HC Deb 09 December 1985 vol 88 cc616-7
24. Mr. Greenway

asked the hon. Member for Wokingham, as representing the Church Commissioners, what was the average expenditure by the Church Commissioners in each of the past three years on dilapidations and other works on (a) bishops' palaces and (b) parsonages and vicarages; and if he will make a statement.

Sir William van Straubenzee

Grants towards diocesan expenditure on parsonages in 1984 averaged £719 per house. The cost of capital works to see houses was more than offset by the proceeds of sale of see property. I will, however, circulate the detailed figures in the Official Report.

Mr. Greenway

I appreciate the substantial improvement in the provision for clergy houses, but is my hon. Friend aware that too many houses for vicars are over-large, rambling and unheatable, with golf-course-sized gardens? When will all vicarages meet the standards set out in "Faith in the City"?

Sir William van Straubenzee

My hon. Friend is absolutely right in saying that the standards of some houses are still quite of out of keeping with the present day. It is a continuing process and I am grateful for my hon. Friend's support.

Mr. Fisher

On dilapidation, does the hon. Gentleman agree with the report, "Faith in the City", by the Archbishop of Canterbury?

Sir William van Straubenzee

I shall wish to consider it carefully and not come to immediate decisions.

Following are the details: The average expenditure by the commissioners in each of the past three years on dilapidations to see houses was as follows:
Dilapidations £
1982 14,192
1983 11,580
1984 7,869
In addition, the commissioners incurred a total gross capital expenditure of £862,036 on the replacement and improvement of see houses during the same period, but against this must be set a total sum of £967,954 which was realised from the sale of see property. The result was, therefore, that the commissioners received a net credit of £105,718 from their capital transactions on see houses in this particular period. The estimated total diocesan expenditure on parsonage houses during the three years was:
Repairs and other outgoings Commissioners' grants Capital works (net) Commissioners' grants Total average per house Commissioners' grants
£ million £ million £
1982 9.2 (3.9) 5.3 (3.7) 1,569 (822)
1983 10.6 (4.3) 4.0 (1.7) 1,599 (657)
1984 11.4 (4.6) 3.9 (1.9) 1,693 (719)