Will £4bn Parliament refurbishment be scrapped?
A major rethink aimed at cutting costs is under way, but some MPs fear the project will be shelved.
are going cool on the idea of refurbishing Parliament at all, given the likely public backlash, and would prefer to carry on patching the building up.A spokesman for Commons Leader Jacob Rees-Mogg told BBC News:"He is completely committed to safeguarding the Palace of Westminster for future generations."
But there are fears in government that costs will get out of control once work starts, inat Elizabeth Tower, which houses Big Ben.Image copyrightImage captionCoronavirus has forced MPs to look again at the cost of refurbishmentIt was always part of the plan for a detailed"business case", including budget options, to be drawn up for MPs before the Delivery Authority - modelled on the body that oversaw the 2012 Olympics - starts work on renovating Parliament.
The job has been handed to a panel of politicians and infrastructure experts, called the Sponsor Body, which has been urged to get a tighter grip on costs by the National Audit Office, amid fears the final bill will be far higher than £4bn.But it is not just coronavirus that has prompted a deeper and more far-reaching examination of the costs than planned by Theresa May's government, which passed the legislation.
The Sponsor Body freely acknowledges that a change of prime minister and a new set of MPs, with different priorities, is a major factor too.Boris Johnson has made much of his desire to boost the English regions, and as recently as January, ministers were
of permanently moving the House of Lords to York or Birmingham.'Muddling through'Labour MP Mark Tami, who sits on the board of the Sponsor Body, and is a weary veteran of the drawn-out debate about parliamentary restoration, fears the can is being"kicked down the road" once again.
"Just muddling through as we have done for the last 70 years is not an option, both in terms of cost and in terms of the health and safety, and wellbeing of everybody that works in Parliament."I haven't seen a viable alternative proposal to moving out from the people who are opposed to renewal and restoration. If they have one then we should look at it.
"We didn't get to this point where we are now, with the proposals we have, off the top of our heads."Image copyrightImage captionJacob Rees-Mogg is no fan of MPs working from homeThe move-out plan, which would also see members of the House of Lords relocate to the QEII conference centre, opposite Westminster Abbey, was presented as the"best and most cost-effective" option in a report five years ago.
Forcing builders to work around the Commons schedule was seen as a more time-consuming, and costly, alternative.The Sponsor Body will look at whether that is still the case.Another board member, SNP MP Tommy Sheppard, is calling for virtual working, of the kind seen during the coronavirus outbreak, to help slash costs.
But that is unlikely to find favour with Mr Rees-Mogg, who is no fan of MPs working from home.Conservative MP Sir Charles Walker, who sits on the House of Commons Commission with Mr Rees-Mogg and Speaker Sir Lindsay Hoyle, rejected the idea of moving proceedings online while the work is carried out.
"It isn't going to happen, of that I am certain. It isn't in the interests of Parliament."Image copyrightImage captionWhat the outside of the replica Commons might look likeOne thing everyone agrees on is that the Palace of Westminster is falling apart faster than it can be repaired.
All the fire, heating, drainage, mechanical and electrical systems need to be replaced, along with the sewage system, which was installed in 1888 - and the building needs to be stripped of asbestos.The big fear is that if major repairs continue to be delayed, the 19th-Century building, a Unesco World Heritage site, will be destroyed by fire or flooding - or someone will be killed by falling masonry.
Is Notre-Dame a warning for Parliament?Doing nothing is also an expensive option.According to the National Audit Office, Parliament has spent more than £369m on maintenance since 2016. There is an increasing backlog of repairs estimated at over £1bn.
Repairing Parliament is the last thing MPs want to be talking about in the midst of a national emergency.Labour MP Alison McGovern toldBBC Radio 4's Westminster Hour:"I find it bizarre that any MP is focused on our building, rather than what our constituents need at this moment."
