Select Committee on Modernisation of the House of Commons Written Evidence


Memorandum from Mr Dai Davies MP (M16)

MAKING BETTER USE OF NON-LEGISLATIVE TIME

  The role of the main Chamber of the House must be retained in terms of votes, decision making and the establishing of Acts of Parliament.

  The ability to register a debate as of right would help new Members to become confident and established.

  There is I believe a great deal of merit in holding more debates and discussions outside the Chamber. A more simplified method of registering debate with a guarantee that it will be heard is essential.

  The chairing of debates needs to be reviewed because talking for talking sake will not endear us to those outside the House or encourage them to be part of the political process.

  A more formal process of lobbying is required where perhaps groups could give evidence to an All Party Group. All Party Parliamentary Groups should have direct input into select committees.

  More short debates would be advantageous for backbenchers to raise concerns. A matter of public concern or a topical issue should be given priority for debate but not necessarily in the Chamber.

  A structure could also be considered for requested meetings between Government Ministers and backbench Members to make representation as a collective. Consultation and communication outside the heat of the Chamber would help to establish a more informed decision making process.

  A review of the roles to be played by Irish, Scots and Welsh Members in English only legislation must take place in the near future. Should there be days set aside for each legislative area. A review will be needed in the near future on the number of Members of Parliament and their respective roles as the powers of the Irish Assembly, Scottish Parliament and Welsh Assembly are increased.

December 2006





 
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