.

As always, the children had a wide range of questions they wanted to ask but were also incredibly proud to tell me about some of their many initiatives at the school, including their new school library.

This years’ Royal British Legion Poppy Appeal is well underway, and I was delighted to join Eric Homer from the Quarry Bank Poppy Appeal last Saturday to help with fundraising at Asda Brierley Hill.

This is the third year that volunteers from Brierley Hill Community Forum and other local organisations have stepped in to make sure the stand at Asda Brierley Hill goes ahead – raising more than £11,000 over the last 2 years.

This weekend, I will be supporting another of our local Poppy Appeals – this time the Kingswinford Poppy Appeal stand at Morrisons, once again organised by the brilliant Bob Townsend.

Thanks to our strong British Legion branch in Kingswinford and its hardworking club members, along with crucial support from local businesses, churches, cadet forces, Scouts, Guides, Cubs, Brownies, Beavers and Rainbows, the Kingswinford Poppy Appeal is another community effort to be proud of, raising tens of thousands of pounds each year to support our veterans.