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Nurseries

Volume 508: debated on Tuesday 23 March 2010

To ask the hon. Member for North Devon, representing the House of Commons Commission how many (a) staff and (b) hon. Members are on the waiting list for a place in the proposed House of Commons day nursery for one or more children. (323705)

There is no such waiting list at the present time, but much interest has been expressed informally.

To ask the hon. Member for North Devon, representing the House of Commons Commission when an application was made to (a) English Heritage and (b) Westminster city council to make changes to 1 Parliament Street in connection with the creation of a day nursery; and if he will place in the Library a copy of the application. (323706)

The design work, which is needed before any application is made, is nearing completion. Any applications made for listed building and change of use consents will be made to Westminster City Council: these will be in the public domain and available in the usual way.

To ask the hon. Member for North Devon, representing the House of Commons Commission when the House of Commons Commission met to discuss the public petition against the closure of facilities at the Astor Suite, Bellamy’s Bar and Bellamy’s Club Room. (323854)

To ask the hon. Member for North Devon, representing the House of Commons Commission pursuant to the answer to the hon. Member for West Chelmsford (Mr. Burns) of 16 March 2010, Official Report, column 731W, on nurseries, how much time was saved as a result of not referring the matter to the Finance and Services Committee. (323952)

Referring the matter to the Finance and Services Committee would have delayed the opening of the nursery by introducing a further stage in the process of approval. The nursery would not then have been available for Members’ use in the autumn.

To ask the hon. Member for North Devon, representing the House of Commons Commission pursuant to the Oral Answer to the hon. Member for Gainsborough (Mr. Leigh) of 11 March 2010, Official Report, column 428, on Bellamy’s bar, for what reasons 1 Parliament Street was preferred to the North Curtain corridor for the location of a day nursery. (323978)

Following assessment of the potential sites and advice on their suitability from three child care specialists, 1 Parliament street’s advantages over North Curtain Corridor as a location for a nursery included direct access, ease of conversion, its greater degree of natural light and the fact that no Members’ rooms are affected. In addition, the provisional costs including fees of converting 1 Parliament street were provisionally estimated at £490,000 excluding VAT, compared with £607,000 excluding VAT, for North Curtain.