NEWS from the w4mp channel, relevant to everyone working in Parliament.

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Latest news below, or you can read all news items.

Looking for Great Tom

According to an article in today’s Observer a planed excavation of Westminster might uncover Great Tom, Big Ben’s renowned medieval predecessor. The article notes that ‘the original tower was built around 1288 during the reign of Edward I, a little further from the river than the current tower, which was built in 1859 and is officially called the Elizabeth Tower – though in the public imagination it is firmly identified with its 16-tonne bell. Parliament officials have granted permission for the small-scale dig on the old site in…

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Do you have any updates to the Hotlines List?

We are going to update the Hotlines List shortly. If you have any updates for us, or any new hotline numbers to give to us, please do let us know by completing the feedback form so that we can add them to the list.  Thanks.

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House of Lords sits on Monday 18 May

After the 2015 General Election, the House of Lords will meet on Monday 18 May and Tuesday 19 May 2015. The House of Lords meets ahead of the State Opening of Parliament for members of the Lords to take the oath or affirmation. Members are also required to sign an undertaking to abide by the House of Lords Code of Conduct as part of the swearing-in procedure. The State Opening of Parliament will take place on Wednesday 27 May 2015. State Opening marks the formal start of the parliamentary year and the Queen’s Speech sets…

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Guardian offers guide to ‘the Bubble’

The Guardian has published a ‘helpful’ guide for new MPs that may also be of interest to new (and old) staff. The insider’s guide to Westminster: from Portcullis House to the Burma Road Next week the new MPs will take up their seats in the Commons. For the lost or confused, John Crace gives his definitive guide to the Westminster house rules. Read the whole thing

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Outreach service event: How laws are made

After the hurly burly of the General Election, the brand new Parliament gets down to formal business on 27 May with the State Opening of Parliament when the Queen’s Speech will set out the new government’s legislative programme. New MPs, returning MPs, and Peers will begin the work of checking and challenging the government’s agenda for the new Parliament, and in due course will propose new legislation of their own. Focusing on how laws are introduced, checked and passed, “Understanding Parliament: law making in action”…

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Looking for the salary ranges?

A few people have asked us about job advertisements stating that salaries will be within the IPSA pay scales, but they don’t actually say what the pay scales are. The salary ranges are published on IPSA’s website here: IPSA Pay Ranges.

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Parliamentary Mobile Apps

UK Parliament has produced some free Parliamentary Apps for Android, iPhone and iPad. My Constituency shows key statistics for each constituency, including election results, unemployment, youth unemployment and population. ParliQuiz is produced by Parliament’s Education Service, and is great for older students and teachers learning and teaching about politics, Parliament and democracy. It aims to demystify Parliament, and will be useful for anyone with an interest in testing and improving their political literacy. The Commons Order Papers: the House of Commons Order Paper is published…

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2015 Mock Elections in Schools

As the tightest election battle for years dominates the news, younger members of society throughout the country are casting their votes by getting involved in the excitement and drama of Mock Elections. The Hansard Society’s Mock Elections in Schools project collates the results from hundreds of schools across the country in order to produce a national result.  Schools are voting this week and next and the deadline for submission of results is 10pm on Thursday 7 May. The final nationwide result will then be calculated and announced…

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2015 Year Here Fellowship

We’ve received the following from the nice people at Year Here… The Year Here Fellowship is an ambitious, creative and rigorous 8-month course in social innovation. As a Fellow, you’ll build brilliant solutions to social problems supported by a world-leading network including Citizens UK, FutureGov, Bain & Company and the Cabinet Office. We’re looking for bright grads who are serious about making society better.   If selected, you will: Serve in tough frontline roles. Your first four months will be spent in homeless shelters, care homes and community centres…

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Liberteas: Celebrate 800 Years of Magna Carta

To coincide with the 800th anniversary of the sealing of Magna Carta the Houses of Parliament and the National Trust are asking the nation to take a moment to celebrate, debate and reflect on those liberties which we can very often take for granted but which people throughout history have campaigned to make happen or fought to preserve.   LiberTeas, will take place on the afternoon of Sunday 14 June at 3pm and will be the only national commemorative celebration of the sealing of Magna Carta.   Magna…

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