Teaching Comparative Government and Politics

Friday, May 10, 2019

Renovations for the House

The House of Commons is due for a major renovation. I'll bet that a new sprinkler system will be on the list of changes. But what to do with Parliament while the old place is updated?

Parliament refit: First images released of temporary Commons chamber
The first images have been released of the proposed temporary home for MPs during restoration work in Parliament.

Architects plan to recreate the current chamber of the House of Commons, including the green benches on which MPs sit, at a new venue in Westminster.
Proposed Commons recreation

The move to Richmond House, the former home of the Department of Health, will not happen until 2025 at the earliest.

The refurbishment of the current Palace of Westminster, due to cost £4bn, will not now be completed until the 2030s.

The repair work is likely to take between five and eight years longer than previously anticipated…

The proposed temporary chamber will be similar to the current one, complete with leather benches and an adversarial layout, but will be more accessible…

The work is expected to include replacing old cabling, installing a new sewage system and improving disabled access to the estate.

Both the Commons and Lords agreed in early 2018 that the most cost-effective way to carry out the upgrades would be for them to move out whilst the works are being done…

A committee of MPs and peers will also be set up to scrutinise the spending plans alongside the Treasury.

Former Clerk of the Commons Lord Lisvane said work was needed urgently as it was "a matter of time" before something happened to the parliamentary estate.

"I'm afraid there has been a certain amount of foot-dragging and my message now would be emphatically, crack on with it," he told the BBC…

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