Select Committee on Catering First Report


(a)We recommend that the Director of Catering Services, taking account of the detailed issues raised in evidence, should investigate ways of improving the flow of customers through the Terrace Cafeteria serving area. (Paragraph 22).
(b)We believe that steps should be taken to attract more Members into the smaller Dining Room and the Churchill Room at lunch times. Some exclusive waiter-service provision for Members should be retained at lunch times, either at one end of the smaller Dining Room or in the Chess Room, which is currently under-used. Either a part of, or the whole of, the smaller Dining Room could then offer a competitively-priced buffet and other "quick" dishes to Members and their guests. We invite the Accommodation and Works Committee to consider our proposal for converting the Chess Room. (Paragraph 27).
(c)We propose that the Churchill Room should at present remain as a waiter-service restaurant but that the Director of Catering Services should present options for different menu styles (paragraph 28).
(d)Some form of replacement for the marquee on the Terrace which blends better with the stonework, or a glazed structure, would be more attractive when viewed from the river and less at the mercy of bad weather. A riverside restaurant or brasserie could then be provided for Members and their guests, freeing up space in the main building for staff use. We invite other Domestic Committees to submit their views on these proposals. We recommend that the Director of Catering Services and the Director of Estates should draw up proposals for an alternative structure on the Terrace, and that these proposals should be submitted for discussion with all bodies concerned (paragraph 30).
(e)We recommend that all restrictions on access to the Press Cafeteria, the Press Dining Room and the Press Bar should be lifted. We further recommend that the Director of Catering Services should monitor usage of the Dining Room to ensure that an adequate level of access is preserved for members of the Press Gallery (paragraph 33).
(f)We welcome the plans to modernise the Press Cafeteria, thereby improving the quality of the food (paragraph 34).
(g)We believe that the Refreshment Department should concentrate on developing new facilities north of Bridge Street to attract people away from the Debate. (Paragraph 36).
(h)We recommend that the Refreshment Department provide a made-to-order sandwich bar (perhaps with delicatessen, if space allows) somewhere at the northern end of the Parliamentary Estate. Our preferred site for such a facility would be a unit on the ground floor of Portcullis House, using part of the space currently occupied by the Post Office. We invite the Accommodation and Works Committee to consider these proposals (paragraph 37).
(i)The Portcullis House architect has drawn up a modest planting scheme for the North Terrace, and we recommend that it be implemented in the next planting season. (Paragraph 38).
(j)Before Norman Shaw South re-opens, we recommend that the Director of Catering Services and the Director of Estates identify suitable and convenient sites in the Norman Shaw buildings for the installation of new vending machines, ideally where communal seating is available. (Paragraph 41).
(k)We urge the Serjeant at Arms Department to ensure that fridges and microwave ovens are provided in the Norman Shaw buildings for communal use (paragraph 41).
(l)We welcome the plans to refurbish Bellamy's Cafeteria. We make one specific suggestion, that curries (for which there is considerable demand) should be made a speciality at Bellamy's (paragraph 46).
(m)We recommend that the existing service in Bellamy's Club Room should be retained and that no change should be made to the regulations for access. (Paragraph 47).
(n)We invite the Director of Catering Services to consider installing a sandwich counter in the space occupied by the Souvenir Kiosk on 1 Parliament Street. (Paragraph 48).
(o)We recommend that there should be regular formal contact between senior officials in the Refreshment Departments of the two Houses, to co-ordinate provision across the Estate (paragraph 51).
(p)We believe that the use of security officers to enforce access regulations is unnecessary at this stage and we do not support it. (Paragraph 54).
(q)We invite Mr Speaker to consider allowing improved access to refreshment facilities for temporary staff of the House who work under the same conditions as permanent staff. (Paragraph 55).
(r)We recommend that more temporary facilities and vending machines be provided for short-term contractors. The question of whether to permit access for this group may need to be reconsidered if there is continued evidence of overcrowding in refreshment facilities during recesses. (Paragraph 56).
(s)We propose that access rights for House staff and Members' staff should be extended to allow access to the Strangers' Dining Room on Thursday evenings (paragraph 58).
(t)We recommend that the Director of Catering Services should monitor the spare capacity of table service restaurants in the House, with a view to improving access for all House staff and Members' staff where capacity allows (paragraph 58).
(u)In all, there is little to be said in favour of "peak" pricing, and we are opposed to the idea. (Paragraph 60).

previous page contents next page

House of Commons home page Parliament home page House of Lords home page search page enquiries index

© Parliamentary copyright 2002
Prepared 17 July 2002