HC Deb 22 June 1964 vol 697 cc3-4
4. Mr. W. Hamilton

asked the Minister of Public Building and Works how much has been spent on improving playing facilities in the Royal Parks in each of the last 10 years; and whether he will take steps to increase the scale of such facilities.

Mr. Sharples

As the Answer contains a table of figures, I will, with permission, circulate the reply in the OFFICIAL REPORT.

Mr. Hamilton

Does the hon. Gentleman recollect that on 5th February he wrote to a Mr. Price, who is very active about seeking increased playing facilities in the Royal Parks, to say that he would be unlikely to be able to find the money to reduce the size of the sandpit in Victoria Tower Gardens and put in playing equipment during 1964? As £1,000 is provided in the Estimates for the same year for renovating the chandeliers in Buckingham Palace, does he not think that he has got his priorities a bit wrong?

Mr. Sharples

I do not think so. When the hon. Gentleman sees the figures for our expenditure on providing playing facilities in the Royal Parks, I think that he will get this into perspective. I also draw attention to the fact that this year we are providing a new sports pavilion in Regent's Park at a cost of £35,000.

Following is the information:

Expenditure on the provision and maintenance of recreational and associated facilities in the Royal Parks in each of the ten financial years 1954–55 to 1963–64 has been roughly as follows:

1954–55 10,000
1955–56 5,500
1956–57 6,000
1957–58 3,500
1958–59 5,500
1959–60 8,500
1960–61 20,000
1961–62 11,000
1962–63 34,500
1963–64 20,500
Total £125,000

In addition, expenditure has been incurred on such things as grass cutting and the marking out of sports pitches, but this cannot be separately identified from the general day to day park maintenance costs.

A new sports pavilion costing £35,000 is now being built in Regent's Park; and proposals are being considered for the provision of a sports area on the site of the former U.S.A.F. camp which has just been demolished at Bushey Park.