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Serving Bath since 1992
 
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Don Foster, Liberal Democrat MP for Bath, speaks for the party nationally on Transport.
 
 

No more late nights for Don Foster MP…?
In a grand irony, the Government timetabled a debate on how to modernise the House of Commons to begin at 10 pm. Votes were expected as late as 2 am.

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One of the key proposals under discussion will be the ‘regularisation’ of the House of Commons’ operating hours.
Don Foster MP comments: “Of course, the time-tabling of this debate may be Robin Cook’s hint to fellow MPs on how to vote… I certainly can’t imagine many of us will be skipping through the voting lobby, relishing the challenge of a full day’s work on four hours’ sleep.

“However, late as it is, this is our one opportunity to push for less eccentric, extreme ‘opening hours’. So I’ll definitely be sitting it out to the bitter end.

“This decision won’t mean MPs work fewer hours, or work less hard, but it will give us a far more civilised, constructive way of working.”

The proposal to limit opening times is just part of the package for modernisation. The main proposals under consideration include:

• A motion to make all question times to Ministers at sensible times that will suit media coverage better;
• Greater opportunities for MPs to bring in topical issues for debate at short notice;
• Fridays to be set aside for MP’s business (to make it harder for the Government to vote through ‘surprises’ in the Commons while MPs are in their constituencies);
• An expansion of sittings in September, and other calendar changes;
• A starting time for business of 11.30 am, as opposed to 2.30 pm;
• Timetables for the programming of all bills before parliament;
• Rules to allow bills that almost finished their passage through the Commons and Lords in one parliamentary session to continue in the new session from where they left off;
• Westminster Hall debates to become a permanent part of the House of Commons.

All of Parliament’s committees will continue to meet in the morning, afternoon and evening, as before.


Printed (hosted) by David Bellotti on behalf of Don Foster (Liberal Democrat) both at 31 James Street West, Bath BA1 2BT.
 
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