Parliamentary Tours

House of Commons Commission written question – answered on 14th May 2018.

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Photo of Nigel Evans Nigel Evans Conservative, Ribble Valley

To ask the right hon. Member for Carshalton and Wallington, representing the House of Commons Commission, what the reasons are for the introduction in October 2018 of a new system of Members' tours of the Palace of Westminster.

Photo of Tom Brake Tom Brake Liberal Democrat Spokesperson (International Trade), Liberal Democrat Spokesperson (Exiting the European Union)

A review of the operating model for guided tours was undertaken because the current commercial contract, with Tour Guides Ltd to provide Blue Badge Tour Guides to take paid-for tours, is coming to an end in October 2018. This contract would not be extendable without a full procurement exercise. The end of the contract term has provided the opportunity to take a fresh look at how Parliament provides all democratic access and paid for guided tours. We want to reduce the complexity of the existing model (there are currently three different pools of tour guides conducting different types of tours, with different rates of pay and status of employment), ensure that quality tours are consistently delivered and ensure public money is spent wisely. We also want to take this opportunity to end Parliament’s use of casual contracts with no guaranteed hours.

The new operating model simplifies the management of our tours operation as a whole while maintaining the quality and consistency across all types of tours offered. It creates 28 new permanent jobs and ends our use of casual workers with no guaranteed hours. It will also save a modest amount of taxpayers’ money.

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