III. Co-ordination with the House of Lords
50. We are very much aware of the shortage of space
in the House of Lords and the difficulties of providing sufficient
refreshment facilities for Members and staff of the Lords.
There are consequences for the Commons: the survey conducted by
the Refreshment Department for the inquiry suggests that 6 per
cent of custom in the Commons' refreshment facilities (in terms
of covers served) is attributable to Members of the Lords, their
staff and House of Lords staff.
The Terrace Cafeteria appears to be the preferred outlet,
although the Serjeant at Arms suggested that Members of the Lords
were "much taken with Portcullis House".
Lord Colwyn, Chairman of the House of Lords Refreshment Sub-committee,
told us that "historically the Lords have always depended
on the catering facilities of the Commons since our own are simply
inadequate for the number of Members and staff we have".
We accept this point and have no wish to see barriers imposed.
In any case, the traffic is not one-way: the Lords Bar and Lords
Staff Canteen are regularly used by staff based in the Commons.
51. Evidencesome of it anecdotalsuggested
however that a prolonged closure of all Lords refreshment facilities
last summer contributed to the intense pressure placed on the
Terrace Cafeteria during the summer recess in 2001.
We note that the Lords Sub-committee has recommended that at least
one Lords refreshment outlet should remain open throughout this
year's summer recess, and we welcome this proposal.
We also welcome efforts by the Chairman of this Committee and
the Chairman of the Lords Refreshment Sub-committee to improve
liaison. Officials of the Refreshment Departments in the two Houses
have occasional contacts at an informal level. We recommend
that there should also be regular formal contact between senior
officials in the Refreshment Departments of the two Houses, to
co-ordinate provision across the Estate.
69 Q 94. Back
Ev 35. Back
11% of covers served are to Members of the House of Lords, their
staff or House of Lords staff: Ev 36. Back
Q 73. Back
Ev 23. Back
QQ 19 and 107. Back
Q 101. Back
Q 100. Back