Decisions 13 October 2010

 Wednesday 13 October 2010 at 2.30pm in Committee Room 13

Members present:

John Thurso (in the Chair)
Sir Paul Beresford
Luciana Berger
Geoffrey Clifton-Brown
Robert Flello
James Gray
Sir Alan Haselhurst
Lindsay Hoyle
Brooks Newmark
Mr Iain Wright

1. Declaration of Interests

Iain Wright declared his interests, in accordance with the resolution of the House of 13 July 1992 (see Appendix).

2. Remit of the Committee

The Committee considered its remit.

3. The House's finances and the Savings programme

The Committee agreed to make the following recommendations and observations to the Commission:

  • Members need to be made aware of the savings target and of the effects it is likely to have before they start to experience those effects.  They also need to be made aware that the target has been set by the Commission in the interests of the House rather than imposed by the Government.
  • The savings programme must not damage the ability of the House to scrutinise the Executive.
  • Of the two approaches suggested, the Committee’s preference is for the more radical one of redesigning services and organisation, but there may also be aspects of the other approach (reducing budgets and services within existing structures) which should be implemented; one approach does not preclude the other.  Each service should be examined from the starting point of what services the House and Members need and how effectiveness and economy can best be combined.
  • The Committee strongly supports measures to generate income.  It agrees that there should be competitive tendering, though this would not necessarily lead to outsourcing and should be preceded by consideration of what services are required and how they should be structured.  It also agrees that the possibility of more joint services should be discussed with the House of Lords.

4. Membership of Audit Committees

The Committee recommended that the Commission appoint John Thurso to be a member of the Audit Committees.

5. Future meetings

Wednesdays 10 and 24 November and 8 December at 2.00pm.

Appendix: Declaration of interests

WRIGHT, Iain (Hartlepool)

5.         Gifts, Benefits and Hospitality (UK)

Grand Central Railway Company Ltd: free pass from Grand Central Trains for use by me and constituency office staff on their services until 31 December 2011; used for Parliamentary travel only; value approximately £1,800 per annum; 28 May 2010.

8.         Land and Property

Property jointly owned with another Member of Parliament for accommodation whilst carrying out Parliamentary duties; London; rental income is not received.

12.        Employment of family members

                        Mrs Tiffiny Wright (spouse), office manager.

[Adjourned till Wednesday 10 November 2010 at 2.00pm.