Bulletin 12 February 2013

House of Commons Commission bulletin, 11 February 2013

Mental Health Services: The Members Estimate Committee endorsed a protocol setting out the terms on which secondary mental health services for Members may be commissioned by the House’s Safety, Health and Wellbeing Service.   The aim is to address the disadvantage that Members currently face in accessing local services.  Although an end to the stigma associated with mental health problems is the desirable long-term solution, the House has a responsibility to support those with immediate needs.  A press notice setting out the background and further details is available on the Parliament website. (Contact: Andrew Walker – x5460)

Education Centre: The Commission received an update on options for delivering an interim Education Centre by September 2014.  This is in line with resolutions of both Houses in 2007 and more recent recommendations by the Administration Committee in its 2012 report on Visitor Access and Facilities.  The Commission agreed that further work should be undertaken on the options, and asked to receive a further report in April that would set out how an education centre would be delivered within this timescale.  The House Committee of the House of Lords is considering the issue on 26 February.  (Contact: John Pullinger – x3635)

Catering Prices: The Commission agreed that a decision on changes to catering prices should be deferred pending further review of the selection of benchmarks and the interaction of prices with gross profit margins and sales. (Contact: John Borley – x6551)

London Living Wage:  The Commission noted that in letting contracts it would be the policy of the House Service to include as a relevant consideration the payment of the London Living Wage to contract staff routinely employed on the Parliamentary Estate as one way by which employers might best maintain skilled and stable teams.  (Contact: Myfanwy Barrett – x0833)

Observations on matters in the bulletin or other aspects of the House’s administration should be sent to twiggerrj@parliament.uk for the attention of the Commission.

Commission membership: Mr Speaker (Chair), Sir Paul Beresford, Frank Doran, Angela Eagle, Andrew Lansley (Leader of the House) and John Thurso.