§ 17. Mr. Robert Cooke
asked the Minister of Public Building and Works whether he will consider the cleaning of the surroundings of Nos. 10, 11 and 12 Downing Street and the future introduction of suitably placed flowering plants in the area.
§ Mr. Prentice
I am having the exteriors of Nos. 10, 11 and 12 Downing Street redecorated during the Summer Recess. As I informed the House on 10th July, the stonework of the old Treasury building nearby will also be cleaned, probably later in this financial year.
There are already plane trees and a small greensward in the street. I doubt whether flowering plants would be appropriate.
§ Mr. Cooke
I am sure that the House will be glad that the right hon. Gentleman is making some progress, but would he bear in mind that many people at home and abroad are waiting in conditions of the utmost squalor for something quite indeterminate to happen in Downing Street? Could he give some attention to the buildings behind where people wait, the Foreign Office and Home Office buildings?
§ Mr. Prentice
I refer the hon. Member to a Written Answer today about the Foreign Office building. We do not propose to clean that for the time being, because it is due to be taken down in a few years' time. I was not clear on the first part of the supplementary question whether the hon. Gentleman was suggesting that there was some dissatisfaction with what goes on in Downing Street. If so, I disagree.