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Repairs and Maintenance

Volume 458: debated on Monday 12 March 2007

To ask the hon. Member for North Devon, representing the House of Commons Commission how much the Commission spent on (a) acquisitions of office space, (b) refurbishment and (c) maintenance on the House of Commons estate in each year since 1990. (120445)

Since 1990 the main acquisition of office accommodation has been the construction of Portcullis House over a number of financial years at a capital cost of £234 million. Leasehold space was taken on at 7 Millbank during the 1990s; the annual rental is currently £4.7 million. More recently, additional leasehold space has been taken on a temporary basis at 4 Millbank at an annual rental of £0.7 million to provide decant space for use while core parts of the estate are refurbished. Major office refurbishments undertaken in the period have included:

1 Parliament Street and Derby Gate

Norman Shaw North

Norman Shaw South

Commons Court Offices

St. Stephen's Tower offices.

Care of the Palace of Westminster and the parliamentary outbuildings was transferred to Parliament by the Parliamentary Corporate Bodies Act in April 1992. Over the years the interpretation of maintenance and building activity, as well as the accounting regime used to record expenditure, has changed, making it difficult to give figures on a consistent basis. The published accounts show the following costs for accommodation services:

£ million

1992-93

21.9

1993-94

25.9

1994-95

22.1

1995-96

33.2

1996-97

20.9

1997-98

22.1

1998-99

23.3

1999-2000

27.2

2000-01

23.8

2001-02

35.8

2002-03

36.0

2003-04

24.3

2004-05

25.7

2005-06

24.7

For 2003-04 onwards, a more detailed breakdown is available as follows:

£ million

2003-04

2004-05

2005-06

Current expenditure

Office refurbishment

0.6

0.6

1.7

Office maintenance

2.1

2.1

2.4

Other accommodation costs including security

21.6

23.0

20.6

Total

24.3

25.7

24.7

Capital expenditure

Office furniture

0.1

0.1

0.1

Cost trends can be influenced by major projects. For example, the increase in office refurbishment expenditure in 2005-06 reflects the initiation of the Press Gallery refurbishment.