Viewing guide: The pick of the week ahead in Parliament

There was a time when the September sittings of Parliament - between the summer holidays and the conference season - were regarded as a wearisome, vexatious and pointless display of political piety by ministers and whips.

But with the legislative programme a bit bogged down, the next couple of weeks will be a godsend to the Government. In the Commons, MPs will hope to polish off consideration of two key bills - the much re-written Health and Social Care Bill and the Terrorism Prevention and Investigation Measures Bill. And over in the Lords, Peers will also have some heavy-duty legislating to do. And there are some pretty promising-looking committees scheduled.

In particular the Home Affairs Committee begins its inquest into the riots with key politicians and top cops. In the first session on Tuesday, they will quiz the Mayor of London, Boris Johnson and his deputy, Kit Malthouse, who is also Vice Chairman of the Metropolitan Police Authority. They will be followed by the Acting Commissioner of the Met, Tim Godwin and Assistant Commissioner Lynne Owens. Then will come Sir Hugh Orde, President of ACPO, the Association of Chief Police Officers, followed by Len Jackson and Debra Glass of the independent Police Complaints Authority. The committee follows that up on Thursday with a session with the Home Secretary Teresa May, a series of MPs whose constituencies saw rioting, and Tariq Jahan, father of one of those killed in an incident in Birmingham, who was hailed as a hero for his pleas for calm.

On Monday the Communities Secretary Eric Pickles and his team answer questions in the Commons, and MPs then turn to the Report and Third Reading stages of the Terrorism Prevention and Investigation Measures Bill, which seeks to replace the Labour Government's Control Order regime. On the Committee Corridor the Public Accounts Committee has a session on "Protecting the UK Consumer".

In the Lords, Peers begin their Report Stage consideration of the Localism Bill, which, among other things, will allow referendums on switching to elected mayors to run the 12 largest English cities outside London.

Tuesday begins with questions to the Chancellor, George Osborne, where unfolding events in the euro zone, and the intra-Coalition spat over banking regulation should provide ample subject matter. And the chancellor might like to hang around for Conservative MP Douglas Carswell's ten minute rule bill. Mr Carswell, an energetic radical, is proposing to allow other currencies to be legal tender in Britain. The idea - first floated in a Treasury paper issued in the Thatcher years - is to discourage Governments from printing more money and so reducing the value of their own currency. If everyone could hold their savings in the currency least likely to be debauched, they could protect themselves - and manage transactions via an smartphone app. "I don't expect this to become law," he told me, with masterly understatement. "But I do want to put the idea out there. A few more crises in the Euro and it could start to look very attractive."

Then MPs embark on two days of "remaining stages" consideration of the Health and Social Care Bill - this was "paused" and then substantially re-written after it became clear Lib Dem MPs (and more crucially, Peers) would not support it in its original form. But the controversy about its sweeping proposals for NHS reorganisation has not been completely laid to rest and further rebellions by Lib Dems and counter-rebellions by Conservatives who oppose what they see as the watering down of the Bill may now follow. And watch out for amendments relating to counselling for women seeking an abortion, from the Conservative Nadine Dorries.

But the day's highlight may prove to be the Culture Committee's latest hearing on the hacking scandal - the witnesses will be, first: Jonathan Chapman, former Director of Legal Affairs, News International and Daniel Cloke, former Group HR Director, News International. Then at 1130, Colin Myler, former Editor, News of the World and Tom Crone, former Legal Manager, News Group Newspapers. The assumption in Westminster is that the objective is to get various key points nailed down from their evidence, and then consider recalling James Murdoch. The Committee is naturally wary of getting tangled up in the criminal investigation into hacking, but their hearings will doubtless be watched with interest by News Corp shareholders.

And as if all that is not enough, we can expect more Murdochery in the afternoon, when David Cameron appears before the Liaison Committee, the super-committee of all the Select Committee Chairs, for one of his regular evidence sessions. The Committee plans to focus on two topical subject headings - Developments in Europe: impact on the UK and Government, Politics and the Media. Expect some probing about what the PM wants out of his wide-ranging judicial inquiry.

There are two other committees. The Transport Committee continues its examination of the case for High Speed Rail. And the Public Administration Committee ponders the system of Public Appointments with the assistance of uber-pundit Will Hutton of the Work Foundation.