Knock it down and build hospitals Give the money to frontline key workers as a thank you for helping. Call it ‘public health bailout’ I hope so Oh dear 4billion when people are starving so MPs can sit in a nice surrounding. This country is a figgin joke. It should be. At least until. Things are back to normal
That's TWO billions less than what they just pledged to overhaul London's cycling infrastructure BBCScotlandNews £4Bn what a joke Should be scrapped along with HS2. Scrap the refit and move Parliament to empty offices in the centre of the country. Scrap HS2 and there'll be £100billion+ available for any number of refurbs 😮
No longer a priority is it? 🤔 It should be Scrap the house of gravy lords and save us a fortune Would love to see the list of tenders and itemised expenditure for a 4 Billion pound re-fit..!!!!! notafuckingchance notneeded isthisactuallyserious Should be The central plot in The Big Bad Wolf was about Money. Both Rose and Robin Givens wanted to leave Cal & Mike Tyson (The big Bad Wolf) but mothers of Rose & Robin wanted them to stay with Cal & BBW. This is copyright infringement. The case was a Coverup due to Judge conflicts.
how about portacabins good enough for schools more than good enough for that bunch. Firstly, who's bloody great idea was this to waste money ? 4 billion pounds, is an obscene amount for a refurb. Whoever passes this will not win any votes, if the country was rolling in dough it may be different but we are in for hard times now.
Hopefully. The UK parliament is superfluous. What England needs is an English parliament. Best to move in to Richmond House as an English Parliament. scrap the Lords and use it as a British assembly Wembley stadium £1.2 billion 90,000 seats vs 650 in Parliament £4 billion! Really!!!? How about the money to nhs pay rise? piersmorgan
Why would this. It be fixed? I am sure the public sector will have made it as expensive as possible 🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣 4 billion!? Have a day off will you!! Can’t even get the two faced thieving *uc*ers in their at the moment cause it’s to unsafe cause the old corona, yet they want to send all the schools back and people back to work!🤣🤣 you couldn’t write it!!😂😂😂piersmorgan
Thought building was actually dangerously needing massive infrastructure refurbishment to stop falling masonry, further water damage, rotting wood, reduce fire risk, sort electrics etc. It’s not a chintzy interior deco job primarily is it? Should be its disgusting waste of money Yes yes & yes!!!🤬 Full proper refurb is needed, it would cost a lot more in the long run if they just keep patching it up
Yeah, let's stop refurbishing every historical monuments, let's build everything in glass and metal. Easier to maintain. Surely people will travel to come see the beauty of it... sad life the lefties promise us... No Unless they build a modern set up, yes it should be scrapped. Fuckin hope so. Zoom is cheaper
Replace with zoom It should be they should meet in a circus tent 🎪 How about that gets spent on paying nurses, they actually do something Let’s forget our history 🙌🙌🙌🙌 Simply NO it’s our history and heritage UK So it will probably be destroyed by fire. You pays your money and you takes your choice Demolish it, we can't afford it now
Move Parliament to the midlands and no second homes for MP’s it will save a fortune 👇😡 We should be building a New Parliament, preferably outside London. It would save an awful lot of money & prove One Nation lets hope the english are prepared to foot the bill Yes off course it should be .. No but taxes will rise and benefits will fall and politicians will look after themselves.
I know someone who’ll do it for less than that.........4 Billion ffs 😷 FOUR BILLION POUNDS, GOD ARE THEY BUILDING IT IN GOLD. How much more money do we have to watch being wasted by this country. When are the priorities going to get right 1.NHS 2 NHS STAFF WAGES. 3 RETIREMENT BACK TO 65 4 REPAIR ALL ROADS 5 REDUCE AMOUNT OF MP'S Get it right NOW.
hopefully along with the bbc Like hell the Tories need room for there nanny’s in there offices. Turn it into a museum. 4 Billion. Billion!!!!! What will the chamber do? Fly to the moon and back Yes. Of course the work should be carried out. The longer the country whinges and wines the more expensive the work gets. Have we learned nothing ?
£4bn 😱😱😱😱😱😱!!!!!! Cheaper to build a new one surely?! I’m assuming £4Billion is a typo? £4bn for refurbishment? Wow 🙄🙄 Let’s hope so I should bloody well think so too! We the people, whom they are SUPPOSED to serve do not give them the permission to opulently feather their own corrupt nest with OUR money.
