HC Deb 02 November 1983 vol 47 c402W
Mr. George

asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food how many private security firms are employed by his Department or bodies associated with his Department; how many personnel are employed, at which locations, on what responsibilities and duties, and at what annual cost; what have been the comparable figures for each of the last three years; and what estimates he has made as to the likely figures for 1984.

Mr. Jopling

It is Government policy to contract out services such as security guarding on non-sensitive sites when this is cost effective and makes good management sense. My Department uses five private security firms on contract. One provides three guards to safeguard the grounds and buildings at the royal botanic gardens at Kew; the others provide cash collecting services at 12 experimental farms and stations at various locations and at Kew. Four other firms are used as necessary on a casual basis to safeguard various offices in the London area.

The cost of the services for the last three years was as follows:
1981–82 60,000
1982–83 71,000
1983–84 93,00 (estimated)

The estimated cost for 1984–85 is £263,000. The difference between the figures for 1983–84 and 1984–85 reflects the cost of further contracting out from which an overall saving is expected. No private security firms are used in the non-departmental public bodies for which my Department is responsible.