HC Deb 10 July 1964 vol 698 cc151-2W
Sir Knox Cunningham

asked the Minister of Public Building and Works what improvements have been made in the drainage system in Kensington Gardens; whether he is satisfied with the present position; and if he will make a statement.

Mr Sharples

Blockages and damage to drains, which are usually caused by the growth of tree roots, are put right as soon as possible, and work has just been completed on the clearance of a main drain in an area near the Speke Memorial, where the existing system will be improved by the installation of subsidiary drains.

The existing drainage system is old and incomplete, and certain areas tend to become waterlogged after heavy rainfall. A survey is being made of these areas, and while I cannot promise that this will result in the early installation of an extensive new drainage system, which would be a major and costly operation, I hope that it will at least be found possible to take remedial action in the more badly affected areas.

Sir Knox Cunningham

asked the Minister of Public Building and Works if he will state the reason for closing the tea house in Kensington Gardens; and what alternative arrangements he has made for the public to buy refreshments at reasonable prices to consume in the open air.

Mr. Sharples

The tea house in Kensington Gardens was closed when the new Serpentine restaurant and snack bar were opened at Whitsun. Light refreshments are available at the snack bar at the same prices as were charged for similar items at the tea house. On fine days, the doors round the snack bar can be thrown open and refreshments taken in the open air. I understand that the caterers intend to expand the open-air facilities and have additional tables and chairs on order for this purpose.

Plans are being prepared for the provision of further points in Hyde Park and Kensington Gardens where light refreshments will be served.