The House of Lords currently serves a valuable role in our democracy, providing detailed scrutiny of legislative bills and revising them accordingly to make sure they effectively serve the purpose for which they are intended. However, the Lords is also vastly overpopulated, expensive and appointments to it are too often used as a reward by political parties. The number of peers should be greatly reduced, from more than 800 currently, to 200-300, with appointments overseen by an independent body. Appointments should then be made on a non-partisan basis. Appointments should be mainly of people with expertise in policy areas (such as public health, education or criminal law), with some representatives of different communities and a few appointees with a long standing record of public service. This would create a smaller, but more consistently involved House of Lords, which would seek to improve legislation, rather than being a source of party-political competition.