Skip to main content

Severe Weather (Staffing)

Volume 504: debated on Thursday 21 January 2010

24. What estimate the House of Commons Commission has made of the number of hours spent by staff covering for colleagues unable to get to work owing to the recent period of severe weather; and if he will make a statement. (312140)

It is not possible to identify separately the additional hours worked by staff as a result of the recent severe weather, but I am sure that I speak for all Members of the House when I say that we are very grateful to the staff of the House for their commitment and flexibility in ensuring that services to the House and its Committees continued as usual.

The hon. Gentleman has stolen my thunder, because I was going to ask him if he would join me, and indeed the whole House, in praising the valuable work undertaken at a very difficult time by members of staff who came in, in very bad weather, worked quite late on occasions to replace those who were unable to come in, and enabled a functioning democratic process, such as that in our House of Commons, to continue despite the appalling weather conditions.

I thank the hon. Gentleman for his remarks. We are grateful to those members of staff who battled in against the weather conditions and to those who worked extra hours. The House takes business continuity very seriously and has done everything possible to learn the lessons of last winter.