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Volume 171: debated on Friday 27 April 1990

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To ask the Lord President of the Council who is responsible for maintaining and updating security provisions in the Palace of Westminster.

Final responsibility for security policy in the House of Commons rests with Mr. Speaker and, in the House of Lords, with the Lord Chairman of Committees, acting on behalf of the House of Lords' Administration Committee. Day-to-day executive responsibility for security policy is delegated to the Serjeant at

Present levelsRevised levels
Grant £Loan £Total £Grant £Loan £Total £
New House8,70013,50022,20011,50017,50029,000
House Improvement1,5008,0009,5002,00010,50012,500
Grant is at 50 per cent. Loans are at 7 per cent. rate of interest.The new levels of assistance will be available to new applicants and applicants whose applications are currently under consideration. They will also be available to those that have had applications approved but who have not yet started work, provided that they re-apply and accept the revised conditions set out in the Crofters etc. Building Grants (Scotland) Regulations 1990.These regulations and the related guidelines have been modified to emphasise that assistance under the crofters building grants and loans scheme is provided for those who live on and cultivate their crofts and is designed to benefit the crofting community at least as much as the individual crofter.The period to which grant conditions apply to new houses has been extended from 10 to 20 years. Disposal of an assisted croft house to someone other than a member of the family or a crofter working a croft in the area and in certain circumstances the disposal of the croft land other than the house, to someone other than a member of the family, may result in recovery of a proportion of grant. These changes should provide a disincentive to disposal of croft houses to those who do not work a local croft.I have reviewed the circumstances in which housing assistance might be made available where a house or house site has been detached from the croft and assistance for a house on the bareland croft is sought.

Arms and Black Rod in their respective areas of the building. Operational responsibility for security throughout the Palace of Westminster rests with the head of security, who works in support of these authorities and is answerable to them.

To ask the Lord President of the Council what matters relating to the security of the Palace of Westminster he makes it his practice to answer questions on.

Within the limitations of my own role as Leader of the House, I endeavour to be as helpful as possible in answering parliamentary questions on security matters, but for reasons which the hon. Member will appreciate, it has not been the practice of my predecessors, nor is my practice, to answer questions relating to security policy or to cases affecting individual Members or staff.