§ Mr. GIBBS
asked what site has been selected for the projected new building for the Bristol Labour Exchange and Divisional Clearing Office; if it is a different site from the existing building, in what respects the existing site and building have been found to be unsatisfactory or insufficient; and what is the rent of the existing building?
A site has been selected in Colston Avenue for the new building for the Bristol Labour Exchange and Divisional Office. The present premises in Victoria Street were only taken on a temporary basis, until such time as a new building could be erected, and the accommodation in them is insufficient to meet the needs of Labour Exchange and unemployment insurance work. The rental is £450 per annum.
§ Mr. GIBBS
asked the President of the Board of Trade on what grounds the original estimate for £10,000 for the acquisition of a site and erection of a building for the Bristol Labour Exchange and Divisional Clearing Office has now been increased to £10,500; how much of this sum represents the purchase of the site, and how much is estimated for the erection of the building; what portion of the expenditure is estimated to be due to the Divisional Office requirements; and whether, having regard to the amount of business transacted by the Bristol Labour Exchange, he will explain why such a large expenditure is warranted?
I am informed by my right hon. Friend the First Commissioner of Works that the original estimate for a site and building for the Bristol Labour Exchange and Divisional Clearing House was provisional, and had to be revised in the light of further investigation, especially in view of the additional requirements of the Board of Trade in connection with Unemployment Insurance, which will very considerably increase the staff required at the Divisional Clearing House. Part of the increased expenditure is only an apparent one, being due to a reallocation of the accommodation in the building between the Labour Exchange and the Probate Registry. The cost of the proportion of the site charged to the Labour Exchange and Unemployment Insurance is £4,600, and the revised estimate for the cost of the building for these purposes is £11,900, making together the total of £16,500. Of this sum it is estimated that the portion of the building allotted to the Divisional Office will cost £4,000. Having regard to the population of the districts with which the Exchange and Divisional Office deal, it is not considered that the expenditure incurred is excessive.