House of Commons to relocate to the QE2 Conference Centre ?
Under one proposal, the Commons would abandon its Victorian premises and set up temporary home at the Queen Elizabeth II conference centre (QE2), about half a mile away, to enable a £3bn refurbishment.
Although planning is at a very early stage, Commons officials are thought to favour moving out on the grounds it would be more cost effective than scheduling the work around parliamentary recesses.
But MPs are wary. After a report in the Sunday Times saying that a temporary evacuation of the Commons “could save the taxpayer billions”, one senior MP suggested unelected officials were trying to “bounce” parliament into accepting the plan.
The Commons commission said in a statement this year that all renovation options were being considered and that a final decision would not be taken for several years. “It is envisaged that [the options report] will take approximately a year, with any decisions on renovations not being made until the next parliament (2015-2020), with any work not commencing before 2020,” it said.
It isn’t clear what affect all of this would have on London’s conference and meeting market! Judging by the massive egos of those involved it’s hard to imagine the MP’s and their myriad assistants sharing anything with anyone. If that were the case London would lose a very major part of its large conference infrastructure for a very long time, surely tipping the supply and demand balance somewhat.
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