In the Lords the main event is the arrival of the Scotland Bill, which gives increased powers to the Scottish Parliament - but not the full range of powers the SNP majority there want. Expect the phalanx of former Scottish Secretaries on the red benches, Lord Forsyth, Lord Robertson, Lord Reid, Lady Liddell et al to weigh in.

Wednesday sees the second Commons day devoted to polishing off the Health etc Bill, after MPs have questioned the Cabinet Office ministers Francis Maude and Oliver Letwin, and then the Prime Minister. There's also a ten minute rule bill from the Conservative Eleanor Laing to hold a special bank holiday on June 15, 2015, to mark the 800th anniversary of the signing of Magna Carta.

There's plenty of action on the Committee Corridor, where the Transport Committee holds a hearing on "UK rolling stock procurement" in the wake of the controversial decision not to award a recent contract to Bombardier, which owns the last remaining British manufacturer, in Derby, and the Government's subsequent announcement that it would review the tendering process. The Witnesses include: Bombardier, Unite the Union; Siemens plc, the European Commission, the Railway Industry Association and the Department for Transport.

Other promising looking hearings include: the Energy and Climate Change Committee, looking at the EU's much criticised carbon emissions trading system. The Defence Committee on the treatment of military casualties, as part of its inquiry into "The Military Covenant in action". The witnesses will include the Royal British Legion, Help for Heroes and the British Limbless Ex Servicemen's Association. The European Scrutiny Committee has Justice Secretary Kenneth Clarke giving evidence on EU accession to the European Convention on Human Rights and the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights - this is promising indeed. The last Tory Europhile giving evidence to the doyen of the sceptics, Bill Cash.

And for Westminster insiders there is the Procedure Committee, which is taking a fresh look at "Sittings of the House and the Parliamentary calendar". Is the current pattern of parliamentary terms and sitting days within the parliamentary week the right one? The committee will be given the views of the former Leader of the House Jack Straw, the top Lib Dem Sir Alan Beith, former MP and Director, Demos, Kitty Ussher, 1922 Committee Chairman Graham Brady and Chair of the Parliamentary Labour Party Tony Lloyd.

In the Lords it's Day 2 of the Report Stage of the Localism Bill.

Thursday begins with questions to the Culture Secretary Jeremy Hunt before MPs move on to consider Lords amendments to legislation, and the London Olympic Games and Paralympic Games (Amendment) Bill, which tweaks the advertising and trading, ticket touting and traffic management provisions of the original Olympics legislation, passed in 2006.

In the Lords, there are two backbench debates: on the "Continuing role of the Commonwealth," and on "Improving interfaith dialogue in multicultural Britain."

Friday is private members bill day in the Commons, and topping the bill is the Report Stage debate on the Conservative backbencher Harriet Baldwin's Legislation (Territorial Extent) Bill. This takes a stab at giving a partial answer to the West Lothian Question by requiring that in future all bills put before Parliament should contain a clear statement of how they affect each of England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland - including knock-on financial implications. She hopes that this would allow it to become accepted practice that Scottish, Welsh and Northern Irish MPs would not vote on England-only Bills. The Government attitude is interesting, to put it mildly. The Coalition Agreement includes a promise to set up a commission to look at the West Lothian Question (the issue of MPs from devolved parts of the UK being able to vote on English issues, when English MPs can't vote on the same issues in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland) but that commission has yet to be set up. Ministers clearly don't want the Baldwin bill, and she can expect pressure to withdraw it.

Having, somewhat to her own surprise, piloted the Bill through the the most perilous stage of the parliamentary life-cycle, the Second Reading debate, and through Committee where it was unamended, (although that may owe something to the broken leg suffered by Labour constitutional affairs spokesman Chris Bryant) Harriet Baldwin can now hope to send it off to the Lords. The main way of preventing this would be for opponents to put down a deluge of amendments at Report Stage - and talk out the available debating time. We shall see.

Further down the batting order is Conservative maverick Peter Bone's House of Commons Disqualification (Amendment) Bill, which seeks to make holding the office of whip incompatible with membership of the Commons. Tee Hee.