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Public consultation on Houses of Parliament revamp launches

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A group of MPs and Lords examining the potential restoration of Parliament has issued a call for evidence

The Joint Committee on the Palace of Westminster is consulting the public, industry representatives and parliamentarians on the benefits and risks of repairing the dilapidated building.

It wants feedback on an options appraisal published in June which outlined a range of scenarios from minimum to substantial improvements.

Questions for members of the public and interested groups include:

  • What changes could be made to the Palace of Westminster in order to improve public engagement with the work of Parliament and to improve accessibility?
  • What opportunities or benefits do you think a major Restoration and Renewal programme could present for Parliament and the wider public?
  • How should the heritage of the Palace of Westminster be conserved and safeguarded, while recognising that it is home to a busy working Parliament with regular public access?
  • What will be the major risks or challenges in delivering a Programme of this scale and how should they be addressed?

A separate set of questions asks for views on any proposed restoration from Lords and MPs.

The Palace of Westminster is a Grade I-listed building and is part of a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

In October 2012, a report concluded that failing to undertake significant conservation work could lead to major and irreversible damage to the building.

Proposed work includes replacing mechanical and electrical equipment, improved fire safety measures, stonework and interior fabric conservation – although it could be extended to make the palace more accessible to visitors.

The committee is also investigating whether Parliament should continue operations on site for the duration of the works.

Responses should be submitted to the committee by 22 January 2016.

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