Conclusions and recommendations |
a result of our deliberations, we believe there is a compelling
case for pressing ahead with a new reception and security building
on Cromwell Green as a first step to improving facilities for
visitors and enhancing security. This forms the central recommendation
of our Report. (Paragraph 8)
2. We believe there
is a need to attempt to develop unified projects: to provide a
better access and welcome for visitors; and to provide information
for visitors to explain how Parliament works and its purpose.
It is these three elementsaccess, welcome and informationthat
should be the aim of any projects to improve visitor facilities.
3. The proposed new
building would be single storey, with a flat roof at the Cromwell
Green level, to minimise its impact on the setting of the Palace.
The proposed ramp down from street level would be sited along
the west wall of Cromwell Green. (Paragraph 21)
4. There are significant
benefits to the House of the proposed arrangements. For example,
it will enable the unsightly X-ray machines and barriers to be
removed from St Stephens's Entrance, thus enhancing the view of
Westminster Hall. The new building will also have the capacity
to accommodate three security screening machines as opposed to
the two that are currently available at St Stephen's Entrance.
This will increase the speed at which visitors will be able to
enter Parliament, especially at times when large numbers of visitors
arrive at the same time, for example, for mass lobbies or for
functions. (Paragraph 23)
5. Since we began
consideration of these proposals, the level of terrorist threat
has, at times, caused the security search of visitors to be moved
outside the building into a tent awkwardly situated outside St
Stephen's Entrance. In our view this reinforces the need for a
purpose-built security building outside the main building where
such controls can be operated in a way that is comfortable for
public and staff alike. (Paragraph 24)
6. We believe that,
in the meantime, the House, in association with the House of Lords,
needs to move ahead with constructing the proposed building and
the new access route for the public. This would result in significant
improvements in the facilities for visitors and enhance the security
of the Palace of Westminster.
7. Our visitors are
the electors of the present and the future, or those who come
from abroad to visit one of the most important and historic sites
in the United Kingdom. They deserve a positive approach to their
access and welcome. With our proposals, we believe we have begun
to demonstrate such a policy, which we hope the House will endorse.