Parliamentary Constituencies Act receives Royal Assent and becomes law

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The Parliamentary Constituencies Act received Royal Assent on Tuesday 14 December.  This law will ensure that Parliamentary constituencies in the UK are more equal in size and will make elections fairer.

You can read the Government press release here: https://www.gov.uk/government/news/new-law-passed-will-make-voting-in-uk-general-election-fairer

The House of Commons Library has some new research documents on the topic.

The Parliamentary Constituencies Bill 2019-21 – https://commonslibrary.parliament.uk/research-briefings/cbp-8921/

Parliamentary boundary reviews: public consultations – https://commonslibrary.parliament.uk/research-briefings/cbp-7696/

Constituency boundary reviews and the number of MPs – https://commonslibrary.parliament.uk/research-briefings/sn05929/

All MP staff virtual Q&A session – Dealing with distressed and suicidal callers

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As you may be aware, the Members’ Services Team runs a monthly phone-in Q&A session for MPs’ staff. The next one is taking place on Wednesday 16 December, 3-4pm and the theme of this session will be dealing with distressed and suicidal callers.

For further information and a link to join the meeting, please see this page on the intranet:

https://intranet.parliament.uk/business-news/news-current-issues/news/2020/december/all-mp-staff-virtual-qa-session–dealing-with-distressed-and-suicidal-callers/

Office Managers’ Virtual Drop-in – every Wednesday

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At 11:00 every Wednesday, there is an MPs’ Office Managers’ Drop-in on Microsoft Teams.

During these meetings, you can learn about and discuss:

  • House of Commons updates
  • Security information
  • Information about Parliamentary Digital Services
  • Information about IPSA
  • Information and support relating to wellness and wellbeing

You also have the opportunity to put your questions to the Members’ Services Team and to other Office Managers about anything relevant to your work.

The Drop-in on 9 December 2020 will have a focus on dealing with suicidal callers.

If you are an MP’s Office Manager (or if your office does not have one, an appropriate alternative) and have not received an invitation to the regular weekly drop-ins, please email your details to  MST@parliament.uk and ask to be added.

Leasehold high-rise flats: who pays for fire safety work?

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This House of Commons Library Research Briefing considers the debate about who is responsible for paying for fire safety works on blocks of flats in the wake of the Grenfell Tower fire.  It covers progress in implementing the Government decision to fund remediation work for affected blocks with ACM cladding in the social and private sectors. In March 2020, a £1 billion Building Safety Fund was announced to fund the removal of unsafe non-ACM cladding on high-rise blocks in the social and private sectors.  Ongoing issues include the adequacy of the funding available and how historic defects, such as a lack of fire stopping measures, will be paid for.

Leasehold high-rise flats: who pays for fire safety work?

 

How to Support an All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) – Online Workshop Seminar

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Owing to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Registrar of Members’ Financial Interests will be holding seminars virtually (via MS Teams) until further notice, with each lasting about an hour.

How to Support an All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG)

This seminar will cover:

  • Register entries
  • APPG Secretariats (volunteers, Members’ staff, outside organisations)
  • Members and Officers
  • Meetings (including AGMs, inaugurals and other formal meetings)
  • Transparency and records, including APPG websites
  • Income and expenditure statements

Forthcoming dates:

  • Thursday 10 December at 11am
  • Tuesday 15 December at 3pm

Please email CommonsRegistrar@parliament.uk to tell them your preferred date.  They will then email you the joining instructions. These will include a link to the MS Teams App, which you should download and install before the meeting if you do not already have it on the device that you will be using to attend the meeting.

If the dates above are unsuitable please tell them and they will contact you when further dates are arranged.

Best Practice Guide to Recruitment and Selection

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The House of Commons Members’ HR Service has produced a Best Practice Guide to Recruitment and Selection.

It provides practical advice on efficient and effective recruitment practices. The guide aims to support Members (and their Office Managers) with the tools to attract and recruit people with diverse backgrounds, skills and abilities.

Even if you’re not currently recruiting, w4mp recommends that MPs and Office Manager take the time to read this very useful document.

Please see here for further information: http://www.w4mp.org/w4mp/w4mp-guides/support-in-your-job/recruitment-and-selection-best-practice-guide/

The price of postage stamps will rise on 1 January 2021

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The prices of Royal Mail postage stamps will rise on 1 January 2021.

  • A first-class stamp for a standard letter will rise from 76p to 85p
  • A second-class stamp for a standard letter will rise from 65p to 66p
  • A first-class stamp for a large letter will rise £1.15 to £1.29
  • A second-class stamp for a large letter will rise from 88p to 96p

See here for full details: https://www.royalmail.com/prices2021