Wera Hobhouse, Liberal Democrat MP for Bath, called for greater safety measures for heritage buildings during her Business Question on Thursday 22nd February. 

The Bath MP spoke in Parliament about the difficult task of balancing workplace safety with the protection of heritage buildings - a consideration familiar to many in Bath given the city’s world-class heritage architecture. The Houses of Parliament are no exception to this. Over 40,000 problems with the Parliamentary buildings have been reported since 2017 alone.

Mrs Hobhouse, who has long been a member of the Restoration and Renewal (R&R) Board which focuses on repairing the Parliamentary buildings, urged the Leader of the House, Penny Mordaunt, to provide an update for Members of Parliament regarding the progress made towards restoration. 

The Bath MP said that the R&R Board had been working hard to identify a short-list of options for delivering repairs to the Houses of Parliament. However, despite her continued efforts, she stated that it was difficult to make progress without greater support from the government. 

Mrs Hobhouse urged the Leader of the House to update Members of Parliament with proposals for restoring the Houses of Parliament to keep everyone that works within the buildings safe. Penny Mordaunt thanked Wera Hobhouse for her dedicated work on the R&R Board, but failed to give the Members of Parliament in the House of Commons any further clarity on when they will be updated on the progress of safety improvements to the buildings. 

Wera Hobhouse, Liberal Democrat MP for Bath and Shadow Leader of the House, commented: 

“Everyone deserves to feel safe at work. Thousands of people enter the Houses of Parliament each day; it is only right that we should be confident the building is safe. Sadly, due to a lack of adequate government support, it is becoming increasingly difficult to say this.

“As a UNESCO World Heritage site, the Palace of Westminster should be a leading example for restoration projects. How can we expect to have the resources to restore heritage buildings in Bath and across the UK, if the government cannot even be trusted to ensure its own buildings are safe?”