Catering Services in the House of Commons

Written evidence submitted by Lorely Burt MP

May I add my voice to the clamour from my colleagues regarding the new charging structure in the members dining room.

Making it a flat £15 fee whatever you have may serve the purposes of balancing the books for the catering department, but it does not help anyone who does not want three courses and considers it inequitable to be charged for courses they have not consumed (or is on a diet and can’t resist getting their value for money!)

Many colleagues do not claim the cost of their meals back from the taxpayer, who seems to be paying through the nose for the convenience of the catering department.

Several of my colleagues, including at least one minister of state, have now boycotted the dining room. The liberal democrats coalesce around one table and dinner is an important social function for us. The level of resentment is high.

Please reinstate the old system which was much fairer, or at least give us the option of an amount per course consumed.

October 2010