§ Mr. Wallace
To ask the Chairman of the Administration Committee if the Committee has considered if meetings of the Scottish Grand Committee in Scotland should be advertised in local and regional newspapers. 
§ Mr. Michael J. Martin
At its meeting on 28 January, the Administration Committee considered a proposal from the Lord President that meetings of the Scottish Grand Committee held in Scotland might be advertised in regional and local newspapers.707W
The Committee endorsed the proposal, and agreed that the Scottish Office should act as the House's agent, subject to certain guidelines:
- Such advertisements are drafted by House officials, not by the Scottish Office;
- The relevant officials from the House and the Scottish Office should liaise in order to agree which newspapers the advertisements appear in; and
- The cost of inserting the advertisements should be borne by the House, not by the Scottish Office.
§ Mr. Darling
To ask the right hon. Member for Berwick upon Tweed, representing the House of Commons Commission, what has been the cost of the meetings of the Scottish Grand Committee in Scotland in(a) the last Session of Parliament and (b) the current Session. 
§ Mr. Beith
[holding answer 4 February 1997]: Detailed costs are not currently recorded for individual meetings, but a manual check has been done of the accounting records. The approximate costs to date of the 13 meetings of the Scottish Grand Committee held in the last Session and the first three meetings in the current Session are given in the table. These may not be the final costs as some invoices and claims may still be outstanding. Excluded from these figures are staff standard hours and overtime, some Members' travel and the costs to Government Departments or others in attending the Committees.
Approximate cost of meetings by Session £ 1995–96 Session: 13 meetings 114,362.00 1996–97 Session (up to 13 January 1997) 3 meetings 19,446.00 133,808.00
§ Mr. Donohoe
To ask the right hon. Member for Berwick upon Tweed, representing the House of Commons Commission, if he will list each meeting of the Scottish Grand Committee held in the current Parliament, its location, and in each case the cost of the meeting; what have been the total costs to date of the meetings; and what estimate he has made of the average increase in costs per session since July 1994. 708W
§ Mr. Beith
[holding answer 31 January 1997]: The direct costs to date, coming within the purview of the House of Commons, for meetings of the Scottish Grand Committee held this Parliament up to 13 January 1997 are given in the table by financial year. These are not the final costs as there are still some invoices and claims outstanding. Excluded from these figures are staff standard hour costs and overtime, some travel by Members, and the costs to Government Departments or others in attending the Committees.
It has not been possible to establish a meaningful trend, as the costs of each meeting are dependent on many variables. For example, the cost of travel to different locations varies and not all local authorities charge for room hire or the provision of policing.
The average cost to date for meetings of the Scottish Grand Committee is approximately £7,500.
Location and financial year Date of meeting Cost £ Average 1994–95 Edinburgh 5 December 1994 8,226 Glasgow 19 December 1994 2,199 Edinburgh 13 February 1995 9,685 20,110 6,703 1995–96 Aberdeen 23 October 1995 2,771 Edinburgh 11 December 1995 8,023 Glasgow 18 December 1995 4,842 Edinburgh 15 January 1996 11,045 Stirling 29 January 1996 8,288 Inverness 5 February 1996 7,576 Aberdeen 19 February 1996 7,893 Kilmarnock 4 March 1996 6,951 57,389 7,174 1996–97 Inverness 22 April 1996 8,093 Dundee 13 May 1996 15,439 Dunfermline 20 May 1996 8,758 Ayr 10 June 1996 6,539 Perth 17 June 1996 7,737 Dumfries 8 July 1996 13,178 Cupar 25 November 1996 8,620 Hamilton 9 December 1996 6,136 Edinburgh 13 January 1997 4,690 79,190 8,799 Total this Parliament 156,689 7,834