Are the Lords listening? Creating connections between people and Parliament - Information Committee Contents


The House of Lords Information Committee is conducting an inquiry to investigate how the House of Lords, in the context of Parliament, could relate better to the public.

The inquiry has two aims:

  • to evaluate progress made since the reports of the House of Commons Modernisation Committee (Connecting Parliament with the public, June 2004), the 'Puttnam Commission' (Members Only? Parliament in the Public Eye, Hansard Society Commission, May 2005), and the consequent first business plan of Parliament's Group on Information for the Public (2006); and
  • to consider improvements to how the House of Lords / Parliament can engage with the public and enable members of the public to communicate with it.

The Committee's inquiry will focus on three issues, on which it is inviting written submissions:

    (1)  outreach;

    (2)  online communication and engagement, including and channels such as social media sites; and

    (3)  press, media and broadcasting.

The Committee would, in particular, welcome responses to the following questions:


What more could be done to enhance the effectiveness of the outreach work of the House of Lords / Parliament?

What outreach activities would be most successful in engaging people with the work and Members of the House of Lords?

What are the strengths of the outreach programmes of the House of Lords/Parliament?
Is there anything we should be doing differently?

The Parliamentary outreach service launched its programme of regional workshops and information sessions in July 2008. What has been the impact of this new service? As Parliament's outreach programme expands, are there any additional activities that you think should be considered? Where or by what can the service most add value?

Are there sufficient routes for the public to make their views known to Members of the House of Lords?

Online communication and engagement

Over the past four years, Parliament has made considerable investment in the use of online communication channels, including the parliamentary website and social media tools. The wesite has been redesigned, services such as bills online have been enhanced, and other new services like Twitter and Flickr have been introduced alongside initiatives like

What has worked well and enabled better engagement between Parliament and the public?

What else should we be doing to deliver further improvements?

How would you like to be able to interact online with Members of the House?

What more should the House of Lords / Parliament do to embrace social media and Web 2.0 technologies?


How can we best encourage media reporting of the work of the House of Lords?

What does the press and media need from the House to support a goal of fuller coverage of its work?

What measures could the House take to help journalists to report the work of the House in a fresh and engaging fashion?

Is there demand for a formal induction about the House of Lords for journalists joining the press gallery?

Is there demand for further easing of restrictions on the number of parliamentary passes for media outlets?

Is there demand for the House of Lords to provide a 24-hour media service? How is such an operation provided in comparable organisations?


What has been the effect of changes to the rules of coverage on broadcasting proceedings of the House?

What has been the effect of changes to the rules on filming within the precincts of Parliament?

How could the House of Lords work with broadcasters to make footage of parliamentary proceeding more accessible and engaging for the public?

What do broadcasters need from the House to support a goal of fuller coverage of its work?

What has been the effect of the expansion of webcasting?

Should the House be contextualising coverage of its proceedings on the web (e.g. by providing further information on the Member speaking and the subject of the debate)?

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