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House of Lords Reform: the Joint Select Committee calls for evidence

July 16, 2011 11:49 AM
By Mark Valladares
Originally published by East Midlands Liberal Democrats

Whilst the News of the World scandal has drawn virtually all of the attention, the clock has started ticking on the work of the Joint Select Committee on the Draft House of Lords Reform Bill. Comprising twenty six members appointed from both the House of Commons and the House of Lords, it is charged with considering the draft Bill and reporting by 29 February 2012.

At its first meeting, which took place on Monday, such decisions as how often it would meet were discussed, but the key decision was to proceed with a Call for Evidence. This represents your chance to submit written evidence on the terms of the White Paper and the draft Bill on such subjects as:

  • the effect of the Bill on the powers of the House of Lords and the existing conventions governing the relationship between the Lords and the Commons

  • the size of the proposed House and the ratio of elected to non-elected Members (the draft Bill gives options)

  • the provisions on Bishops, Ministers and hereditary peers

  • the role and functions of a reformed House

It is perhaps ironic that a debate on something seen as a bit of an anachronism (not necessarily my opinion), should require written evidence, in hard copy on A4 paper, as well as by e-mail in Word document form to the Committee Clerk. At least you aren't expected to use a quill pen…

The deadline is 12 October, although this is described as 'preferable', a term which one might describe as quintessentially House of Lords.

For more information, take a look at the Joint Select Committee's corner of the Internet.

Mark Valladares is confused. As a member of the Management Board of Unlock Democracy, he is sworn to seek the abolition of his wife, a member of the House of Lords and of the Joint Select Committee.