House of Commons - Minutes of Proceedings
Minutes of Proceedings The Accommodation and Works Committee



 

WEDNESDAY 13 DECEMBER 2000

Members present:

Sir Sydney Chapman, in the Chair

Mr Tony Banks
Mr Keith Bradley
Mr David Chidgey
Mr David Jamieson
Sir Raymond Powell

The Committee deliberated.

1. THE FAMILIES ROOM (AW217)

Resolved, That the Committee notes with approval the report by the Director of Parliamentary Works concerning the work done already, or due to be done, to the Families Room.—(The Chairman.)

2. PORTCULLIS HOUSE

Resolved, That the Committee agrees that it is unacceptable for Members to allow their guests to use the informal meeting areas on the offices' floors, as these areas are for the use of Members and of staff only; similarly, it is unacceptable for contractors to use these areas; and agrees that the Serjeant at Arms advise Members and contractors accordingly.—(The Chairman.)

Resolved, That the Committee places on record its thanks to the staff working in Portcullis House.—(The Chairman.)

Resolved, That the Committee notes the project progress report for November (AW218).—(The Chairman.)

3. RENT AND RATES (AW220)

Resolved, That the Committee notes the report by the Head of the Parliamentary Works Secretariat.—(The Chairman.)

4. CONTRACTORS' VEHICLES

Ordered, That the Director of Parliamentary Works investigates the undue length of time that contractors' vehicles are parking in New Palace Yard.—(Mr David Chidgey.)

[Adjourned till Wednesday 31 January 2001 at half-past Four o'clock

WEDNESDAY 31 JANUARY 2001

Members present:

Sir Sydney Chapman, in the Chair

Mr David Chidgey
Sir Patrick Cormack
Mr David Jamieson
Ms Linda Perham
Sir Raymond Powell
Mr Syd Rapson

The Committee deliberated.

5. PORTCULLIS HOUSE

Resolved, That the Committee recommends that information leaflets be issued to all visitors to the building to advise them of where, in the event of fire, to find lifts for wheelchair users.—(The Chairman.)

Resolved, That the Committee agrees that it would be inappropriate to introduce new lines of furniture before Members and their staff have had a chance to adapt to the furniture already installed; and agrees further to review the situation again towards the summer.—(The Chairman.)

Resolved, That the Committee notes that labels had been ordered so that relevant information could be displayed on the filing drawers; that more post boxes had been ordered; and that separate recycling bins would be supplied to Members' offices in Portcullis House when the House returns after the Easter Adjournment.—(The Chairman.)

Resolved, That the Committee notes the project progress report for December (AW223).—(The Chairman.)

6. FAMILIES ROOM (AW225)

Resolved, That the Committee agrees that a noticeboard be put up in the Families Room; and agrees further that, as the information to be displayed is a matter for the Administration Committee, therefore the matter be now referred to that Committee.—(The Chairman.)

7. MEMBERS' LOCKERS

Resolved, That the Committee notes that Members' lockers have been renumbered in sequence, in order to provide better identification.—(The Chairman.)

8. FRIDGES

Resolved, That the Director of Parliamentary Works provides a note about the lack of consistency whereby fridges might be provided in Members' offices in Portcullis House, but not in their offices on the rest of the Parliamentary Estate.—(Mr Syd Rapson.)

[Adjourned till Wednesday 14 February at half-past Four o'clock.

WEDNESDAY 14 FEBRUARY 2001

Member present:

Sir Sydney Chapman, in the Chair

Three Members not being present, the Chairman adjourned the Committee till Wednesday 28 February at half-past Four o'clock.

WEDNESDAY 28 FEBRUARY 2001

Members present:

Sir Sydney Chapman, in the Chair

Mr Tony Banks
Mr David Jamieson
Ms Linda Perham
Sir Raymond Powell
Mr Syd Rapson

The Committee deliberated.

9. PORTCULLIS HOUSE

Resolved, That the Committee places on record its thanks to all those who had contributed to the Official Opening; and agrees that the Serjeant at Arms pass on the Committee's thanks to all those involved.—(The Chairman.)

Resolved, That the Committee notes the project progress report for January (AW227).—(The Chairman.)

