Parliamentary Book Club Meets on Wednesday

PARLIAMENTARY BOOK CLUB

WEDNESDAY 2ND APRIL – 12.30PM

BELLAMY’S, 1 PARLIAMENT STREET (area near entrance look out for the group with books!)

We are currently reading-

“The Elegance of the Hedgehog” – Muriel Barbery

“The Rosie Project” – Graeme Simison

New members – across all parts of the Parliamentary estate – always welcome!

For more information email pcoughlan@btinternet.com or see here.

Caseworkers – check out this invaluable resource

Are you making best use of the many resources on constituency casework on the parliamentary intranet?  

At the Open Day for constituency-based staff at Westminster on 25 March those attending were pleasantly surprised to see just what is available.  Many were a bit miffed to find out what they had been missing. Don’t be one of them!

The crucial link is here: http://intranet.parliament.uk/research-online/research/constituency-casework/.   This page brings together resources that will help caseworkers with a range of frequently raised topics, including telephone hotlines to Government departments and other agencies.

The Commons Library can provide impartial background information on issues raised by constituents and advise on where else you can find help. They cannot provide legal advice on specific cases.

  • MPs, Freedom of Information and Data Protection
  • Sources of information by subject area
  • Briefings on topical constituency issues
  • Hotlines and contacts for MPs
  • Government websites
  • Government guides
  • How to use the Commons Library

What’s On in April

Loads of good information here about events, exhibitions, lectures, drop-in sessions, etc during April for those of you with access to the parliamentary estate.

Key events next month include:

  • Table Office training for Members’ staff (4 April): how to draft effective and orderly Parliamentary Questions.
  • Parliament and social policy (8 April): the Rt Hon Frank Field MP will deliver this lecture (Speaker’s Lecture Series) to be followed by a Q&A session.
  • Parliament Choir and Southbank Sinfonia – Haydn, The Creation (9 April): a concert at Cadogan Hall, Sloane Terrace, London SW1X 9DQ.
  • Innovation, Development and Feasibility Roadshow (11 April): take a look at some of the excellent work the team has been doing so far.
  • Parliament’s Energy Commitment (30 April): an interactive workshop to discuss how ideas for saving energy across the Estate can be put into action.

For a full list of events happening next month, visit the what’s on intranet page.

For those without access to the intranet here’s a link to details of the Parliament Choir, together with the Southbank Sinfonia, performing Haydn’s Creation at Cadogan Hall on Wednesday 9 April at 7.30pm: http://www.cadoganhall.com/event/parliament-choir-140409/.

Are you making best use of the parliamentary intranet?

OK so most of you have good access to the parliamentary intranet and use its resources every day. But……

…….we do know that a good many of you, particularly those based in constituency offices, are not taking full advantage of what’s available.

If you don’t work in parliament – sorry, but the intranet ain’t available to you. Lots of good info and links on the public website though: www.parliament.uk.

Here’s an overall list of what’s covered on the intranet:

Business and News
• Parliamentary Business
• Committees
• News and events
• Understanding Parliament

Research and Libraries
• Research
• Resources
• Training and information skills
• House of Commons Library Services
• House of Lords Library
• Statistics
• Current Awareness Email Alerts

Information Management
• Managing Current Business Information
• Information Security, Data Protection & FoI
• Web and Intranet Service – Online services
• Archives
• Broadcasting

Employment
• Information for House of Commons staff
• Lords staff
• Careers and Development
• Joining & Leaving
• Safety, Health & Wellbeing
• Data Protection & Security

Finances
• Pay
• Allowances
• Pensions
• Procurement
• Financial planning
• Insurance
• HAIS

Computers and Equipment
• Getting Set Up
• Working Flexibly
• Training and Coaching
• Communications Services
• Office 365
• Equipment & Supplies

Access and Buildings
• Access & Security
• Building & Works
• Evacuation & Emergencies
• Offices & Rooms
• Exhibitions & Tours

Trailblazers Mentoring Scheme

The Trailblazers Mentoring Scheme is in partnership with Barclay’s Future Leader Development Programme. 50 young people are offered a place in the six-month scheme, which involves face-to-face mentoring, training workshops, and direct involvement in the banking industry.

There are five areas available to apply for: RBB Leadership, Marketing and Product, Technology and Innovation, Strategic Analytics, and Risk. Apply now, as the deadline is 5pm on the 24th of March!

For more information and to apply, click here, or email sarah@elevationnetworks.org.

Report on Parliamentary internet services published.

In 2013, a review of all Parliament’s internet services was commissioned, to look at the effectiveness of the various services for the public, members, and staff. The report has now been published, and key conclusions are that one office should be set up that oversees all online services, and that this should be run by a publicly accountable Head of Digital.

Feedback on the report is welcome, and should be sent to newdigitalservice@parliament.uk.

For more information and to read the report, see here.

Parliament’s Education Service

Teachers, students…this is for you.  We never tire of plugging Parliament’s excellent and comprehensive Education Service.

Their home page is here.  Here’s a taster of some of the links from there:

Introduction to Parliament

Using images, videos and articles, this section looks at the role of Parliament, how it differs from government, key annual events such as the State Opening of Parliament and the budget.

About the work of Parliament

Who’s, who? MPs, Lords and the monarch

Take a closer look at the role of MPs, Members of the House of Lords, and the monarch in the UK’s parliamentary democracy. This section uses a combination of animations, slideshows and articles to bust common myths and examine the work of Parliament’s key players.

Who’s who in Parliament?

How laws are made

Most new laws passed by Parliament result from proposals made by the government. This section looks at the process of making a law and the role played by the House of Commons and House of Lords to scrutinise new legislation.

Making laws

General elections

General elections are central to democracy in the UK. But how do they work? This section looks at the outcome of the last general election, the role of political parties, and what happens on election day.

General elections and referendums

The history of Parliament

The UK has a long tradition of parliamentary democracy. Take a closer look at some key moments, including the Gunpowder Plot and the achievements of early female politicians.

Uncover Parliament’s long history

Current affairs

Parliament debates issues that affect the lives of everyone in the UK, from human rights and civil liberties to international development, devolution in Scotland, and more. This sections covers some major recent topics of debate and new legislation.

Political issues and debates

Happy 25th Birthday, World Wide Web!

From Pew Research:

On March 12, 1989 (25 years ago), Tim Berners-Lee wrote a paper proposing an “information management” system that became the conceptual and architectural structure for the Web. He eventually released the code for his system—for free—to the world on Christmas Day in 1990. It became a milestone in easing the way for ordinary people to access documents and interact over a network of computer networks called the internet—a system that had been around for years.

More at http://www.pewinternet.org/packages/the-web-at-25/

All-Party Parliamentary Groups

If you’re responsible for the administration for an APPG then you should note the latest advice from the Whips Office:

Following meetings of the Administration Committee and the Committee on Standards (HC 357), all APPG notices submitted for inclusion on the All Party Notices:

Should include a contact parliamentary e-mail address or telephone number, i.e. NOT that of an external person or organisation.

Must list Guest Speakers.

The Events Team in the House of Commons must be notified of all guest speakers so they can be logged when the meeting is booked.