HC Deb 13 March 1973 vol 852 cc324-5W
Mrs. Lena Jeger

asked the Secretary of State for the Environment what arrangements are in force for the cleaning of the Palace of Westminster; what wages are paid; and what hours and other conditions of employment are observed.

Mr. Channon

I would refer the hon. Member to the appendix, dated 10th May 1965, to the report of the Select Committee on the Palace of Westminster Session 1964–65, reproduced below. All cleaners for whom I am responsible are paid the normal Civil Service rates for the job and are subject to Civil Service conditions of employment. At present, the rates are 46p an hour for women working a 30-hour week, £21.50 a week for men working a 40-hour week and £10.75 for men working a 20-hour week.

The appendix is as follows:


Responsibility for Cleaning in the House of Commons

1. The Ministry of Public Building and Works is responsible for:

  1. (a) all corridors except the Committee Corridor and the Upper Committee Corridor;
  2. (b) all staircases and stone floors, such as in St. Stephen's Hall, the Cloisters, etc.;
  3. (c) all lavatories, except those in Ministers', Lady Members', etc., Rooms;
  4. (d) the following public rooms:

The Chamber and Galleries;

The Division Lobbies and Writing Rooms. (e) vacuum cleaning in the following rooms, which are otherwise cleaned by the Serjeant at Arms' and Refreshment Departments, and which are served by the power vacuum plant: Libraries, Dining Rooms, Smoking Rooms, Harcourt, Tea and Reading Rooms. During recesses, all power vacuum cleaning is done by the Ministry of Public Building and Works.

2. The Serjeant at Arms' Department is responsible for:

  1. (a) all rooms except those cleaned by the Ministry of Public Building and Works (see paragraph 1(d) and by the Refreshment Department (see paragraph 3). The daily vacuum cleaning of certain rooms on the power vacuum plant is done by the Ministry of Public Building and Works (see paragraph 1(e)).
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  3. (b) The Committee and Upper Committee Corridors;
  4. (c) lavatories and wash basins in the rooms of the Prime Minister, Chairman of Ways and Means, Lady Members, Doorkeepers, and Speaker's Trainbearer.

3. The Refreshment Department is responsible for:

  1. (a) all dining and smoking rooms and the Harcourt, Reading and Tea Rooms;
  2. (b) all rooms allotted to the Kitchen Committee for use by the Refreshment Department.

4. The Ministry of Public Building and Works is responsible for washing down or redecorating all rooms.

5. The cleaning of the Committee Rooms and Committee Corridor is retained by the Serjeant at Arms' Department to ensure that the Rooms and Corridor are ready in time for Committees. The cleaning of these Rooms and Corridor is done by Attendants who have other duties to perform later in the day.

6. This system of cleaning the House of Commons was reorganised and simplified in 1930 and has worked satisfactorily since then, and has been extended to 7, Old Palace Yard, 1, Bridge Street, and 54 Parliament Street. 10th May 1965.

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