The Commission welcomed the fact that the proposed Education Centre had been granted planning permission by Westminster City Council, subject to conditions. The new facility will be at the northern edge of Victoria Tower Gardens, and will enable the number of education visitors to Parliament to increase from 40,000 to 100,000 per year. It will be a high-quality demountable building; planning permission has been obtained for a period of 10 years.
Speaker’s Parliamentary Placement Scheme
The Commission discussed revised arrangements for administration of the Scheme. The Scheme provides nine-month paid work experience placements designed to open up Parliament to people from disadvantaged backgrounds who are interested in politics but who would not be able to afford to undertake an unpaid internship. Participants spend four days a week working with a Member and one day a week with the House Service.
The Commission agreed not to lay an Administration Estimate Supplementary for 2013/14.
The Commission was briefed on recent developments including the outcome of the court case on pay progression and pay negotiations with the trade unions representing House staff.
The Commission agreed its preferred approach to the renewal of the security arrangements in 2015.
Observations on matters in the bulletin or other aspects of the House’s administration should be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org for the attention of the Commission.