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Review of House of Commons catering service under way

17 September 2010 by

Westminster officials have launched a review of the catering service at the House of Commons.

The Administration Committee is looking at the level of access the 650 MPs and staff members at Parliament have to the catering and retail services provided there.

It will also consider the implications of widening access to currently underused parts of the service, as well as consulting on what exactly those using the facilities want.

Under the terms of the inquiry the relationship between the House of Commons and House of Lords' catering services will be scrutinised, and ways catering in the Commons can be improved at no additional cost will also be considered.

As part of the process the committee is considering appointing an external catering consultant on a part-time basis to provide advice.

Food and drink in the Commons, including private dining, is provided by Catering & Retailing Services, part of the Department of Facilities.

In a parliamentary question last year it was revealed that food and drink within the commons was subsidised in 2008/09 to the tune of £6.1m.

The committee will report its findings next year.

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By Chris Druce

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