HC Deb 03 November 1994 vol 248 cc1238-9W
Mr. Byers

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what properties are owned or leased by his Department for the use of Ministers; what was the total running cost for each property for the latest year available broken down into(a) furniture and fittings, (b) maintenance, (c) staffing, including the number of butlers, cooks and housekeepers,(d) food and hospitality and (e) other costs; what is the estimated value of each property; and how many times in the latest year the property was stayed in overnight by a Minister.

Mr. Soames

The only property available to Ministers in my Department is a flat in Admiralty house, Whitehall, which is occupied by my right hon. and learned Friend the Secretary of State for Defence. Admiralty house is a freehold property managed by Property Holdings—a division of the DOE—to which my Department pays and annual rent of £56,276 for the flat, together with an annual maintenance charge of £18,396. The estimated value of the property is unknown. During the last financial year, 1993–94, £13.35 was spent on furniture and fittings for the flat; £13 was spent on official entertainment; and £245 was spent on other costs. There are no staff costs attributable to the Defence budget as the Secretary of State employs his own cleaner. The flat is used regularly by the Secretary of State during the working week.