RECEIVED this from Gallery News earlier today:
House of Commons may have to close
The House of Commons is facing the possibility of closure for up to
MPs could be moved out while a major refit of the Commons takes place,
the House of Commons Commission has announced.
Such is the scale of necessary work – costing ‘hundreds of millions of
pounds’ – that restricting it to summer recesses would take 25
The Commission is ordering a feasibility study to ‘examine whether
substantial savings in cost, time and risk could be made by
moving some operations of both Houses out of the Palace for a period to
enable modernisation to be carried out continuously until
The £250,000 feasibility study is expected to report in the middle of
next year, with the work expected to start after that, once
budgets have been agreed.
Liberal Democrat MP Nick Harvey, a spokesman for the House of Commons
commission, said, ” The complete project will take
many years and involve considerable cost.”
More than 500 miles of water pipes, electrical cables and telephone
wires need to be replaced in what would be the biggest programme of
works since 1947, when the Commons last underwent a major refit.
There were 33 leaks from hot water pipes in the past month and there is
also a problem with asbestos, which needs to be removed.
A Commons spokeswoman said much of the infrastructure in the Commons had
reached the end of its ‘economic life’.
” Work has to be done all the time but there comes a point when you have
to do major replacement,” she told BBC News.
During the Second World War MPs briefly met in the House of Lords
Another option might be to set up a temporary chamber in the Queen
Elizabeth II conference centre.
My personal preference would be for them to take 25 years and do it during summer recess, but I may be in a minority on that one.
Any suggestions of where the Commons should meet temporarily? Keep it clean, please.