Baroness D’Souza, the Lord Speaker, will visit Doncaster, Sheffield and Bradford tomorrow and Friday as part of the House of Lords outreach programme designed to build greater awareness of, and engagement with, the House of Lords and helps to mark the start of Parliament Week 2013.
On Thursday between 1-3pm will visit the De Warenne Academy, where she will make a ‘Peers in Schools’ visit. Peers in Schools is a programme set up by the office of the Lord Speaker which give talks in support of the citizenship curriculum.
Later that day she will give a short lecture which will address public perceptions of the Lords and its contribution to the parliamentary process, and pose several questions for the future of the House of Lords at the University of Sheffield.
On Friday she travels to Bradford to give the opening speech at a ‘Women and Parliament’ event at City Training Services, which coincides with the main theme of this year’s Parliament Week, ‘Women in Democracy’. She will talk to the audience about her work as Lord Speaker, her career outside of Parliament and the general need for women and girls to get involved in politics. She will be joined by Baroness Grey-Thompson and Ann Cryer, former MP for Keighley.
Speaking ahead of her visit to Yorkshire, the Lord Speaker said: “With the theme of this year’s Parliament Week being ‘Women in Democracy’, I am delighted to be in Yorkshire to talk about the work of the House, my role and ways in which they can engage with the democratic process.
“The diversity of people and expertise in the Lords is one its most valuable aspects. Members come from all career paths including education, medicine, law, sport, communications, business and, of course, politics. This is often obscured by the popular, but inaccurate, image of a House of ageing aristocrats.
“My role is to try to explain the work and membership of the House as it is today. I am very much looking forward to the debates, questions and discussions that I hope my visit to Yorkshire will bring. I look forward to hearing from people of all ages, professions and stages of life about how they can, do, or plan to engage with parliament and the House of Lords.”