House of Lords Information Committee

Public information about the House of Lords and its work

Outreach

In October 2008, the Committee endorsed a three-year strategy and programme for House of Lords outreach and engagement for 2008-11. The strategy outlines plans to connect external audiences with Members and the work of the House of Lords through outreach visits, events within Parliament, online initiatives and cross-platform projects. In the 2008-09 Session the programme will build on and develop successful activities such as the Peers in Schools initiative and the Lord Speaker's competition, whilst also piloting new ways to engage young people and other target audiences.

The Committee commends Parliament's YouTube channel to those who have not yet seen it and welcomes the Lords of the Blog site, developed and hosted by the Hansard Society.

Use of the Chamber

On 2 May 2008 the Chamber of the House of Lords was used by Members of the UK Youth Parliament to debate their campaign priorities for the year ahead. The debates were chaired by the Lord Speaker and attended by a number of Peers, MPs, government officials and other guests. The event attracted over 100 articles in the media and was broadcast on BBC Parliament. The event was the second pilot event in the Chamber. The first pilot took place on 12 May 2007 when the Chamber was used for the English-Speaking Union's Schools Debating Competition.

It has since been agreed that the Chamber be used for appropriate events for young people on an annual basis. This decision was taken on the understanding that the use of the Chamber is to remain special and occasional (not more than once a year); that advice will continue to be sought from the Information Committee; and that a further review of the programme will be undertaken in 2011.