What is Public Reading?
Public Reading is an initiative to give members of the public the opportunity to provide their views on Bills before they are made into law. This is the first Public Reading to be run by the House of Commons and is a pilot of the process. Comments on the Bill will be made available to the Committee of MPs responsible for examining the Bill in detail so that they can take them into account when deciding whether to make changes to the Bill.
About the Children and Families Bill
The Children and Families Bill contains provisions to change the law in several areas relating to children and families.
The Government publishes explanatory notes alongside a Bill to assist readers in understanding the proposed legislation
Comments on areas not covered by the listed Bill topics, or broader comments on the Bill as a whole (including anything that you think should have been included in the Bill but is not) should be posted as an additional comment. As this Public Reading is a pilot, we are also keen to hear your views on the public reading process itself.
Public Bill Committees
A Bill Committee is appointed for each Bill that goes through Parliament and is named after the Bill it considers. Public Bill Committees have the power to take written and oral evidence. The Committee examines the Bill line by line and reports its conclusions and any amendments to the Commons, where MPs debate the Bill further.
Some provisions in the Children and Families Bill were published in draft form last year so that MPs could scrutinise them and recommend changes to be made before the Bill itself was introduced to Parliament. Four different Committees from the House of Commons and the House of Lords examined draft clauses.