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Summary

  1. Day starts with Communities and Local Government questions
  2. Main business is debate on National Citizen Service Bill
  3. Peers question government ministers
  4. Then it's Pension Schemes Bill third reading
  5. Committee stage of Higher Education Bill occupies much of day

Live Reporting

By Aiden James and Kate Whannel

All times stated are UK

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  1. House adjourns

    House of Lords

    Parliament

    House of Lords clock

    The debate doesn't resume for too long, however, as the peers soon adjourn.

    Business in the Lords begins again tomorrow at 2:30pm with oral questions followed by debate on the Neighbourhood Planning Bill.

  2. Peers resume debate of Higher Education and Research Bill

    House of Lords

    Parliament

    Students walk past the Radcliffe Camera building in Oxford city centre

    Peers return to the Higher Education and Research Bill and two amendments on the freedom of information obligations placed on higher education providers. 

    Lib Dem Lord Storey notes the difficulty of trying to obtain information, for example on progression rates, from private colleges.

    Crossbencher Baroness Brown however, expresses concern about exposing universities to "trivial requests" for information. 

    Government spokesman Viscount Younger of Leckie worries that imposing a "one size fits all" requirement for FOI risks burdening "unwarranted costs" on smaller providers.

  3. Cost of court system 'unsustainably high' - government spokesman

    Tribunal fees debate

    House of Lords

    Parliament

    Lord Keen of Elie

    Lord Keen tells peers that the Ministry of Justice is not a protected department and faces "a very challenging financial settlement".

    Reducing spending by £1bn by 2020 requires tough decisions, he says.

    He adds that the cost of the courts and tribunals system is "unsustainably high" and it "must be right" that those who use the system "pay more".

  4. Government will publish tribunal fees review 'in the very near future'

    Tribunal fees debate

    House of Lords

    Parliament

    Government spokesman Lord Keen of Elie begins by telling peers that the government has ordered a review of the impact of introducing fees for employment tribunals.

    He says the review will be published "in the very near future".

    He accepts that the number of employment tribunals has fallen since the introduction of fees but notes that this is "coincidental" with the development of mediation services. 

  5. 'The legal equivalent of bed blocking' - Labour spokesman

    Tribunal fees debate

    House of Lords

    Parliament

    Lord Beecham

    Labour's Lord Beecham is scathing about increases in tribunal fees.

    He reiterates Lord Marks' point that the measures have led to "a significant increase" in cases where one party is not represented, slowing down hearings.

    He describes this as "the legal equivalent of bed-blocking" and tells peers: "Justice delayed is justice denied."

  6. Legal aid cuts reduced 'quality of justice' - Lib Dem peer

    Tribunal fees debate

    House of Lords

    Parliament

    Lord Marks of Henley-on-Thames

    Lib Dem peer Lord Marks of Henley-on-Thames argues that cuts to legal aid have damaged "the speed and efficiency" of the legal process.

    He says that judges are "daily frustrated" as they have to argue with angry litigants about how "they've gone wrong" in presenting their own case.

    This, he argues, reduces the "quality of justice" and increases the cost of cases to the public purse.

  7. Fees amount to a 'cleansing of the courts'

    Tribunal fees debate

    House of Lords

    Parliament

    Crossbencer Lord Low of Dalston fears the introduction of fees has resulted in the "cleansing of the courts" and has meant "denying people access to justice".

    He believes that there is a "strong case" for reviewing "massive increases" in employment tribunal fees and urges the government to order such a review.

  8. Peers begin debate on tribunal fees

    House of Lords

    Parliament

    Baroness Gardner

    Peers now begin a dinner break debate on "the impact on litigants in person of the introduction of administration charges and other costs when bringing claims in courts and tribunals".

    The debate is opened by Conservative peer Baroness Gardner of Parkes, who expresses "great concern" that the right of people to "deal with their own problems has been seriously eroded".

    In the past, she says, everyone had "direct, affordable access" to "a fair process of resolution".

    She compares this to the current situation where people have to pay up to £250 to issue a claim and £950 to have a hearing.