The contractors will all have MP’s (from both main parties) as board members. That’s how. Yes you could put this lot in a shed Should be, save a few quid. Yes. In favour of a £10 billion refurb. It should be. They can work in a serviced office. There will be plenty available after this is over. I thought we were heading into a recession?... sod right off!
4 bn....piss off.. Even if money was available, it would be sacrilege to refit the chamber into that graphic image. Im no building expert but if it needs it spent it on ir , it is an iconic building Keep the building but get rid of the MPs. Let's hope so And that's just for the bar they've got Turn the place into a museum or even a picturesque ruin. Build a modern conference centre style place instead. Spending obscene sums on buildings is often a sign of decline and fall. See Parkinson on the fate of organizations with perfected Head Offices.
How about a new building just for England Is the renovation money being spent with UK companies and tradesmen? If so it's a perfect project to help our economy regenerate. It needs to be done and spending money with UK businesses is a great solution. FOUR thousand million just move to Manchester and have a new building which is fit for purpose
Move it to Milton Keynes , sell the site (on the open market please), and build a new chamber with a max capacity for 250 representatives Whilst were scrapping that let's get rid of the subsidy's for meals and alcoholic, second homes and retaining relatives as staff. Remember work from home if you can
Why not use the money to create a bigger social distancing friendly chamber in a lovely new building in the Midlands, bringing Govt to the whole country? Parliament in the middle of the country, fitting in with BorisJohnson policy Jacob_Rees_Mogg CommonsLeader HouseofCommons They need to explain exactly why it would cost such a ridiculous sum. No real need for them to keep using such a tiny chamber. Have them move to or build a modern, environmentally friendly building. And work remotely in the meantime. They may get MPs actually show up then.
4bn 😂 I thought there was no money!! 4bn was being spent on the refurbishment house of commons over 100bn on the train from tax payers! nothing for the NHS nothing!! the government didn't care about people who where refused medication because it was too expensive for children too Boris is disgrace where is he
Considering that they could have a purpose built facility that could house ALL the MP's for a fraction of the cost. Yes! Is time to spend 4bln? Just put them in a circus tent 🎪......now that would be appropriate BBCScotlandNews Should be and HS2 too. That would help replenish the piggy bank. 4 billion? Will be double that by completion just like every other publically funded build. You heard it here first.
Should the Palace of Westminster be refurbished? Absolutely. Should money be wasted on building a replica chamber? No. There has to be a building somewhere in the country that can be used temporarily and MPs can forego any pay increase to help out. BorisJohnson 10DowningStreet 4 Billion? Run that by me again 4 BILLION? for a building with seats? Someone is taking the piss bonny lad...
Absolutely not. It’s a UNESCO World Heritage Site and an international tourist site. Refurbishment is important to protect the building and the people working there. The only reason its criticised is people think it’s a case of politicians looking after themselves Yes Nick Knowles could do it for 5 grand.
Bloody well should be. Its fine as it is. Did refurb include amending seating etc to stop the braying and screaming at each other? So incredibly outdated. Knock the place down and create a car park. Then it will be useful at last. Relocate to somewhere cheaper. I bet you'd get a good rate in Hull. Of course not. They've found the money tree
Give it to the NHS to save someone's life. Suggest they work from home or only people who have raised Qs. In debates need to attend thus removing the antics of this alleged democracy and exposing those who are not on top of their brief. About time the braying masses were furloughed. How much😲 bet the contractor is rubbing his hands together, and their bank manager. And you can guarantee that the estimate will be inaccurate, as per everything the government, regardless of which one, touches. It's always too low. Never come in on a budget.
4bn? Ken down the road will do it for £500 Probly should be That's a lot of brown envelopes 🤫 Come on people money is not the issue to the UK government. It’s just not a good time to refurbish Westminster while millions are struggling during this crisis. Let us hope so That looks God awful 4 billion? What on earth are they doing to it?
