- Slides: 27
An introduction to Parliament Sharon Stanley November 2011
Parliamentary Outreach A service from the Houses of Parliament Politically neutral Aim is to increase knowledge and engagement with work and processes of Parliament Not an alternative to MPs
What is Parliament? ? ? ?
What is Parliament? House of Commons The Monarch House of Lords
What does Parliament do? Makes and passes laws (Legislation) Holds Government to account Enables the Government to set taxes
The House of Commons chamber
The House of Commons Is the democratically elected chamber of Parliament. There are 650 MPs are usually elected every 4 to 5 years. Fixed Term Parliaments
In the Constituency Helps constituents with problems Visits groups and individuals to hear issues/ concerns Represents constituents in various campaigns In Parliament Represents their constituency Raises issues on behalf of constituents Passes new laws Scrutinises the work of Government
The House of Lords chamber
House of Lords The House of Lords is the second chamber of Parliament, often known as the revising House. There are currently 831 Members (as of May 2011) These include: 676 Life Peers Conservative: 170 Liberal Democrat: 88 92 Hereditary Peers Labour: 239 Cross Bench: 152 26 Bishops Reform of the House? – Lords Reform (Draft Bill) 17 May 2011 introduced
The role of the House of Lords Scrutinise and make legislation They play an important role in the passing of laws Hold Ministers to account through questions and debates Debate key issues at length and in detail Scrutinise EU legislation
Contacting Members of the House of Lords You can contact any Member about issues that you would like Parliament to look at. You can request that a Member asks a question or raises a debate on your behalf. It is useful to contact a Member who has a particular interest in your issue. You can find out what individual Members are interested in by looking on the Parliament website.
The Government The Prime Minister The Cabinet
Whitehall and Westminster Parliament Close, but different Whitehall Government
Government (Whitehall) Parliament (Westminster) • • • Commons, Lords, Monarch Holds Government to account Passes laws Enables taxation Represents public Raises key issues • • Formed by the party who can command the confidence of the Commons Some MPs and Lords Runs Government departments and public services Accountable to Parliament
General Election 2010
How can groups get involved and engage with Parliament?
Questions to Ministers Adjournment/ Westminster Hall debates Select Committees Backbench Business Committee
How a Bill becomes law Commons Public Bill Committee Bill presented / First Reading Second Reading Third Reading Committee of the Whole House Lords Bill presented / First Reading Report Second Reading Committee (whole House) Report Third Reading After Consideration of Lords Amendments Ping Pong Royal Assent Regulations
Parliamentary Questions Can be used to: Obtain information – stats, policies, positions Press for action Raise constituency issues Challenge Government policy Must have factual basis and relate to the running of a Government Department
Immobilisation of Vehicles – 10 October 2011 Tony Baldry: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department when she expects to bring forward legislation in respect of vehicle clamping companies; and if she will make a statement.  Lynne Featherstone: Clause 54 of the Protection of Freedoms Bill will make it an offence to immobilise, move or restrict the movement of a vehicle without lawful authority. In effect this will ban most clamping and towing by anyone other than the police, local authorities, bailiffs and other Government agencies. Subject to parliamentary approval, the Bill is expected to be enacted by May 2012. Our aim is to bring the ban on wheel clamping into force as soon as possible following Royal Assent.
Parliamentary Debates Allow MPs and Members of the Ho. L to: Raise constituency issues or matters of regional, national or international significance Get the issue to the attention of a relevant minister Get a response from the Government
Westminster Hall debate - Motoring Fuel Costs Robert Halfon (Harlow) (Con): It is a privilege to speak under your chairmanship, Mrs Brooke. I am grateful to Mr Speaker for allowing this debate, and I want to congratulate Fair. Fuel. UK on its campaign for British motorists and for all the British businesses that have to buy petrol or diesel. Let us get one thing straight: cars, vans and lorries are the lifeblood of British industry. More than 34 million vehicles are licensed in this country, which is one for every two people. That is why the current cost of petrol and diesel is one of the biggest brakes on economic growth and is crucifying many families who are struggling to keep their heads above water. That is especially true in my constituency of Harlow, where high costs are hurting many small businesses. I want to look at the current situation, the record profits of energy companies and what is to be done. As The Sun newspaper said in its editorial last Saturday: “It’s welcome news that Parliament is to investigate why petrol prices remain skyhigh even as the cost of oil plummets. While they’re at it, they can look at why gas customers face 19 per cent rises from a firm with annual profits of more than £ 1 billion. Consumers are being fleeced from all sides when buying essentials. It's time our MPs stood up for us. ” I am here, with my colleagues, to stand up for motorists.
Backbench Business Committee
Debates this session UK Armed Forces in Afghanistan – 9 September 2010 Impact of the Comprehensive Spending Review – 4 November 2010 Future of pubs – 9 December 2010 Prisoner voting (reform) – 3 February 2011 Disclosure and publication of documents relating to the 1989 Hillsborough disaster (October 2011) National referendum on the European Union (October 2011)
Questions? ? ? Questions
Where can I get information? www. parliament. uk 020 7219 4272 – Commons information 020 7219 3107 – Lords information Sharon Stanley – Outreach Officer West Midlands and East of England Email: [email protected] uk Tel: 07917 488842