The Procedure Committee is conducting an inquiry into the sittings of the House and the Parliamentary Calendar and will take the views of MPs’ staff into account. The branch would like to make a submission and we have secured an extended deadline of next Monday 11 April.
If substantial changes are made to the hours the House sits this will have an impact on staff so please send through any comments to Political Officer Lauren Edwards at firstname.lastname@example.org for inclusion before 5pm this Friday 8 April.
The Committee invites evidence on:
- How the role of an MP has changed in recent years (a good opportunity to bring up increased casework loads)
- What the role of an MP should be and how this is reflected in time spent at Westminster and in the constituency
- What are the defects and the strengths of the current patterns
- What are the constraints on reform of the sitting patterns
- What pattern of sittings over the course of a month or the year would best enable MPs to perform their role
- What pattern of timings for sittings on days spent in Westminster would be most effective (e.g. whether the Hours could made more family-friendly)
- How should the way business is conducted in the Commons be altered to accommodate any new pattern of sitting hours, days or weeks
- What changes should be made to the process for considering Private Member’s bills in particular (the only business currently considered on Fridays)Should greater use be made of Westminster Hall
- How can select and public bill committee meetings be accommodated within any new arrangement
- What other factors should be considered in proposing changes to sitting hours (eg impact on staff of the House and Members staff, services to Members, cost, work of Government departments, public access to debates, the media)
More details available at the Procedure Committee page on the inquiry
Please note: the branch has now submitted our response to the inquiry – Procedure committee submission – Unite PS Branch