Viewing guide: What to watch our for in Parliament

This is shaping up to be a pretty good week in Parliament; some heavy legislative traffic in both houses next week and some top-notch committee hearings as well.

Commons business opens on Monday with Home Office questions - before MPs move on to give their response to the epic two day Lords debate on House of Lords Reform. As in the Upper House, this is a "taking of voices" exercise intended to inform the work of the Joint Committee of peers and MPs set up to scrutinise the draft bill on making the Lords a wholly or partially elected house. Theoretically all parties are in favour of Lords reform, but don't expect that to stick. The Conservative Paul Maynard rounds off proceedings with an adjournment debate on the intriguing looking subject of Community Orchards.

There's a little more action than usual for a Monday on the Committee Corridor, where the International Development Committee will be hearing from the Secretary of State Andrew Mitchell on the humanitarian situation in Libya. Top officials from the Department of Work and Pensions will be before the Public Accounts Committee to respond to this report from the financial watchdog, the National Audit Office, which suggests they have their work cut out if they are to meet a target £20bn in administrative savings, while also delivering a dramatic reshaping of the benefit system. And over at the Communities and Local Government Committee, former Deputy Prime Minister Lord Heseltine will be giving his thoughts on regeneration. Hezza is always box office on these occasions.

In the Lords, peers' enthusiasm for talking about themselves appears unsated, even after last week's two-day extravaganza; they'll be discussing a report on possible mechanisms to allow them to leave. At the moment a peerage is for life, not just for Christmas, but a number of members would like to find a way out…..

Tuesday in the Commons begins with Justice Questions - can Ken Clarke face down his critics on sentencing and prisons yet again? Then there's a Ten Minute Rule Motion from the Conservative Andrew Stephenson to introduce a Bill to give the prosecution in court cases a right of appeal against judges' decisions to grant bail. The main business is the remaining stages of the Finance (No3) Bill a fearsome measure setting out the Income Tax and Corporation Tax rates, and many other tax rates, for the current year.

There's all manner of fun on the committee corridor. Top of the bill is Mervyn King, the Governor of the Bank of England - before the Treasury Committee to talk about the outlook for inflation and the accountability of the Bank of England (on which a Bill is due soon…) His appearances are always closely watched by the markets and his every utterance is always minutely scrutinised. He will have a considerable supporting cast of Bank officials around him.

The Public Administration Committee holds a confirmation - sorry, pre-appointment - hearing with the proposed Number-Cruncher-General, Dame Janet Finch, who has been nominated to chair the UK Statistics Authority. The Business Committee's continuing inquiry into the Groceries Code Adjudicator Bill - the mechanism designed to ensure fair play by supermarkets to their suppliers - has witnesses including from the National Pig Association.

They will also have the benefit of some helpful advice from their colleagues over in the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Committee. This just in from its Chair Anne Robinson: "The EFRA Committee is keen to ensure the new Adjudicator will adequately protect farmers and food producers from large retailers. We have written to our colleagues on the Business, Innovation and Skills Select Committee about the evidence we have received.

"For many years there has been a 'climate of fear' in the groceries supply chain. We therefore endorse the provision in the draft Bill that will allow the Adjudicator to receive anonymous complaints from direct or indirect suppliers about retailers breaking the Groceries supply Code. However, we also believe the Government should amend the legislation to allow trade organisations to make complaints on behalf of farmers and food producers reluctant to jeopardise their commercial relationships."

In the wake of the scandal around the treatment of some elderly people in care homes, the Health Committee has top figures from the watchdog body the Care Quality Commission before it, and the Human Rights Committee will be considering the implications of proposed changes to the benefit system for disabled people living independently. Finally, the Home Affairs Committee will be rounding off their long inquiry into the "new landscape of policing" with Sir Paul Stephenson, the Commissioner of the Met, and the Policing Minister Nick Herbert - the fate of the Government's battered plans for elected Police Commissioners is bound to come up (and see below…).

Things are a little quieter over at Their Lordships' House, where the main business is the continued detailed scrutiny of the Localism Bill. Quite a number of peers may be tempted to drift away to the nearby splendours of the Queen's Robing Room, where uber-pundit Peter Riddell will preside over a hustings meeting in which 5-6 candidates will make their pitch to succeed Lady Hayman as Lord Speaker. Strictly speaking, this isn't a parliamentary proceeding, but in this era of mooted Lords reform it will get, and deserve, a fair amount of attention.

More Ken Clarke in the Commons on Wednesday, when his Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Bill comes before MPs at Second Reading. Watch out for possible backbench complaints that the Lord Chancellor is "soft on crime". Before that Welsh Questions and Prime Minister's Questions. (Sigh)

There's more furious activity in committee-land, with the Education Committee looking at the review of Child Protection, with its author, Professor Eileen Munro. The Foreign Affairs Committee continue their look at the issues around piracy in the seas around Somalia after some startling evidence to their previous session. And military charities give evidence to the Defence Committee on the Military Covenant.

After what they're saying has been an "avalanche of opinion" from farmers and greens, the Environment Food and Rural Affairs Committee will be hearing from both side when it ponders the new Natural Environment White Paper. The Public Accounts Committee quizzes the Chief Executive of the NHS, Sir David Nicholson, about ambulance services in London and the Procedure Committee - which doesn't often feature in this list - has a session on "the parliamentary calendar" ie when Westminster sits.

A couple of things to watch in the Lords: first the troubled Police Reform and Social Responsibility Bill staggers to its Report Stage. The Government is determined to reinstate its central proposal, for elected Policing Commissioners, after it was deleted by peers a few weeks ago. Will we see any hint of a deal to achieve this? Might they concede that only a few areas should trial elected commissioners, starting from next year, with some kind of examination of their performance before more are created? And might there be more safeguards offered against autocratic commissioners running amok… watch this space. There's also a question from former Chief Inspector of Prisons Lord Ramsbotham - asking why the recommendations of an inquiry into a murder at Feltham Young Offenders Institution have not been implemented.

It's all a bit quieter on Thursday, where questions are to the Environment Secretary Caroline Spelman and her team, to the Church Commissioners and the Public Accounts Commission. Then there are some procedural motions and a regulatory reform order on Epping Forest. I doubt the Chamber will be packed out.

The Committee Corridor's a little livelier. Labour patriarch Tony Benn gives evidence to the Political and Constitutional Reform Committee on how Britain could move towards codifying our unwritten constitution. And the Public Administration Committee looks at the Big Society with the aid of the Bishop of Leicester, the Chief Rabbi and the Chief Executive of the British Humanist Association. On a more profane level the Business Committee returns to one of the old faithful subjects of its inquiries, the activities of pub companies. In particular the pensioners of Heineken have written to the Chair, complaining about the handling of their pension.

The Lords continue their scrutiny of the Localism Bill.

Finally, on Friday, MPs are not sitting, but peers are, and they have three interesting looking private members' bills on their order paper - the Devolution (Time) Bill; the Remembrance Sunday (Closure of Shops) Bill and the Parliament Square (Management) Bill.