The week ahead

The Houses of Parliament Image copyright PA

It will be an interesting parliamentary week for teenagers.

I don't get to write that very often, but under-18s who want the vote should keep an eye on both Houses. In the Commons they'll debate removing a provision for votes at 16 from the Cities and Devolution Bill, while in the Lords they'll debate adding votes at 16 to the EU Referendum Bill.

Elsewhere there's a lot of interesting legislative action, and the government whips face the prospect of a couple of mini-rebellions in the Commons and another possible defeat in the Lords.

Here's my rundown of the week's business.

Monday November 16th

The Commons meets at 2.30pm for Home Office Questions, after which expect the usual Monday clutch of ministerial statements and urgent questions.

The main debates are on subjects selected by the Backbench Business Committee and first is the new membership of the UK Delegation to the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe. There's been some controversy after long-serving member Christopher Chope was replaced on the delegation, which was seen as retaliation after he defied the Conservative whip on a number of issues. There's an impressive list of signatories to the motion, 36 at the time of writing, it looks like a full roster of the Tory awkward squad, plus the ever-influential 1922 Committee chairman, Graham Brady, but also includes the DUP's Iain Paisley, the SDLP's Mark Durkan and Labour's Keith Vaz. The motion calls for the Speaker not to submit the list of UK delegates until the membership has been elected by the same party ballot system used for select committees

Then Conservative David Burrowes will lead a debate on a motion calling for the sealed-off section of the city of Famagusta, in Cyprus, to be "released to its lawful inhabitants" by the Turkish forces who have occupied it since the 1974 invasion.

A minor piece of parliamentary guerrilla warfare breaks out into the open with a debate on a motion to revive the Transport for London Bill. This Bill was talked out in the last Parliament, having staggered to report stage after a long and attritional Commons battle. It gives new powers to the quango which runs London's public transport, including new powers over its property portfolio and TfL is said to hope to raise £1 billion or more from its properties in central London.

A cross party alliance including Conservative awkward squaddie Christopher Chope and Labour's Andrew Slaughter object to some of its provisions (Mr Slaughter is unhappy about what he calls secretive and complex deals, especially if they result in lots of luxury housing and no affordable homes) and they have been on hand to block the revival motion every time there has been an attempt to approve it without debate. Now there are three hours set aside, and with both the big parties' London mayoral candidates in the Commons it could be an interesting occasion.

The adjournment debate, led by the Conservative Stephen Phillips, is on the illicit arms trade in Africa.

The Lords are not sitting.

Tuesday November 17th

The Commons opens (11.30 GMT) with health questions this may be followed by a report back from David Cameron on the weekend G20 summit

Conservative veteran Sir Edward Leigh has a ten minute rule bill to put the House of Lords under the MPs' bête noir, IPSA (the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority) so that their finances and complaints about them are decided by IPSA. They would also be asked to enforce a compulsory retirement system and to whittle down the membership of the Upper House. Given Conservative annoyance at recent votes by Their Lordships, this could be a popular cause on the government benches.

Then it's on to the Cities and Local Government Devolution Bill and the second day of committee of the whole House scrutiny. Communities Secretary Greg Clark has some very significant amendments down, including a massive 11 page new clause (NC34) to give powers to set up a transport for London-style strategic transport body (STB) in any area in England, outside Greater London, with a mandate to develop and implement transport strategies and boost economic growth. This is so significant that there may well be quite a row about it being added to the Bill at such a late stage (it wasn't there when the Bill went through the Lords, so it will probably lead to an extensive ping-pong debate there).

Mr Clark also has an amendment to remove the clause added by the Lords to allow votes at 16 in local elections, just before peers consider a similar clause for the EU Referendum Bill (see below).

The Labour front bench offers an amendment calling for a "National framework for devolution of fiscal powers including setting and revaluating local tax rates, banding and discounts.

There's a particularly interesting offering (NC31) from the Conservatives David Burrowes and Dr Sarah Wollaston (who chairs the Health Select Committee) to give the a mayor of a combined authority powers to set a minimum unit price for alcohol sold in their area..

Finally, the adjournment, led by Iain Paisley, is on the closure of the Michelin factory at Ballymena, which will mean the loss of 860 jobs.

The main debates in Westminster Hall are on the future of the reserve forces (9.30-11:00 GMT) and on Government policy on guaranteed income for retrirees (14:30-16:00 GMT).

In the Lords (14.30 GMT) watch out for Lord Fowler's question to ministers on protecting those not charged with any offence from being named as under investigation, a reference to his old cabinet colleague, the late Lord Brittan?

The main business is the second reading of the Welfare Reform and Work Bill. Look out for markers from the opposition parties on possible amendments they may want to make later. The Education and Adoption Bill, committee (Day 3) continues, where key issues will be consultations on academy sponsor identity and adoption-related amendments, as usual for Lords Committee proceedings, the debates will be a kind of legislative shadow-boxing, and any issues on which peers are not satisfied could be raised again, and even forced to a vote, when the Bill returns to the main chamber at report stage.

Wednesday November 18th

The Commons day opens (11.30 GMT) with Wales questions, followed, at noon, by Prime Minister's Question Time.

The day's ten minute rule bill from the Conservative Scott Mann would give local communities the power to hold a referendum on speed limits on roads, there's particular concern in his north Cornwall constituency about speeding, particularly near schools, but local authorities, he says, have been slow to respond. Referendums would be piggy-backed on local elections, to cut costs.

