HL Deb 12 June 1995 vol 564 cc1539-41

3.5 p.m.

The Chairman of Committees (Lord Boston of Faversham)

My Lords, I beg to move that the third report from the Select Committee on House of Lords Offices be agreed to.

Moved, That the third report from the Select Committee he agreed to (HL Paper 65).—(The Chairman of Committees.)

Following is the report referred to:


The Queen has approved the appointment of General Sir Edward Jones as Gentleman Usher of the Black Rod and Serjeant-at-Arms with effect from 9 May 1995, in succession to Admiral Sir Richard Thomas.

The Committee wishes to record its gratitude to Sir Richard Thomas on the occasion of his retirement for the assistance which it received from him during the three and a half years he served as Agent of the Administration and Works Sub-Committee.


The Committee has agreed that the provisions of the Disability Discrimination Bill now going through Parliament should apply to the House of Lords. This is in line with the Committee's policy that the House should move from voluntary compliance to statutory application in the case of the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974; and the Committee's recent acceptance of the removal of Crown exemption from the Palace of Westminster in respect of planning and health and safety legislation.


The Committee has considered the present rules for car parking in the precincts of the House of Lords and the parking problems which might be caused while building works are in progress over the next year. Black Rod will be inviting applications for additional parking spaces which have been acquired in the Abingdon Street car park to compensate for the temporary loss of spaces in the House precincts. He will be reviewing the use of the Abingdon Street car park and the terms of the contract with National Car Parks. The Committee wishes to emphasise that only those Lords who are attending business in the House are entitled to use the Lords parking facilities, and that pass holders for Abingdon Street should not park elsewhere in the House of Lords.


The brass gates at the Bar of the Lords Chamber, which are very worn, will be replaced by new brass gates to match existing railings around the Throne.


The Committee has agreed to a revised scale of judicial fees with effect from 1st November 1995, as follows—

Petitions for leave
Presentation 500
Entering Appearance 100
Appeals—Mandatory Fees
Presentation 1,000
Entering Appearance 200
Setting Down 3,000
Appeals—Occasional Fees
1st Extension of Time 200
2nd Extension of Time 300
3rd and Subsequent Extensions 500
Agreed Interlocutory Petitions 200
Opposed Interlocutory Petitions 500
Waiver of Security 100


The Committee has agreed that the temporary post of screen corrector in Hansard should be made permanent, bringing the complement to six.

The Committee was informed of the appointment of Mrs. Sylvia Jay as a temporary Senior Clerk in the Committee Office.

Lord Monkswell

My Lords, I thank the Chairman of Committees for introducing the report, to which I am sure that we shall all agree without dissent. However, perhaps I may ask a question about paragraph 2, which refers to facilities for disabled people. I am sure that we are all glad that the House is to bring its facilities up to the right standard for enabling disabled access. However, with regard to toilet provisions, what timetable is envisaged for the full provision of toilets accessible to disabled people? Furthermore, during that programme, will facilities be made available to ensure that female Members of this House, female staff and female visitors also have adequate toilet provision?

The Chairman of Committees

My Lords, there is already in train some provision for improved toilet facilities for disabled people within the precincts of your Lordships' part of the Palace of Westminster. It is envisaged that that work will be completed during the coming summer Recess. On the noble Lord's other point, I shall write to him if I am able to give him any information on the timetable beyond that which I have already indicated.

On Question, Motion agreed to.