HC Deb 26 July 1982 vol 28 c744
34. Mr. Jessel

asked the Lord President of the Council if he will take steps to reduce the number of persons entitled to use passes to the Members' car park, New Palace Yard.

35. Mr. Anthony Grant

asked the Lord President of the Council if he is satisfied that the rules concerning the use of the Members' car park are being complied with; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Biffen

I am satisfied that, under normal circumstances, the current ratio of permits to spaces provides optimum use of the car park. Those who use the car park should show their permit on entry and leave it displayed while parked. I have been made aware dial this latter rule is not always complied with and would urge those who do not comply to do so.

Mr. Jessel

As circumstances are not always normal, will my right hon. Friend help Members to get on with their duties by making sure that there is always room for Members to park, by tightening up the regulations? Is my right hon. Friend aware that the overcrowding is getting worse? Will he ensure that passes issued for the use of Members are not sometimes used by secretaries and research assistants?

Mr. Biffen

My hon. Friend raises serious and substantial points. Undoubtedly, in the recent past, the rail strike has resulted in quite serious difficulties, and I shall certainly ask the Services Committee again to look at the rules to see whether they can be enforced more effectively.

Mr. Anthony Grant

Is my right hon. Friend aware that one of the consequences of the congestion last week was that I missed an important vote? Why have there been issued nearly twice as many permits as there are car park spaces, and why are some people using more than one space? In the interests of security as well as convenience, will he ensure that the rule of "one space per Member" is complied with?

Mr. Biffen

When determining the ratio of 2 : 1, the House authorities had in mind the differing working patterns of hon. Members and the differing working hours of other authorised users. However, if there is serious and substantiated evidence of abuse, it is something that we shall have seriously to consider.