The Bower & Collier Family History

Research by Colin Bower

Discussion Group

Debate 10B What do you think would be the main advantages (max 3 please) and disadvantages (max 3 please) of moving the House of Lords from London to York or Birmingham?

Please let me have your answers by Friday.

I put your responses in my website as soon as possible after they are received, so you can see what other people are saying.


1. Lords suggests Manchester as a venue.

Moving would help bridge north/south divide

No disadvantage as the Lords are scroungers

2. Advantages:
• Members would see how inhabitants of the real world live, outside of the Westminster Village.
• It would be a good example to set for the whole of the public sector and businesses, reconnecting with the rest of the country.
• Conservatives and Labour seats are fairly evenly split throughout the North of England, and
deserve local representation by either the Lords or the Commons, outside of London.

• Further expense, courtesy of the tax-payer, as the front runner, York, is more ‘up market’ and will incur more expense for the actual building,
as well as ‘5 star’ local accommodation for members.
• A missed opportunity to do the right thing, and scrap the House of Lords!

3. Advantages:
part of Government's levelling up
opportunity to reduce numbers
Commons might become less crowded?

dismiss years of history& pageantry (what happens to Black Rod?)
illogical - 2 houses trying to operate hundrteds of miles apart
lose practice of "ping pong" of Government bills

4. Decentralising good but need an elected chamber.

5. I think it would be better to have an elected second chamber.

Although don’t think House of Lords can keep travelling round anymore than House of Commons.

Would be good to send members to different areas and come back with ideas and information to feed back into the House.

6. Disadvantages

Removal from the financial heart of the country
Increase of administrative costs


Show the North that they have not been forgotten Housed in modern facilities instead of being held in a crumbling Victorian building

7. I am more in favour of closing the Lords than moving it.

Some peers have complained about an expenses reduction during lockdown.

They will expect an increase to travel further afield.

8. Advantages of moving

Involve the rest of the country rather than being London centric
Less travel for the Lords as Birmingham or Manchester more central
Concomitant reduction in carbon emissions

9. Main advantage of moving House of Lords to York or Birmingham is that possibly not so many will attend and get their hundreds of £s a day!
May stop people wingeing about everything always in the South.

Disadvantages are of course it splits Parliament and state opening and ceremonials couldn’t take place.
The two centres of the EU is an example of a complete waste of money!

10. Good idea really - good for the North

11-12. Moving the House of Lords would be more inclusive for the north of England, but
the disadvantage would be the horrendous travel expenses!

13. NO, not the state it’s in but YES to essential reform.

However NOT NOW given the state of the economy. The last thing we need is a grandiose/expensive scheme.

We should use that money to create jobs and rebuild our manufacturing base in the north.

That would create wealth and do more to equalise opportunity with the south.

CV-19 has proved we now need real lateral political thinking in Government!

Review of Week

Again 13 responses which is excellent.

Personally I think we need a second house but not this one.

Seems a curious thing to suggest when so much else needs doing.

May be linked to the fact that the Houses of Parliament building is crumbling.

Great need to reduce the numbers of Members of the Lords substantially.

Perhaps we could offer them a small bungalow or forget to send out their forwarding address!

Colin Bower
16 May 2020

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