All you need to know!
The UK Youth Parliament at the House of Commons
Friday November 4 2011
A travel bursary is being provided for regions to travel to the House of Commons this year. However, this may not cover 100% of your travel cost.
We ask that regions and nations think strategically about the money that has been allocated for them:it maybe cheaper to hire coaches; mini-coaches or drive Local Authority mini-buses. Sleeper train services are also available, and you will want to arrive at a London train station at least an hour before you need to be at the House of Commons (see below). It may also be cheaper to stay overnight in London.
Each region or nation has been allocated a travel bursary budget. Please speak to your Regional Coordinator for more details.
On arrival MYPs and Youth Workers will be able to deposit their coats and bags in a cloakroom and will be provided with a drink. Accessible toilet facilities will be available. Each region will be “held” in Westminster Hall in their regional groups and will be briefed by a member of the House of Commons staff.
Please try and arrive at your allotted time to ensure everyone is able to move smoothly and quickly through security.
Arrival at the House of Commons is being staggered as detailed below:
0915 - 0930 Doors Open
0930 - 0945 London & Northern Ireland 0945 – 1000 Scotland & South East
1000 - 1015 East Midlands, West Midlands & East of England 1015 - 1030 South West, North East, Yorkshire & Humberside 1030 - 1045 Wales & North West
Entrance to the House of Commons
hence the staggering of people‟s arrival times. Entrance should be through the visitor‟s entrance at Cromwell Green, which is to the left hand side of St Stephen‟s Gate. Please be patient and remember, there will be approximately 450 people from UKYP all trying to enter the building! Once inside we will be asking everyone to wait in Westminster Hall/Jubilee Cafe, until you are called by your Regional Co-ordinator and House of Commons staff member to enter the Chamber. Whilst waiting, refreshments will be provided and there are also toilets for people‟s use if required.
Anyone who arrives late (after 1045) should phone the BYC hotline– 07809 507367 and we will arrange for you to be met and escorted into the chamber at an appropriate moment.
Timetable for the day
Start time End time Description
11.00 11.10 Introduction From Mr Speaker, John Bercow MP 11.10 12.40 Debates
Lunch In Westminster Great Hall 13.30 14.30 Debates
14.30 15.00 Voting,
Summing up of the day by the Speaker Announcement of the results of the vote
What is the purpose of the event?
This debate will be the third time that any group of people, young or old, will have sat on the green benches in the House of Commons, apart from MPs. All the young people taking part will be elected representatives, and will debate the top five issues voted for by thousands of young people from across the UK from the UKYP manifesto. At the end of the five debates, MYPs will vote for the one issue that they would like to see MPs discuss and then take action on.
How have the five campaign ideas been chosen?
Throughout August, September and October 2011, young people from across the UK will have had the opportunity to vote for their top debate they want discussed at this event. The top five (out of 42 possibilities) will go through to be debated at the House of Commons.
The debates will start in the House of Commons at 11.00 with an introduction and welcome from the Speaker, John Bercow MP. He will also be chairing the debates.
Each debate will be introduced by a regionally elected MYP who will put the argument for and against each issue. Each introduction will last no more than five minutes. At the end of the introduction, the debate will be opened up to all MYPs to contribute to. An MYP may speak for or against the issue e.g. – if you do not believe that young people should have a concessionary fare on public transport, you will need to think carefully about why and how you are going to phrase
MYPs wishing to speak should stand to be selected by the Speaker, and may only speak once in each debate. Any MYPs unable to stand should raise their hand. MYPs may speak for only one minute (or less) on the issue. At the end of the debate, the floor will be handed back to the elected MYP to sum up the argument. This will last no longer than three minutes.
Please be aware that each of the debates will be time limited. UKYP only has the Commons Chamber from 1100 – 1530 and it will not be possible to enable everyone to speak. This is a historic occasion and even if you don‟t get to have your say in the Chamber, your presence is symbolic and representative of every young person in the country. You should be extremely proud to be able to be seen to represent young people‟s views even if you don‟t actually get to speak. MYPs will be grouped regionally or in their nations. The Speaker will try to ensure that every region and nation is represented in each of the debates.
Timing of debates
Please refer to the PowerPoint presentation for extra information:
For the motion 5 minutes Against the motion 5 minutes
Floor debate Depends on the Speaker Summation 3 minutes
Conduct of the debate
If an MYP wishes to speak then they should stand up so that the Speaker can identify them. If an MYP is unable to stand for whatever reason, they should raise their hand.
o However, once a person has been chosen to speak others should then sit down. The Speaker will not know anyone‟s name, so he will do his best to identify the person he has chosen to speak by saying something along the lines of “the lady with glasses and a pink top” or “the gentleman with orange hair and a red shirt” – similar to the way that David Dimbleby identifies people to speak on the BBC‟s Question Time.
