asked Her Majesty's Government:Under what conditions, financial and otherwise, the broadcasting authorities have the use of the lawns in Abingdon Street Gardens, Westminster for purposes denied to the general public.
The Secretary of State for the Environment's permission must be obtained before broadcasting authorities may film or record in Abingdon Street Gardens. No charge is made for filming interviews of Members or others in connection with news items or current business of Parliament. Charges are however made for commercial filming, or for feature programmes, in accordance with a scale which takes account of the number of people involved and the time required. For example, in the case of the filming for the Wogan programme on 21st May, the BBC were charged a fee of £300 and were required to make good or pay for any damage caused to the gardens. The Members of the general public have, of course, access to the gardens subject to the Royal Parks Regulations.