Connecting with Committees events

Contributions from members of the public to Select Committee inquiries are crucial in providing valuable evidence and real-life stories. This demonstrates the effects Government policies may have on individuals, families, groups and organisations in all different sectors of society in the UK and overseas. 

Parliament's Outreach Service aims to help members of the public contribute to Committee inquiries through the Connecting with Committees programme.

Connecting with Committees activities include: 

  • facilitating formal evidence sessions outside Westminster, to help broaden the range of witnesses appearing
  • hosting informal group discussions and events around the UK so that MPs can hear direct from members of the public
  • publicising calls for evidence via targeted email communications to new audiences
  • working with partner organisations such as moneysavingexpert.com and thestudentroom.co.uk to promote greater participation in online evidence gathering

How to get involved

Contact the Outreach Service if you would like to be kept up to date with Connecting with Committees events taking place in your region that are relevant to your interests:

When we schedule a new event in your region, we will email you with information on how to attend.  We will also let you know when a committee calls for evidence on an issue you are interested in.

Please note that while the Outreach Service supports as many committees as possible, it does not manage communications for all Committees’ calls for evidence. If there is a particular policy area you are interested in, we recommend you sign up for email alerts direct from the relevant select committee.

You can find contact details for House of Commons and House of Lords Select Committees, plus information on their roles and remits online:

Case study: panel discussion on tourism in Exeter

In January 2015, the Outreach Service organised a panel discussion event in Exeter as part of the Culture Media and Sport Committee’s inquiry into tourism in the South West.

The discussions which took place at this event were instrumental in shaping the Committee’s conclusions and were described as follows in the report:

“This highly informative event was organised by the Houses of Parliament Outreach Service and it enabled us to listen to the concerns of business leaders, local representatives and members of the public, among others… We are grateful to all the people we heard from and to those who provided written and oral evidence throughout the course of our inquiry.”

Find out more:

Case study: group discussions on cross-border healthcare in Hereford and Newtown

In November 2014, the Outreach Service organised two group discussion events, in Hereford and Newtown, as part of the Welsh Affairs Committee’s inquiry into cross-border healthcare and the issues faced by people travelling across the border to access health services. 

These events enabled the Committee to meet face to face with members of the public, medical professionals and social care practitioners. The Committee’s final report stated:

“We also held public events in conjunction with Parliamentary Outreach in Newtown and Hereford to hear from members of the public, medical practitioners and local representatives. These were well attended and greatly informed our inquiry. A summary of the events is attached as an Annex. We wish to place on record our gratitude to all those who have contributed to our inquiry, especially those who attended the events in Newtown and Hereford.”

Find out more:

 Image: Parliamentary copyright

Related information

Select committees
Both Houses establish select committees to conduct inquiries and to produce reports on a range of matters, from the conduct of Government to specialist subject areas. Information on their work can be found on the select committee page.

Legislative committees
Both Houses refer legislation to committees for detailed discussion and approval. These committees are part of the process of making laws and include public bill committees, delegated legislation committees and committees on private bills. There is more in Bills and Legislation.

Other committees
Some other committees are established either by statute of either House, with a range of specific functions. These committees can be found through Committees A-Z.

Guides to committees
The About Parliament section of our site provides information on the types of Parliamentary committees and their work.