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Departmental Buildings

Volume 129: debated on Thursday 10 March 1988

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To ask the Secretary of State for Social Services if he will list the location and status of all buildings within his Department located in London and the annual cost of rents, rates and maintenance of each.

The Department occupies accommodation in 129 buildings in the Greater London area, ranging from the main HQ building at Richmond house to small offices for social security appeals tribunals. Civil accommodation for all Government Departments is held in the name of the Secretary of State for the Environment and managed by the Property Services Agency. Some properties are held freehold; the rents of leasehold buildings are determined on a strictly commercial, and therefore confidential basis. The total annual rent paid by the PSA to landlords for civil accommodation held in London in 1984–87, the last complete year for which figures are available, was £133 million. The DHSS figures for contributions in lieu of rates, which were paid by the PSA were £14·26 million and the property repayment services costs on these premises was £5·96 million.