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Departmental Land

Volume 496: debated on Tuesday 1 September 2009

To ask the hon. Member for Middlesbrough, representing the Church Commissioners pursuant to the answer of 20 April 2009, Official Report, column 40W, on departmental land, to what purposes the £59.7 million of capital receipts obtained by the Church Commissioners following the sale of agricultural land in 2007 has been allocated. (288902)

The Commissioners do not ring-fence capital receipts for specific purposes. Receipts are reinvested with the aim of maximising the fund’s long-term total return in support of the Commissioners’ various responsibilities. These include meeting clergy pension commitments and providing maximum sustainable funding for bishops and cathedrals as well as parish mission and ministry support.

To ask the hon. Member for Middlesbrough, representing the Church Commissioners pursuant to the answer of 20 April 2009, Official Report, column 40W, on departmental land, what the rate of return was on (a) the £59.7 million of capital receipts obtained by the Church Commissioners following the sale of agricultural land in 2007 and (b) agricultural assets retained by the Church Commissioners in the same period. (288941)

The information requested is as follows.

(a) As the Commissioners do not ring-fence capital receipts, it is not possible to state the return on the capital receipts obtained by them from a specific transaction.

(b) I can, however, tell the hon. Gentleman that the total return on the Commissioners’ assets in 2007 was 9.4 per cent. The total return on the rural holdings was 36.6 per cent. which included sales significantly above valuation.

To ask the hon. Member for Middlesbrough, representing the Church Commissioners pursuant to the answer of 20 April 2009, Official Report, column 40W, on departmental land, what the monetary value is of the assets in which the £59.7 million of capital receipts obtained by the Church Commissioners following the sale of agricultural land in 2007 was invested. (288942)

Because the Commissioners pursue a total return investment strategy rather than ring-fencing receipts for specific reinvestment or expenditure, it is not possible to give a monetary value for the capital receipt obtained by the specific transaction to which the hon. Gentleman refers.

To ask the hon. Member for Middlesbrough, representing the Church Commissioners (1) how many tenanted agricultural holdings with rights of succession under the Agricultural Holdings Act 1986 were sold in whole or in part following the death or retirement of the previous tenant in each of the last five years; (289110)

(2) how many tenanted agricultural holdings with rights of succession under the Agricultural Holdings Act 1986 were re-let in whole or in part as farm business tenancies to (a) individuals unconnected to previous tenant family and (b) members of the previous tenant's families following the death or retirement of the previous tenant in each of the last five years.

To ask the hon. Member for Middlesbrough, representing the Church Commissioners how many tenanted agricultural holdings with rights of succession under the Agricultural Holdings Act 1986 had successful successions following the death or retirement of the previous tenant of those holdings in each of the last five years. (289121)