10. ARCHIBUS ESTATE RECORD SYSTEM (AW228)

Resolved, That the Committee notes the paper by the Director of Parliamentary Works.—(The Chairman.)

11. OFFICES FOR MEMBERS' STAFF (AW229)

Resolved, That the Committee agrees that the planning target for offices for Members' staff should remain at that set in 1991—ie, 5–8 sq metres for an average of 1.5 personal staff per Members; and agrees further that, should such an allocation prove to be unnecessary, further consideration might be given to the possible sub-letting of space in 7 Millbank.—(The Chairman.)

12. NORMAN SHAW (SOUTH) REFURBISHMENT (AW230)

Resolved, That the Committee notes that occupants of Norman Shaw (North) will, during the 18 months' duration of the refurbishment works of Norman Shaw (South), still be able to enter Portcullis House via the Embankment, or through Canon Row.—(The Chairman.)

13. PLANS OF THE ESTATE

Resolved, That the Committee agrees that, on the calling of the General Election, plans of the Estate, giving up-to-date details of the accommodation allocated to each of the Parties, be made available to the Accommodation Whips.—(The Chairman.)

[Adjourned till Wednesday 28 March at half-past Four o'clock.

WEDNESDAY 28 MARCH 2001

Members present:

Sir Sydney Chapman, in the Chair

Mr Tony Banks
Mr Keith Bradley
Mr David Chidgey
Sir Patrick Cormack
Mr David Jamieson
Ms Linda Perham
Mr Syd Rapson

The Committee deliberated.

14. PORTCULLIS HOUSE (FIRE TRAINING)

Resolved, That the Committee notes the disappointing response to the fire safety training sessions arranged for Members and their staff; agrees that the Project Director continues to consult other organisations to ascertain how they comply with the relevant 1999 Regulations; and agrees that a renewed effort be made in the new Parliament to interest people in fire training.—(Ms Linda Perham.)

15. NORMAN SHAW (SOUTH) REFURBISHMENT

Resolved, That the Committee agrees that plans be displayed at appropriate points on the Parliamentary Estate to show people how they might move, under cover, between Norman Shaw (North) and Portcullis House during the refurbishment of Norman Shaw (South).—(The Chairman.)

16. VISIT BY THE INSTITUTION OF CIVIL ENGINEERS

Resolved, That the Committee agrees that Mr Rapson liaise between the Institution of Civil Engineers and the House authorities in arranging the Institution's visit to Portcullis House; and notes that Mr Rapson will make such arrangements in the new Parliament.—(The Chairman.)

17. PORTCULLIS HOUSE

Ordered, That the Parliamentary Works Directorate do prepare feasibility studies for (a) a covered way between Portcullis House and 1 Parliament Street (b) a porch across Star Chamber Court between the colonnade and the sorting office and (c) for installing plate glass to the arches between the base of the Clock Tower and the first access passage into Speaker's Court.—(The Chairman.)

Ordered, That the Director of Parliamentary Works do pursue with Black Rod, Westminster City Council and/or English Heritage, as appropriate, the Committee's proposals for protecting visitors to the Palace from inclement weather, including erecting a canopy outside St Stephen's entrance and allowing visitors to shelter in the Norman Porch and/or in Westminster Hall.—(The Chairman.)

Resolved, That the Committee notes the project progress report for February (AW231).—(The Chairman.)

Resolved, That the Committee endorses the proposal by the Director of Catering Services (AW232) to now site the courtyard coffee station in the "cash machine room".—(Mr David Chidgey.)

Resolved, That the Committee endorses the view of the Advisory Committee on Works of Art that it would be appropriate to use Portcullis House for portraits and sculptures of contemporary parliamentarians, and of work by emerging artists.—(The Chairman.)

Resolved, That the Committee notes that the Advisory Committee is considering hanging appropriate portraits outside the Committee and the multi-purpose rooms to aid recognition of such rooms; and notes also that Mr Speaker has exempted a bust of Lord Wilson from the 10-year rule, although he has indicated that he would not exempt from this rule portraits, statues or busts of Members who had not been Prime Minister.—(The Chairman.)

Resolved, That the Committee endorses the proposal that all Members of the House be invited to submit their views on which Members should be commemorated in Portcullis House; and notes that proposals will be forthcoming in order to generate extra income, therefore making more funds available in order to purchase suitable works.—(The Chairman.)

