MPs to vote on vacating UK parliament building for renovation works

MPs to vote on vacating UK parliament building for renovation works

29 January 2018

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Kim Hemming

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A controversial proposal for MPs and peers to vacate the traditional home of parliament is the subject of a free vote in the Commons this week, with advocates saying the Palace of Westminster is at risk of succumbing to a major fire if £3.5bn-plus of restoration works are not carried out.

Seven fires broke out in the first 11 months of last year at the building, which has a postwar steam heating system with hot pipes lying next to electrical cables with minimal insulation. Two hundred toilets failed earlier this month and a rabbit was even spotted in one of the car parks.

Options for the restoration work include:

  • Full decant. Commons and Lords both move out of the Palace of Westminster to buildings nearby while total renovation works take place. Estimated cost: £3.5bn over six years.
  • Partial decant. Move the Commons off site first, then the Lords, renovating each in turn.Estimated cost: £4.4bn over 11 years.
  • Refurbish on site. Commons and Lords chambers would still have to move, probably to Westminster Hall, during a rolling programme of upgrade works. Estimated cost: £5.7bn over 35 years.

Click here to read the full article on the Guardian news website

Photo credit to the Parliament Flickr channel

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