HC Deb 01 December 1965 vol 721 cc200-1W
Mr. Dempsey

asked the Postmaster-General if he will publish figures showing the size and cost of new buildings erected over the past 10 years, and the respective amounts for which competitive tenders publicly advertised were accepted.

Mr. Benn

The numbers of major new buildings and extensions completed with approximate costs of the structural work are as follows:

Year Number completed Approximate cost of structural work £m.
1955–56 78 3
1956–57 81 4
1957–58 143 7
1958–59 161 9
1959–60 149 6
1960–61 146 6
1961–62 129 8
1962–63 159 7
1963–64 202 8
1964–65 206 11
1,454 69

Details of the costs and sizes of all the individual schemes are not readily available.

The structural work for these schemes was carried out by the Ministry of Public Building and Works as an agent of the Post Office. The Ministry does not advertise tenders publicly, but normally uses a system of competitive tendering among a selected list of firms from its approved list of contractors. Exceptionally, because of urgency, the Ministry sometimes goes to a single contractor who has the appropriate capacity, but some form of competition is employed wherever possible.