House of Lords' Offices: Select Committee Report — 23 Jul 2001 at 16:44
Lord Bhatia voted with the majority (Not-Content).
rose to move, That the Second Report from the Select Committee (HL Paper 16) be agreed to.
Moved, That the Second Report from the Select Committee (HL Paper 16) be agreed to.--(The Chairman of Committees.)
Following is the report referred to:
The Committee have met and been attended by the Clerk of the Parliaments and the Gentleman Usher of the Black Rod.
1. Membership of the Finance and Staff Sub-Committee
The Committee appointed Viscount Goschen to the Finance and Staff Sub-Committee in place of the Earl of Courtown.
The Committee agreed that rooms S/02 and S/03 on the Principal Mezzanine Floor of the Palace should be handed over to the Lord Chancellor's Department. In presenting his case the Lord Chancellor explained that his duties as Speaker required him to be based in the House of Lords, and that he therefore needed a small private office within the Palace. The Department's existing accommodation in the Palace was severely overcrowded, and the new responsibilities which had recently been transferred to the Department would require the addition of a small number of new staff.
The Committee noted that in October over 150 new desks for Members will become available in the Palace, Millbank House (next to 7 Little College Street), and 7 Old Palace Yard (opposite the peers' car park).
At its meeting on 20th March 2001 the Committee agreed that the Leaders of the parties and the Convenor of the Cross-Bench Peers should request that the Commons hand over to the Lords the offices on the Upper Committee Corridor South. The Committee learnt that the Commons had refused this request, and agreed that the Leader of the House and the Government Chief Whip should discuss the matter further with the Leader of the House of Commons.
3. Free postage for Members' correspondence on House of Lords' Business
The Senior Salaries Review Body recommended in its review of parliamentary pay and allowances that Members should have access to free postage for correspondence on House of Lords' business.
The Committee agreed the following arrangements to implement this proposal:
(a) Free postage should be made available by means of the provision of post-paid envelopes and postcards, available for collection at the House of Lords and for use by Members from any location in the UK.
(b) Post-paid envelopes and cards may not be used:
(i) for correspondence of a business, commercial or personal nature;
(ii) for the correspondence of a parliamentary group which includes persons other than parliamentarians;
(iii) in connection with party political fund raising or campaigning;
(iv) for issuing circulars of any description (ie an unsolicited letter sent in identical or near identical form to a number of addresses);
(v) for internal mail (mail within the Parliamentary estate); and
(vi) for overseas mail.
These restrictions are similar to those which apply in the House of Commons.
(c) Members should be issued with guidance on the above restrictions and should be reminded of the need to avoid wastage of post-paid envelopes, which the House will have paid for in advance. There should, however, be no formal limit on the number of pre-paid envelopes available to Members,
(d) Demand for free postage should be monitored (and its use subject to audit). Any apparent irregularity in the use of free postage would be a matter for Black Rod, the appropriate Chief Whip or the Convenor.
(e) For an interim period until the House returns in October, when the post-paid envelopes and cards will be available, Members should be able to hand mail on House of Lords business to the Attendants' Office to be franked and posted from the House.
4. Lords reimbursement allowances
The Committee took note of the annual uprating, in line with the retail price index, of the motor mileage allowance and the bicycle allowance, with effect from 1st April 2001.
The motor mileage allowance has been uprated from 52.5 pence per mile to 53.7 pence per mile for the first 20,000 miles, and from 24.2 pence per mile to 24.8 pence per mile for any further mileage.
The bicycle allowance has been uprated from 6.7 pence per mile to 6.9 pence per mile.
5. Presentation of a casket of sand from the Normandy beaches
The Committee agreed to a proposal by the Normandy Veterans' Association to present to the Palace of Westminster a casket containing sand taken from the five Normandy beaches. The casket will be placed in the Royal Gallery, near the piece of the Dunkirk jetty presented to the House in 1972.
Moved, That the amendment be agreed to.--(Lord Barnett.)
On Question, Whether the amendment shall be agreed to?
Their Lordships divided: Contents, 86; Not-Contents, 143.
Votes by party, red entries are votes against the majority for that party.
What is Tell? '+1 tell' means that in addition one member of that party was a teller for that division lobby.What is Turnout? This is measured against the total membership of the party at the time of the vote.
|Party||Majority (Not-Content)||Minority (Content)||Turnout|
|Con||5 (+1 tell)||56 (+1 tell)||28.6%|
|Lab||95 (+1 tell)||17 (+1 tell)||58.2%|