Dear Sir or Madam,
There appears to be no information on the Parliament website about the current use of vellum by the Houses of Parliament.
Please can you tell me:
1. How many sheets of vellum have been printed with Acts of Parliament per session since 1999 (when MPs voted to continue the practice).
2. How many sheets of vellum have been purchased per year, at what cost, and from what supplier, since the year 1999.
3. Any details you have about the expenses for handling and printing upon the sheets of vellum.
Thank you for your email.
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The number of pages of vellum Acts of Parliament printed, together with
the cost per page is shown in the attached table. The information is held
by the House by financial year running from April to March, and I have
therefore provided it in this form. Price changes are effective from
April, with the exception of year 2004-05 (which I have split into two
The House does not hold any relevant information prior to 2001. The
supplier of vellum to our printers (The Stationery Office) is William
No sheets of blank vellum have been purchased since 1999, as a large
quantity, which has not yet been used up, was purchased in bulk before
this date. Such sheets are used for the construction of the Roll of the
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1. mailto:[email address]
Dear Mark Cooper,
I have a few questions about the information you just supplied to me about the quantity of vellum used by the House of Lords, pursuant of the vote in the House of Commons in 1999 to continue the practice of printing Acts of Parliament in duplicate on vellum.
* You say that the House of Lords is working through its stockpile of vellum that was bulk purchased before 1999. How then can the cost per sheet vary from year to year from the same stockpile?
* The 1999 vote in the House of Commons was made arguably to support the sole supplier, William Cowley Ltd. You are stating that no purchases have been made from this company since then, for example, to keep the stockpile topped up?
* Can you tell me the current size of this stockpile of vellum and any projections about when it is likely to be exhausted? What plans are there for dealing with this eventuality?
Thank you for your e-mail of 24 July.
It may be helpful if I clarified the position as far as Acts of
Parliament are concerned. William Cowley Ltd. supplies vellum to our
printer The Stationery Office. The costs include those for printing.
The unused vellum held by the House administration will be used for the
construction of the Roll of the Lords (and not Acts of Parliament).
Members sign the Roll when they take the oath.
We do not hold recorded information relevant to your questions
concerning the stock of vellum held by the administration. However, I
have spoken to a colleague who deals with the Roll. He informs me that
there are approximately 100 sheets. Given the limited use it is likely
to take some time to exhaust this supply.
Freedom of Information Officer
House of Lords
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