South West round-up: 8 January 2010

08 January 2010

Parliamentary business and activities relating to the South West region for the week ending 8 January 2010.

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.

Oral questions

Question Time takes place for an hour Monday to Thursday after prayers. Each government department answers questions according to a rota called the Order of Oral Questions. The questions asked must relate to the responsibilities of the government department concerned.


An adjournment debate is a way of having a general debate without requiring the House to vote. The MP who tabled the relevant adjournment debate is called to speak and a Minister will reply.

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
  • Kingsley Village, Penhale - 11 February: ‘Your Voice’ – free 1-day conference on how to take part in decisions that matter to you, with Take Part Cornwall
  • Bristol - 18 February: Workshop on engaging with Parliament for Black South West Network members

  • Plymouth - 22 February: Workshop on engaging with Parliament for Black South West Network members

  • Taunton - 25 February: 2 workshops on engaging with Parliament for Taunton Citizens Advice Bureau volunteers and staff

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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