You either do it or you let it crumble into the Thames, which would be an extremely bad look and the cost to Tourism would outweigh 4bn. It has to be done. Some of the responses to this are ridiculously reactionary and shortsighted. If it instead it was pitched as ‘should a world heritage site and one of the most recognisable buildings in the world be left to burn to the ground or flood?’ then it might be seen differently.
yeah can build something on Manc on Hills cheaper, with new tech, glass, infrastructure piping, VR debate chambers for all four nations of the Union MayorofGM AndyBurnhamGM Keir_Starmer paulmasonnews charliemansell bbcworld Westminster just needs basics for tourist tours If we go by the overall infection-level (indicating the risk of becoming infected) rather than the R-rate (useful only to control viral-spreading) then Parliament may become useable soon, provided a basic detection system (beyond current testing) is developed and deployed.
Is there a list somewhere of what exactly £4bn would be spent on? I can’t see how anything could cost so much. I had to double check I had not misread it I mean at this time it should be shelved. Waste of money. Put the money towards paying for the virus and nhs Is now really the time to be thinking about this? Update the electrics and plumbing only when necessary. A complete refurbishment, NO. Waste of taxpayer money.
I could do it for 3.99 billion.... let me know 😀 Bloody should be Four . . . . . BILLION? Damn should be! There’s bigger things to think about right now! 4bn seems excessive. It cost £500M to build the Emirates Stadium after all. Can we refurbish hospitals instead? The waiting room £4bn....that's fucking criminal.
Probably could build a completely new building for less than that I hope so, waste of money 4bn? Who’s the bloody contractors. Who signs this off. Jesus bloody Christ Pre Covid, how often is it seen almost empty, apart from when it's about MPs getting more money? You then have the likes of Jacob_Rees_Mogg laying across benches showing contempt for the process. Of course it should be scrapped.
Move it to Birmingham and build a parliament fit for the 21st century Could i have a breakdown of the costs please? I'm sure i could do the same job for significantly less. Make them all use Teams and join from home like the rest of us are having to ! The End To be honest it should be we need to keep as much money in the public pot as possible once the virus settles down. MPs can have virtual debates if necessary.
Erm. The roofs leaking for starters, it needs something doing to it. Join us for Happy Hour Live at 5 today on facebook you bring the food and drink I bring some music! Hope to bring some Joy to folks please share Jeff In this economy crash?
‘It’s great for morale’: doctors welcome NHS surcharge U-turnFrontline staff ‘amazed’ at government’s decision to scrap charge for migrant health workers Bad decision makes government look weak. Course they do. More free money and services for them. I suspect most people would be happy. But they should pay for healthcare, and for schooling for their kids. And they should be eased out of the NHS and the country.
'We feel insulted': migrant health workers on PM's refusal to scrap NHS surchargeFee for care and health workers from outside the European Economic Area to rise to £624 a year in October if you don't like it then go back to your home country More than 100,000 staff vacancies in the NHS during a pandemic and the Tories are charging an extra tax on health workers. Essentially penalising them. Another suicidal move on our behalf by the Tories.
Tory MP backs Labour call to scrap NHS fees for migrant health staffWilliam Wragg urges Boris Johnson to show ‘generosity of spirit’ to healthcare workers Generosity of spirt? That is the language of British exceptionalism and institutional racism. These are staff who do a vital job. A brave job. Literally risking their lives. treason trials for msm and all fake political parties liblabcon If you work and pay tax here you shouldn’t have to pay extra.
Baltimore mayor urges Trump to scrap visit due to coronavirus lockdown order – liveWhite House announced president and first lady would participate in a Memorial Day ceremony in city he previously called a ‘rodent-infested mess’ Please stay home Donald we do not need you here to take up resources we do not need to close the highways because you're coming and remember Baltimore is under orders to stay in place we don't need a visitor Oh, you rule the Fed. now ;) ? No, you don't. Your opinion does not matter. No Coronavirus lockdown, at all. My opinion does not matter :'(
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Modi's plan to rebuild India's parliament draws fierce criticismAnish Kapoor among those pouring scorn on redevelopment of Lutyens’ central vista, branding it an act of ‘political fanaticism’ Authoritarianism. The new normal in India. Government is nation. Criticism of government is criticism of nation. Descent is treated as anti national. Joining the rest of the FASCISTS Great idea! Awesome! Well done narendramodi PMOIndia - Time is perfect for India to rebuild itself and dispose of the insignia & symbols of over 400+ years of Brutality, Rape, Pillage,Ethnic Cleansing and Genocide from marauders & invaders..