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Departmental Official Residences

Volume 487: debated on Monday 2 February 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice with reference to the answer to the hon. Member for Rochford and Southend East of 17 November 2008, Official Report, column 19W, on departmental official residences, whether the council tax bills for (a) HM Courts Service and (b) HM Prison Service residential accommodation are paid from public funds; and what his Department's policy is on whether the proposed new charges for the collection of household waste will be funded by the public purse or personally by the occupying staff member. (252215)

For Judges Lodgings the council tax bills for residential properties held by HM Courts Service (occupied by judges’ lodgings managers and court keepers/custodians), are paid for by the individual resident staff who pay rental for their occupation. HMCS does not meet the cost from the public funds.

HM Courts Service has not yet decided on the policy that it will adopt to recover the proposed new charges in respect of the collection of household waste. Where charges may accrue in respect of household waste, HMCS may look to the individual to meet the cost (as in the case of recovering rent), but this would be considered against the actual amount due and the time and cost to recover same.

Staff that occupy National Offender Management Service provided residential accommodation (most commonly known as prison officer quarters) are liable for all local taxes. No consideration has been given to meeting any new local taxes from the public purse.