COMMONS

Debates in Westminster Hall on 2 and 9 December

23 November 2010

The Backbench Business Committee is responsible for scheduling debates on 35 days during the current session, at least 27 of which will be debates in the main Chamber of the House of Commons, with the remainder to be taken in Westminster Hall.

The Committee has determined that the following business will take place in backbench time:

 

Thursday 2 December in Westminster Hall

Fisheries (Member in charge: Dr Eilidh Whiteford)

The Committee heard representations from Dr Eilidh Whiteford, supported by Andrew George and Dr Thérèse Coffey, to debate this subject in advance of the annual European Fisheries Council taking place on 13-14 December 2010. The Committee also received a number of written representations in support of this subject.

 

 

Thursday 9 December in Westminster Hall

Future of Pubs (Member in charge: Greg Mulholland)

A wide-ranging debate on the future of pubs was suggested by Greg Mulholland, supported by Karen Bradley and Dr Thérèse Coffey, on behalf of the All Party Parliamentary Save the Pub Group. The Committee chose this subject because it addresses a range of topical issues of interest to backbench Members.

 

 

Additional items of business for Thursday 2 December in the Chamber

Amendments to Standing Orders relating to Publication of Information about Complaints Against Members and Power of the Parliamentary Commissioner for Standards to Initiate Investigations; and a Motion to approve a Report of the Committee on Standards and Privileges relating to Lay Members, followed by the Motion relating to the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority (IPSA), tabled by Adam Afriyie.

Publication of Information About Complaints Against Members.

 

Mr Kevin Barron

Sir George Young

Sir Paul Beresford

Annette Brooke

Heather Wheeler

Dr Alan Whitehead

 Mr Oliver Heald

 (1) That this House approves the Sixth Report of the Standards and Privileges Committee, Session 2010-11, HC 577; and

 (2) That accordingly—

    a.   The Commissioner may publish papers relating to complaints rectified or not upheld since the beginning of financial year 2008-09 and information about complaints received and matters under investigation since the beginning of financial year 2010-11. 

    b.   Standing Order No. 150 be amended, by inserting the following new paragraph after paragraph 10.

 “(10A)    The Commissioner shall have leave to publish from time to time—

(a)    information and papers relating to—

               (i) matters resolved in accordance with paragraph (3) of this order; and

          (ii) complaints not upheld;

      and

      (b) information about complaints received and matters under investigation.”

 

Power of the Parliamentary Commission for Standards to Initiate Investigations.

 

Mr Kevin Barron

Sir George Young

Sir Paul Beresford

Annette Brooke

Dr Alan Whitehead

                     Mr Oliver Heald

 

(1)  That this House approves the Seventh Report of the Standards and Privileges Committee, Session 2010-11, HC 578; and

(2)  That accordingly Standing Order No. 150 be amended, by leaving out paragraph (2)(e) and inserting in its place:

“(e) to investigate, if he thinks fit, specific matters which have come to his attention relating to the conduct of Members and to report to the Committee on Standards and Privileges or to an appropriate sub-committee thereof unless, the provisions of paragraph (3) apply.

(2A)    In determining whether to investigate a specific matter relating to the conduct of a Member the Commissioner shall have regard to whether in his view there is sufficient evidence that the Code of Conduct or the rules relating to registration or declaration of interests may have been breached to justify taking the matter further.” 

 

The Committee on Standards and Privileges has requested time for these motions to be considered. They will be debated for up to one and a half hours at the start of business, if a Business of the House Motion is agreed to by the House in advance.

 

Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority

 

Adam Afriyie

     That this House regrets the unnecessarily high costs and inadequacies of the systems introduced by the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority (IPSA); calls on the IPSA to introduce a simpler scheme of office expenses and Members’ allowances that cuts significantly the administrative costs, reduces the amount of time needed for administration by Members and their staff, does not disadvantage less well-off Members and those with family responsibilities, nor deter Members from seeking reimbursement of the costs of fulfilling their parliamentary duties; and believes that if these objectives are not reflected in a new scheme set out by the IPSA in time for operation by 1 April 2011, the Leader of the House should make time available for the amendment of the Parliamentary Standards Act 2009 to do so.

 

The Committee heard oral representations for a debate on the IPSA, led by Adam Afriyie, on three occasions and received written representations in support of a debate from over 40 Members.

 

 

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