THE EARL OF PERTH
My Lords, on behalf of my noble friend the Marquess of Reading, I beg to ask the Question standing in his name on the Order Paper.
§ [The Question was as follows:
§ To ask His Majesty's Government what was the cost (including the cost of the hushes) of planting the new holly hedge along the Piccadilly side of Green Park, when the work was completed and what percentage of the bushes are still alive; and also whether it is the intention that the newly-erected concrete posts shall be permanent.]
§ THE PARLIAMENTARY SECRETARY, MINISTRY OF WORKS (LORD MORRISON)
My Lords, the hedge and fence along the Piccadilly side of Green Park were erected primarily to prevent wear and tear of the grass, which had turned the Piccadilly edge of the Park 751 into an eyesore, and secondly, to enclose the Park, following representations by the police about a number of offences committed there after dark. The cost of planting the hedge was £1,122, of which £937 10s. was the cost of the holly bushes, the remainder being for labour. Work began on October 29 last, and was completed on November 8. It is too early to estimate the loss of bushes, but I hope that it will not exceed 5 per cent., which would not be excessive, having regard to the petrol fumes, tar dust and tree roots with which the plants have to contend. It is intended that the concrete posts shall remain permanently, as the fence must be strong enough to withstand the pressure of crowds on ceremonial and other occasions, when, without the fence, the hedge might suffer severely. However, when the hedge grows the posts and wire mesh will be largely concealed.
§ THE EARL OF IDDESLEIGH
My Lords, can the noble Lord inform us to what height it is proposed to grow this holly hedge?