Catering Services in the House of Commons

Written evidence submitted by Teresa Pearce MP

I am writing to register my concerns about the recent decision to implement a flat £15 charge in the Members Dining Room.

I understand the decision to introduce the flat fee was made during a meeting of the House of Commons Commission on 21 June. Other changes decided at that meeting, such as to increase catering prices across the Parliamentary Estate, have been communicated to Members and their staff through various bulletins on the intranet. However, the decision to introduce a flat £15 charge in the Members Dining Room was not communicated to Members and I do not believe that we have been adequately consulted about the change.

I am very concerned about the introduction of this flat rate fee, as I do not believe this represents good value for money for the taxpayer. I often visit the Members Dining Room for light meals for which the retail price is far below £15. I am also concerned about the use of non-itemised receipts in the Members Dining Room and the impression this may give the general public when the subsistence claims of Members are published.

I would be grateful if you would register these objections and speak to the House of Commons Commission about reviewing this decision.

October 2010