House of Commons Commission decisions – 6 September 2017

29 September 2017


  • The Speaker, in the Chair
  • Sir Paul Beresford
  • Tom Brake
  • Andrea Leadsom
  • Stewart Hosie
  • Valerie Vaz
  • Dame Rosie Winterton
  • Ian Ailles (Director General of the House of Commons)
  • David Natzler (Clerk of the House)
  • Dame Janet Gaymer (External member)
  • Jane McCall (External member)


1.   Murphy Perimeter Security Review

The Commission supported the proposals of the Director of the Parliamentary Security Department in response to the significant recommendations made in the Murphy Review.

2.   Elizabeth Tower Refurbishment

The Commission:

  • noted that the pre-tender estimate of £29.3m had risen on a like-for-like basis to £45.2m, following detailed specification for all packages of work.
  • noted cost of the programme is now estimated to be £56.6m.
  • agreed that the Clerk as Corporate Officer should award the contract to the value of £27.2m.
  • noted a paper from the Director General on the planned works, including on the plans for temporary replacement of the Ayrton light, the commitment to ensure that one clock face is visible at all times and the latest estimated costs of the programme.
  • endorsed the decision to cease Big Ben’s chimes sounding during the essential works except for national events such as Remembrance Sunday and New Year’s Eve, and agreed at the request of the Leader of the House that the Clerk of the House would investigate further the health and safety case for this decision and report back.

3.   Date of next meeting

The next meeting of the Commission will take place during the week commencing 11 September.

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