HL Deb 25 July 1991 vol 531 cc78-9WA
Baroness Jeger

asked Her Majesty's Government:

What is the present cost of the administration and maintenance of the Royal Parks in London; and what proposals are being considered for changes in the present arrangements.

Baroness Blatch

The net provision for expenditure on the Royal Parks in 1991/92 is £20,652,000. That includes the costs of administration, maintenance of the grounds and buildings, and policing.

On our proposals for changes in the present arrangements, announcements were made in both Houses on 18th July about the two initiatives aimed at improving the quality of London's Royal Parks. The first of these is the setting up of an independent review group under the Chairmanship of Dame Jennifer Jenkins to look into the role and use of the parks. The group will have an open minded and imaginative look at what the parks are for and what they should provide. The review will concentrate in the first place on Hyde Park and Kensington Gardens.

The second initiative is the contracting out to the private sector from February 1992 of the ground maintenance and related work in the eight Royal Parks in a bid to raise standards in the parks and in the industry. The contract for ground maintenance will be let by the department to specifications which lay down high standards and will be supervised by the department's managers once the contractor is on site. The department will continue to be responsible for the management of the parks.