When an MYP wishes to address another, they should make sure that their language is simple and young person friendly e.g. - it is fine to say „as the person earlier said‟. Please DO NOT use „my fellow MYP‟ which may be seen as being overly formal and not young person friendly.
NO banter or cat calls are permitted. MYPs should show respect and listen when someone is speaking (this is as per the D/MYP code of conduct). There should be no “boo-ing”. If MYPs wish to show support for a statement they may simply say “Yes” or “No”.
At the end of the five debates, each MYP in the Chamber will have the opportunity to vote for the issue which they would like to see/hear the Government respond to. Each MYP will be provided with a ballot sheet and will be able to vote for ONE issue only. MYPs will have five minutes to cast their vote. Ballot papers will be collected and counted by House of Commons staff. The result will then be announced to the Speaker of the House of Commons who will in turn announce the result in his summing up of the day‟s events.
The debates will all be filmed. BBC Parliament will be broadcasting the debates live with a five minute time delay. This is a major change from last year.
The debates will also be streamed “live” with a time delay directly to the newsrooms of the BBC, Sky, etc – so that broadcasters may use the footage that day if they want to.
It is very important that during the debates MYPs don‟t say anything that is factually incorrect (i.e. slanderous), don‟t swear and are careful not to damage the reputation of Parliament (e.g. call MPs liars!). We will be taking legal advice on anything that could be considered slanderous and any such statements will have to be removed.
The microphones and cameras will be on in the Chamber at all times.
The dress code for the event is smart/casual. It must, however, be stressed that the Houses of Parliament DO NOT ALLOW clothes to be worn that exhibit a logo, or campaign slogan. This includes UKYP T-shirts.
We will be keeping some spare plain white t-shirts just in case, and any young person attending with an inappropriate top will be asked to change, or will be excluded from the debate.
It should also be pointed out that stripy tops/ties can be distorted by the cameras/filming, and should be avoided if at all possible.
Photographs, Cameras, Mobile Phones & Filming
Photographs will not be permitted within the Chamber of the House of Commons. However, a professional photographer will be there. Photographs will be available to order after the event and downloadable from UKYP facebook page.
Please do not even try to take a sneaky photo in the Chamber, as you will be asked to leave if caught and it could jeopardise UKYP and future groups from using the House of Commons Chamber again in the future.
Mobile phones – THESE MUST BE SWITCHED OFF AT ALL TIMES WHEN IN THE HOUSE OF COMMONS CHAMBER.
Security is always tight at the Houses of Parliament and it will not be possible to have hundreds of bags there. You will, however, be able to leave your coats and bags in one of the rooms off of Westminster Hall for the duration of the debate.
PLEASE ENSURE THAT ALL BAGS ARE CLEARLY LABELLED WITH THE NAME AND ADRESS OF THE OWNER. WE CANNOT TAKE ANY RESPONSIBILITY FOR THE LOSS OF ANY BAGGAGE FOR THE EVENT AND WHILST THE ROOMS WILL BE LOCKED AND SECURE IT IS ADVISED NOT TO BRING ANY VALUABLE ITEMS WITH YOU ON THE DAY. It will also not be possible to take any pens into the chamber. A House of Commons pencil will be provided to everyone to enable you all to vote.
For Youth Workers accompanying MYPs to the House of Commons Debate the public gallery will be available. However, this is only able to accommodate 150 people in total.
Unfortunately, we anticipate that more than 150 youth workers have registered to accompany their MYPs. This is due to a variation in local authorities‟ lone working policies. This means it will not be possible to seat everyone in the public gallery all of the time. Therefore where there are two or more youth workers attending from one local authority, only one may sit in the public gallery at any one time.
UKYP would suggest that if a local authority is affected by this situation, one youth worker watches in the public gallery whilst the other stays on the Parliamentary Estate in the Jubilee Cafe, just off of Westminster Hall, and less than five minutes away from the chamber. A suitable time to swap over would be at lunch, meaning that each youth worker is able to watch either the morning or the afternoon‟s debate.
The exception being if workers are accompanying a young person with a disability, who will have access to the Chamber if necessary.
Lunch is being provided by the House of Commons authorities, and will be served in Westminster Hall. Please ensure that you allow those people with special dietary requirements to select their food, as their diets are being specifically catered for.
After the debate
This year, we will be launching the campaign voted for by MYPs the moment it is announced in the House of Commons.
We anticipate that many things will happen straight away. These could include, amongst others: o Campaign actions and briefings for MYPs
o Facebook page/twitter hashtag campaign page will be created o Early Day Motion proposed
o Letters to government sent out o Press Statements released
o Question proposed at the Prime Ministers Question Time
We will also send emails to all the voters with the result and ways that they can be further involved in supporting the chosen campaign. The campaign will last for one year until the next debate!
UKYP won‟t be the only group to be visiting the Houses of Parliament on the 4 November and Parliament will be open to Visitors. They will not have access to the House of Commons Chamber or Public Gallery.