HC Deb 25 May 2004 vol 421 cc1479-80W
35. Mr. Pike

To ask the Leader of the House what proposals he is putting to the Select Committee on the Modernisation of the House of Commons to help schools outside of London and the South East of England with the costs of parliamentary visits. [175294]

Mr. Woolas

My right hon. Friend's view is that, while assistance with the cost of school visits is an option that the House of Commons Commission might wish to consider, the priority is to make a substantial improvement to the learning resources we provide via the parliamentary website. We have some 7,500 educational visitors a year—a figure which I hope we can increase significantly and a further 36,000 schoolchildren visit on constituency tours; but it will always be a minority of schoolchildren who are able to visit in person.

In contrast to the number of visitors to Parliament, during the 2002–03 financial year the Parliament website had 14.6 million hits. This shows that the number of people who might make use of the website is limitless.