  9. Commons adjourns

    House of Commons

    Parliament

    Having jogged briskly through the uncontroversial National Citizen Service Bill, the House of Commons adjourns earlier than its normal Monday finishing time.

    MPs return on Tuesday at 11:30am to put questions to Chancellor Philip Hammond and Treasury ministers.

    The main business consists of opposition day debates on topics chosen by the SNP, beginning with the effect of the UK leaving the EU on the rural economy.

  10. Government opposes amendment on care leavers

    Higher Education and Research Bill

    House of Lords

    Parliament

    Liberal Democrat peer Baroness Garden of Frognal introduces an amendment to require transparency from higher education institutions about the number of care leavers who apply for courses or are accepted onto courses.

    Government spokeswoman Baroness Goldie says the number of care leavers in higher education is "too low" but rejects imposing further requirements on institutions.

    She also argues that some care leavers may not wish to declare their status when applying to university, which is "their choice".

  11. Adjournment debate begins

    House of Commons

    Parliament

    Maria Eagle

    We now arrive at an early adjournment debate, as Labour MP Maria Eagle raises the availability of defibrillators in public areas.

  12. Bill passes second reading

    National Citizen Service Bill

    House of Commons

    Parliament

    The bill has been welcomed by MPs from all sides of the House and passes its second reading without opposition.

    It will be considered in detail by a public bill committee at a future date.

  13. Government 'would welcome 'the expansion of NCS' - minister

    National Citizen Service Bill

    House of Commons

    Parliament

    Rob Wilson

    Culture, Media and Sport Minister Rob Wilson notes how many MPs speaking today have "embraced" the National Citizen Service in their own constituencies.

    He says the NCS Trust helps young people to work together with people from different backgrounds.

    He also says that the government would welcome "the expansion of NCS" to Scotland and Wales and would work with the devolved administrations.

    The bill covers the NCS in England. There is a separate provider of NCS services in Northern Ireland.

  14. Bill must reach lower-income groups, says shadow minister

    National Citizen Service Bill

    House of Commons

    Parliament

    Rosena Allin-Khan

    Over in the Commons, debate on the National Citizen Service Bill has reached the wind-up speeches.

    Shadow culture, media and sport minister Rosena Allin-Khan adds to the welcome that MPs have given to the bill but voices concerns about access for people from lower-income families.

    "The hardest to reach young people are called that for a reason," she says.

    "This bill has a duty to ensure that barriers to participation are broken down, not raised."

  15. Lord Lucas introduces 'transparency' amendments

    Higher Education and Research Bill

    House of Lords

    Parliament

    Graduate

    Lord Lucas now speaks to a group of amendments specifying what type of information higher education providers should be required to publish by the Office for Students.

    Explaining the motivation for his amendments, the Conservative peer says that the Ucas process currently "advantages well off schools".

    He says that wealthy schools can use resources to find out, for example, in which month it is best to apply for a particular university course.

    "That is something that should be known by everybody," he adds.

  16. Amendment 'pre-empts' mental health green paper

    Higher Education and Research Bill

    House of Lords

    Parliament

    Non-affiliated peer Lord Smith acknowledges that the amendment will cost money but warns that doing nothing would cost more.

    Another crossbencher, Baroness Brown of Cambridge, argues that providing mental health support will be increasingly important as universities seek to attract more students from families without experience of higher education.

    Viscount Younger of Leckie tells peers that the government is currently putting together a green paper on mental health services for young people. He says this amendment "pre-empts" the green paper.

    Lord Storey withdraws his amendment. 

  17. Peers calls for mandatory student mental health services

    Higher Education and Research Bill

    House of Lords

    Parliament

    Lord Storey

    The next amendment has been tabled by Lib Dem Lord Storey. It requires higher education providers to ensure that all eligible students and staff have access to a mental health support service.

    An NUS survey found that 78% of students reported having a mental health problem and that 33% had experienced suicidal thoughts.

    In September a think-tank, the Higher Education Policy Institute, called on universities to treble the amount they spend on mental health services.