§ Mrs. Bridget Prentice
To ask the Secretary of State for Health if he will list the square footage and cost of office space rented by his Department and its agencies and the number of his Department or agencies; buildings partly or fully unoccupied together with the square footage of that unoccupied office space and its estimated rental value where available in each of the past five financial years. 
§ Mr. Horam
From 1 April 1996, the Department of Health took on responsibility for its buildings from Property Holdings, including vacant space and the payment of rents. For 1996–97, this Department and its agencies will pay an estimated £9 million in rents on leased buildings totalling 775,000 sq ft for which it has now become responsible. Of this, 18,200 sq ft in two buildings is currently vacant at an annual rental cost of £325,000.
Prior to April 1996, the payment of rentals on leased buildings and for any vacant space were the responsibility of Property Holdings.