South West round-up: 18 December 2009

18 December 2009

Parliamentary business and activities relating to the South West region for the week ending 18 December 2009

Written questions

In addition to oral questions, MPs and Peers can ask government ministers questions for written answer. These are often used to obtain detailed information about policies and statistics on the activities of government departments.

Public petitions

The public can petition the House of Commons to make MPs aware of their opinion on an issue and to request action.

Petitioning is a formal process involving sending a written appeal to an MP, following a set format, which is then presented to the Commons by the MP.

Early Day Motions

Early day motions (EDMs) are formal motions submitted for debate in the House of Commons. However, very few EDMs are actually debated. Instead, they are used for reasons such as publicising the views of individual MPs, drawing attention to specific events or campaigns, and demonstrating the extent of parliamentary support for a particular cause or point of view .

South West Select Committee

The South West Committee covers the following local government areas: Bath & NE Somerset, Bournemouth, Bristol, Cornwall, Devon, Dorset, Gloucestershire, North Somerset, South Gloucestershire, Plymouth, Poole, Somerset, Swindon, Torbay and Wiltshire.

The remit of the Committee is to examine regional strategies and the work of regional bodies. The Committee is currently conducting an inquiry into transport in the South West.

Forthcoming Parliamentary Outreach events

  • Poole - Monday 11 January, 7.30-9pm: Free workshop on how to get involved with Parliament with Soroptimists International

  • Bridport - 1-2 February: Free Rethink Parliament art workshops

  • Kingswood - 3-4 February: Free Rethink Parliament art workshops

The South West Parliamentary Outreach Service organises and participates in parliamentary training sessions, events and exhibitions.

For further information on Parliamentary Outreach or any of the events listed above, contact Naomi Kent at

Image: iStockphoto

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