The main debate will be on an opposition motion, subject to be announced

In Westminster Hall the two longer debates are on women and low pay (9.30-11am) and on introducing low emissions zones (2.30-4PM)

In the Lords (from 15:00 GMT) the main event will be the first report stage day on the European Union Referendum Bill, where there'll be at least 3 votes on the referendum franchise. The one most likely to see a Government defeat is on allowing votes at 16. A similar votes at 16 amendment was carried when peers debated the Cities and Devolution Bill (see above) so the form suggests the opposition parties may succeed again. On the other hand the government did recently defeat a Lib-Lab bid to stop changes to electoral registration rules, so ministers will not have abandoned hope. The other question is whether peers may blink at the prospect of another clash with the Commons over an issue of great importance to the government.

There will also be a short debate on stroke services, care and support and the National Stroke Strategy - led by Labour Peer Baroness Wheeler.

Image caption Votes at 16 on the agenda again in Parliament.

Thursday November 19th

The Commons opens at 9.30 ( GMT) for energy and climate change questions, to be followed by the weekly business statement from the Leader of the House, Chris Grayling.

The day's main debate is on a subject chosen by the Backbench Business Committee, and the Labour MP Helen Goodman has secured a debate on the Pope's Encyclical, Laudato Si, on climate change and the common good. "I believe this could be the most important document this century" she says. In the encyclical the Pope draws a direct link between climate change and the current organisation of economic policies and institutions, noting: "the climate is a common good. Many of those who possess more resources and economic or political power seem mostly to be concerned with masking problems." Is this the first time a Papal Encyclical has been debated in the Commons?

And then the Conservative John Baron, chair of the all party group on cancer has a motion on a new cancer strategy. Three million people will be living with cancer by the end of the current parliament and the last government cancer strategy dates back to 2010. NHS England have issued their recommendations for the next one and the purpose of the debate is to allow the various all party groups on cancer to question the Government about its intentions.

In Westminster Hall there's another Backbench Business Committee debate, Conservative Philip Davies opens a debate on male suicide and International Men's Day.

In the Lords 11:00 ( GMT) two more new peers arrive, Lord Bruce of Bennachie the former Liberal Democrat MP Malcolm Bruce, and Baroness Rock, Kate Rock, vice-chair of the Conservative Party.

The main debates are on subjects chosen by backbench Labour peers: Lord Foulkes of Cumnock on the role of trade unions in a democracy and their contribution to the economy and Viscount Hanworth on the foreign ownership of national assets and the case for revising the related laws on corporate governance. Between those, there will be a short debate on the action being taken at international level to ensure the exclusion of drugs in sport. And the day will end with another short debate on the effectiveness of the UK's international development policies.

Friday November 20th

It's private members bill day in both Houses today in the Commons (from 9.30 GMT) the first item on the agenda is the second reading of Labour MP Teresa Pearce's Compulsory Emergency First Aid Education (State-funded Secondary Schools) Bill. This would require emergency first aid to be written into the curriculum for secondary schools, at the moment, only 24% of secondary schools offer first aid training. Pupils would be taught how to respond in common situations where someone is unconscious, choking, bleeding severely, having a heart attack, or suffering an attack of asthma or epilepsy; that would include cardiopulmonary resuscitation, and the use of defibrillators. Teresa Pearce says her bill has attracted cross party support and she's reached out to the 'usual suspects', behind the recent spate of talking outs of other bills.

The next Bill is the On-demand Audiovisual Services (Accessibility for People with Disabilities affecting Hearing or Sight or both) Bill from Labour's Lilian Greenwood. It obliges on-demand video providers in the UK to offer subtitles on their services, at the moment 80% of these services are inaccessible to the UK's 7.5 million subtitle users.

Third is the Mental Health (Independent Advocacy) Bill from the Conservative Geoffrey Cox, an eminent barrister.

There are plenty more bills on the Order Paper, but it is highly unlikely they will be debated.

In the Lords (from 10am) peers start with the second reading of Lord Alton's Mesothelioma (Amendment) Bill which would compel active insurance companies to pay into a fund for medical research into this devastating asbestos disease.

The Mesothelioma Act already requires insurers to fund the Diffuse Mesothelioma Payment Scheme (DMPS) which makes payments to certain mesothelioma sufferers who have good claims but who cannot obtain compensation because their employer has no assets and its insurers cannot be found. It is estimated the active insurers will have to pay about £350M over the first 10 years of the scheme's life. Lord Alton introduced a similar Bill in 2014.

Next is the Planning (Subterranean Development) Bill from the Labour Peer, Lord Dubs, which will require planning authorities to refuse permission for subterranean development, unless reasonably necessary for the proper enjoyment of the property, if the property falls within a river or sea floodplain; is part of a terrace; there is significant local opposition; or the development is likely to cause unreasonable disruption to neighbours.

Then there's the Direct Planning (Pilot) Bill from the Conservative Lord Lexden. It would enable the communities secretary to make regulations so residents acting as neighbourhood forums or a community organisation could participate more directly in developing planning policy in their areas.

And finally peers turn to the detail of the Regulation of Political Opinion Polling Bill from the Labour peer Lord Foulkes of Cumnock, who is concerned that inaccurate polls have too much influence on election and referendum campaigns.

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