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Equality Act 2010 and Disability Committee

Volume 764: debated on Wednesday 8 July 2015

Motion to Resolve

Moved by

That, as proposed by the Procedure Committee, and notwithstanding the normal practice of the House in the conduct of divisions:

Members of the Select Committee on the Equality Act 2010 with restricted mobility shall be entitled to vote in the room in which that Select Committee meets in any division in the Chamber occurring while the Select Committee is sitting, providing conditions (a) and (b) below are satisfied.

(a) The Member has notified the Clerk of the Parliaments of his or her intention to make use of this entitlement at least 24 hours in advance of the meeting of the Select Committee in which he or she first proposes to make use of the entitlement;

(b) The Member is present in the Committee room by the time the question is repeated three minutes after the division is called.

My Lords, I appreciate that this is an unusual request and therefore it may be appropriate to give a few words of explanation. The Select Committee on the Equality Act 2010 and Disability includes several members who use wheelchairs or whose mobility is restricted. The committee will meet on Tuesday afternoons, and therefore its meetings may well coincide with Divisions in the House. If there should be a Division in the House while the Select Committee is meeting in Committee Room 4A, it would be very challenging for those members to make their way to the Chamber to vote within the eight minutes allowed. The chairman of the committee, the noble Baroness, Lady Deech, wrote to me to ask whether we might look at ways to address this issue, possibly by replicating the arrangements the House agreed to in 2011 when the Grand Committee on the Welfare Reform Bill sat in Committee Room 4A. The Motion seeks to allow Members of the House with restricted mobility to vote in their place in Committee Room 4A during sittings of the Select Committee on the Equality Act 2010 and Disability, subject to certain conditions and only if they so wish. A paper in my name setting out the proposals embodied in this Motion was circulated to the Procedure Committee last week and received the unanimous support of the members of that committee. I beg to move.

Motion agreed.