Resolved, That the Committee notes and endorses the strategy paper submitted by the Advisory Committee on Works of Art (AW233).—(The Chairman.)

18. RESTRUCTURING OF THE PARLIAMENTARY WORKS DIRECTORATE (AW234)

The Committee notes the report by the Serjeant at Arms; and agrees that the Estates Director should continue to attend the Committee's meetings, with the Director of Works Services attending when required.—(The Chairman.)

19. WORKS DURING DISSOLUTION

Resolved, That the Committee agrees that it would be appropriate to use the period of Dissolution to carry out as many works as possible in order to minimise the disruption when the House returns.—(The Chairman.)

[Adjourned till Wednesday 2 May 2001 at half-past Four o'clock.

WEDNESDAY 2 MAY 2001

Members present:

Sir Sydney Chapman, in the Chair

Mr Keith Bradley
Sir Patrick Cormack
Mr David Jamieson

The Committee deliberated.

20. PORTCULLIS HOUSE

Resolved, That the Committee notes the project progress report for March (AW235).—(The Chairman.)

Resolved, That the Committee notes the report by the Curator of Works of Art; and endorses the proposals by the Advisory Committee for hangings and display of busts .—(The Chairman.)

Resolved, That the Committee agrees that the siting of the foundation and the unveiling stones be at the discretion of the Project Director; and that such stones be installed during Dissolution.—(Sir Patrick Cormack.)

21. UPPER COMMITTEE CORRIDOR SOUTH

Resolved, That the Committee notes the request by the House of Lords for the transfer to that House of the 43 Members' offices situated on the Upper Committee Corridor South; and notes further that:

the offices referred to have never been Lords' property, having been built for the Commons some 40 years' ago for use by its Members following a formal agreement between the two Houses;

before the opening of Portcullis House, it had been agreed that, as part of the ten-year rolling-programme, the 43 offices would be combined in order to create some 20 larger offices each with a window (a similar decision having been taken to enlarge also the offices in T-block): and

despite the opening of Portcullis House, it does not mean that the Commons has surplus office accommodation for Members, as accommodation is being rationalised, with Members being moved out of 3 Dean's Yard, 7 Millbank, 2 The Abbey Garden and Norman Shaw (South).—(The Chairman.)

Resolved, That, although the Committee is always ready to consider ways to help the Lords with their accommodation problems, all current Commons accommodation is still needed for the foreseeable future—ie, until at least the end of the next Parliament—and therefore, the Committee is unable to endorse any proposal to transfer any existing Commons office accommodation to the Lords.—(The Chairman.)

22. 2 THE ABBEY GARDEN

Resolved, That the Committee agrees that Mr David Tredinnick may remain in 2 The Abbey Garden until the rise of the House for the Summer Adjournment, when his and other offices will be needed for those Members who have to be decanted from the Palace.—(The Chairman.)

Resolved, That the Committee agrees that Mr Tredinnick be consulted fully as part of the post-General Election allocation of rooms in order to find for him a suitable office, on another part of the Parliamentary Estate.—(Mr Keith Bradley.)

23. UPPER COMMITTEE CORRIDOR

Resolved, That the Committee notes that, prior to this Parliament, Rooms 1, 6 and 10 on the Upper Committee Corridor had been allocated to the Chairmen of the Liaison Committee, of the Public Accounts Committee and of either the Accommodation and Works or the Administration Committee respectively; and agrees that the Serjeant at Arms do write to the Accommodation Whips to remind them of the status traditionally accorded to the aforementioned offices.—(The Chairman.)

24. PRESS GALLERY ACCOMMODATION

Resolved, That the Committee notes and endorses the proposal by the Serjeant at Arms that a study of Press Gallery accommodation be undertaken in order to identify the opportunities available.—(The Chairman.)

25. THE CHAIRMAN OF THE COMMITTEE

Resolved, nemine contradicente, That the Committee places on record its appreciation to the Chairman for all his work during the Parliament.—(Sir Patrick Cormack.)

[The Committee adjourned.


 
 
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© Parliamentary copyright 2001
Prepared: 5 June 2001