Memorandum by the Public and Commercial
Response from PCS members:
Since staff are no longer able to eat in Westminster
Hall cafeteria the overcrowding, particularly at lunchtimes, is
more apparent than previously.
The Club Room of Bellamy's is open to staff
only on a Monday and Friday and to Officers of the House only,
on the other days. This is very under-used. If open to all members
of staff on all days, this would help the overcrowding problem
and add to Bellamy's monetary takings. Many of those who hold
officer status in the Library either eat in the House of Lords
restaurant in the Palace or do not take a lunch break; this all
contributes to under-usage of House of Commons outlets.
The Adjournment appears to be under-used; perhaps
this could be looked into particularly as during the lunch hour
the Debate becomes very busy [as indeed do the other restaurants
on the Westminster estate]. I believe if a Member of Parliament
has booked a table in the Debate, but does not take up the booking
at the specified time, the table is then held for two hours; if
the Member does not appear during that time the result is the
table perhaps not being used and loss of revenue to the caterers.
Sometimes it is exceedingly overcrowded in the Debate and the
Adjournment is relatively empty. Could consideration be given
to opening the Adjournment at certain times to all members of
If the wooden divider between the
staff and members' section was moved more into the Members' section
this would open up much needed space for staff. The Members have
plenty of places to eat and the Members' end is rarely full.
Remove the divider altogether and
make it staff only. As stated Members have plenty of places to
eat and can lunch at anytime. Many members of staff are restricted
to 12.00-2.00 so can not decide to return later especially if
they provide a front-line service.
Since the demise of Westminster Hall
cafeteria, there is a shortage of capacity at peak lunch times
in all cafeterias, so it is perhaps understandable that the staff
in the Terrace Cafeteria are rather officious in checking credentials
to darken their serveries between 12 and 2. I think it is unsatisfactory,
though, that there is no facility available in the Palace for
temporary staff to have lunch at all. The Library frequently have
temporary staff based in the Palace and some can end up having
temporary status for fairly long periods.
During recesses it can take up to
20-30 minutes to get served in the Terrace Cafeteria particularly
between 09.30-10.30 am due to the fact that the contractors use
this facility and do not seem to stagger their meal times. When
you only get 20 minutes or so for a coffee break it proves to
be almost impossible.
Have statistics ever been taken of usage of
individual restaurants? This might be an idea to prove the point
made by PCS members of under-usage.
Basically if points above were attended to:
overcrowding would be lessened;
revenue to Refreshment Department
queuing for length of time would
lesser number of people dashing to
"Boots" for ready-made sandwiches.
25 February 2002