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To: Theresa May
Re-build parliament outside London rather than renovating Westminster
As an alternative to the renovation of the Palace of Westminster, the government should look at alternatives including moving the main debating chambers out of London and building a fit for purpose building in the Midlands or the North.
Why is this important?
It was announced today that the renovations to the Palace of Westminster will cost up to £4billion and involved the MPs moving out for 6 years. This will leave us (the British people) with a magnificent looking building, but a parliament in the same state it is now with MPs involved in a scrum to attend each morning to bag a seat!
In addition, the UK is already too London centric; despite rhetoric about building a "Northern Power House" the government has yet to do anything practical in this direction.
The current debating chambers are not fit for purpose; there are insufficient seats for every member of parliament. A new building could provide to the needs of a 21st century and offer both space as well as technology solutions such as telepresence so that MPs can be involved in debates while not attending in person; allowing better use of their time as well as allowing a better family life / work life balance.
Cost and time overruns are likely to make renovations cost much higher than the estimated £4 billion and we will still be faced by an antiquated building not fit for purpose. So lets look to the future not to the past and consider what is BEST, not what is convinient for individual MPs.