Can you unlock Parliament?

The life of a bag-carrier or researcher might seem to be entirely dedicated to the task of unlocking the mysteries of Parliament, but now there’s a new way to test your skills –  ‘Unlock Parliament’, a brand new immersive experience at Westminster.

The mysterious ‘Agent N’ will set you a series of puzzles and other clues (including some via video link). Your objective is to move Agent N’s rather surprising new Bill through Parliament.

With the clock ticking, you will need to work as a team to make some tough decisions as quickly as possible. Can you solve the puzzles and clues in time to pass the Bill into Law?

‘Unlock Parliament’ is fun and suitable for all ages (minimum recommended age 8 years). Perfect for couples, families and groups of friends, and all kids go free! And who knows – you might learn more about Parliamentary procedure!

To find out more, please call the Bookings Team on x4114 or visit the web page.

Biggest ever Parliament Week!

UK Parliament Week 2017 was the biggest to date.  In total, 4596 activities took place across the country during UK Parliament Week and over 360,000 people participated in some way. There was at least one event in every single UK Parliament constituency with an average of 7. All of this was made possible by the partnerships that we’ve spent almost a year working on.

Find out more on the Parliament Week website.

Save the date!

UK Parliament Week 2018 will take place on 12 – 18 November 2018. Look out for information coming soon about plans for UK Parliament Week 2018.

Independent Survey on Harassment and Bullying

Jovica Trajkovski [CC BY-SA 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

We have heard from the cross-party Working Group currently looking into harassment and bullying in Parliament. The survey they will be conducting is an important way to gather information in confidence about the current situation, and we encourage you to complete it when it is posted.

w4mp team.

In light of the stories of harassment and bullying in parliament, the Prime Minister has convened a cross-party Working Group on an Independent Complaints and Grievance Policy. The group are currently working on a proposal to make Parliament a safe and fair place to work, and the policy will be available to those that work in, or with, Parliament.

As members of the Working Group, we will be asking you to complete a short survey. This will give us a preliminary view of your experiences relating to bullying and harassment, including sexual harassment.

We will only ask for limited demographic information, but we want to hear directly from you so that we can act quickly in implementing a solution. The survey will help us to better understand the current situation, identify the things that the independent policy needs to tackle and hear how people think this might work best. The survey is being sent to a wide range of people who work in and with Parliament, not just those employed by the two Houses or working for Members or Peers.

We have commissioned BMG to conduct the survey for us, who are an independent organisation with survey expertise.  We will circulate the details of the survey link in the next few days, and ask you to complete it online as soon as possible.  We will also distribute information about the survey link in hard copy for people who do not use a computer regularly in the course of their work.

Please note that the deadline for completing the survey is Sunday 3rd December. The initial findings will inform the proposal that the Working Group will be putting together in December.

We would like to make it clear that the survey is anonymous and that BMG only report responses above a certain number. This ensures all information remains completely confidential. BMG Research is a member of the Market Research Society, which is bound by its Code of Conduct not to provide personal details without formal permission of the individual.

The Working Group would like to encourage you to complete the survey – we are aware of a number of surveys that you may also have been asked to complete, but the only survey conducted by the Working Group is the one you will receive from BMG.

It is vital that the Working Group is able to hear from those affected by these important issues, those who work on the estate, and those who care about this issue – we want to make sure we get this right.

Electrical Tests in Palace of Westminster

Electrical testing will take place in the Palace of Westminster  Sunday 26 November, Sunday 3 and Sunday 10 December, beginning at 8am and ending at 5pm on each day. There will be multiple short power outages during each day. All electrical services will be affected during these outages.

If you work in the Palace you should shut down any PCs and work on laptops where possible.

 Support services will be on site for the duration of the tests and announcements will be made before each one.

Staff training course updates

We have published course dates for staff training on the Training page.

Training offered by Learning and Development is free for Members’ staff to attend, the only cost from your end would be travel and accommodation. However these costs can be claimed back through IPSA.

Courses offered have been designed to develop and build skills in a range of core areas for Members’ staff.

“Should we be free to hate?” – ECPMF’s young writer competition

“Should we be free to hate?” – ECPMF’s young writer competition ‘1000 words for freedom’

Darth Vader is a hater. For sure. Hate is where his strength and power comes from. His symbol is the death star.

Okay, it‘s fiction. Classic science fiction, actually.

In our world, the real world, most of the haters can be found in social media. There they hide behind a mask of anonymity. However more and more often they reveal themselves. Because they feel safe, because they think they have the right to say what they want to say.

Hate speech can be disturbing, embarrassing, frightening, destructive. So shouldn’t we just try to elimate it? By law? Or would that mean to eliminate also the freedom of expression? Isn’t it okay to express all our feelings? Should we be free to hate?

The European Centre for Press and Media Freedom is proud to announce this year’s competition for young writers.  We ask you, young people under the age of 27, to write up to 1,000 words on the question: Should we be free to hate?

The contest is open for entries from 5th October 2017 to 31st December 2017.

For further information, please go to:

https://ecpmf.eu/news/awards/1000-words-ii-should-we-be-free-to-hate

Department of Health Guide for Constituency Staff – updated

The Department of Health has updated its helpful guide for constituency staff, which has been sent out by email to Members of Parliament.

The Ministerial correspondence – Guide for constituency staff is designed to help constituency office staff find their way around the health and social care system, and identify which organisation is best placed to help them with their constituency enquiries and casework. The guide explains the roles of the NHS trusts and arms-length bodies (ALBs) in the health and care sector, and includes contact details for the chief executives of all the Department’s ALBs.

If you have not already received a copy of this guide and would like one, please email us on editor@w4mp.org and we will email you a copy.  Please note that this will only be sent out to those with verified Parliamentary email addresses.  It is not available to the public.