HC Deb 13 January 2004 vol 416 cc670-2
37. Helen Jones (Warrington, North) (Lab)

What criteria are used in making decisions on allocating exhibition space in the House; and whether he will make a statement. [147112]

Sir Archy Kirkwood (on behalf of the House of Commons Commission)

Dates for exhibitions in the Upper Waiting Hall are allocated by ballot, overseen by the Serjeant. Such exhibitions sponsored by Members must be non-commercial, non-controversial and nonpolitical. They also require the support of the appropriate Department and need to be endorsed by the Chairman of the Administration Committee.

Helen Jones

I am grateful for that reply, but would the hon. Gentleman give some consideration to giving priority for exhibitions in the House of work done by local people in Members' constituencies—particularly the work of young people? That would enable them to connect with the House and ensure that Members and the public saw much of the good work that young people do.

Sir Archy Kirkwood

That point is well made. I know that the hon. Lady takes an interest in these matters and that she has been unlucky in the ballot. I hope that she will persevere. The Chairman of the Administration Committee has some say over what particular exhibitions can be exempted from the ballot, and that is usually decided with reference to their specific relevance to Parliament. I invite the hon. Lady to make her views further known, and I shall certainly make sure that they are brought to the attention of the Chairman of the Administration Committee. I hope that she will keep trying.