asked the Secretary of State for the Environment what changes he intends to make in the arrangements for works and other accommodation services at the Palace of Westminster; and what will be the effect of the changes in the cash limits relating to Class XIV, Vote 1 and Class VIII, Vote 6.
Responsibility for works and other accommodation services will be transferred from the Directorate of Ancient Monuments and Historic Buildings to the Property Services Agency with effect from 1 April 1980. In its ninth report the Select Committee on House of Commons (Services) drew attention to a division of responsibility between DAMHB which handles financial and policy questions and PSA which carries out the services. Under the new arrangements, full responsibility will rest with the PSA which will, however, continue to have access to the specialist architectural and conservational expertise available in the DAMHB. Consequently, the cash limit for Class XIV Vote 1 will be increased by £7 million to £413·5 million and the cash limit for Class VIII Vote 6 will be reduced by the same amount to £45 million. Revised estimates incorporating these changes will be presented shortly, but in the interim expenditure on Vote XIV 1 will be covered by an advance from the Contingencies Fund.