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A day in the life

The Parliamentary Estate never sleeps, with a whole range of people and services working together around the clock. 

Read this snapshot of just some of the work needed in a typical day:


6.30am: Cleaners get the Chamber ready for a day’s work

The Service Centre calls an electrician out to one of the 15 parliamentary estate outbuildings.

7.30am: The catering team prepare for the breakfast rush

The 12 kitchens make over 2,500 meals each day to feed MPs and their staff, House of Commons staff, and visitors.

8am: The Nursery opens for the children of MPs and House of Commons staff

Our Nursery Chef prepares them a healthy breakfast.

Order papers detailing the schedule for the Chamber are circulated. The Editorial Supervisors of the Vote have worked late into the night preparing them.

Library staff arrive, ready to research any last minute requests from MPs or their staff before the House sits.

10am: As the House of Commons begins the day’s business

Hansard reporters report what Members of Parliament say. These are edited and posted online within three hours as part of the Official Report.

Meanwhile, the Finance department are planning and managing our budget, and ensuring that suppliers are paid correctly and on time.

Midday: All kinds of visitors continue to arrive

from school tours to candidates attending interview. Uniformed Visitor Assistants direct them to the right location. On their way in or out, they can visit the gift shop or the café.

2.30pm The division bell rings, calling MPs to a vote

The Doorkeepers close the Chamber doors and Clerks go to the division lobbies to count the votes.

5pm: The Design and Workspace Planning team meet

To plan a refit in one of the parliamentary estate buildings.

7pm – Midnight: The House rises when all the day’s business is done

The House can rise before 7pm and after Midnight. Now the Estates Directorate can get into the Chamber to inspect standards of work.

Midnight – 6.30am The Fire Section patrol the Estate at night

Ensuring the building is safe. During the day they carry out risk assessments, train staff in fire prevention and are always ready to respond to a fire alarm

Shift electricians, plumbers and technicians work throughout the night to make sure the House is ready for a new working day.