HC Deb 26 March 1998 vol 309 cc236-7W
Mr. Swinney

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will list the total financial assistance provided to(a) the Commonwealth Institute and (b) the Westminster Foundation for Democracy; and if he will list the locations of the (i) head office and (ii) other buildings used by these bodies in the United Kingdom, providing a breakdown of (1) staff numbers, (2) salary costs and (3) running costs for buildings in (A) Scotland and (B) London. [36190]

Mr. Fatchett

During the financial year 1997–98, this Department provided the Commonwealth Institute with a grant-in-aid of £800,000. It also provided an additional £316,000 to pay for redundancies. The Commonwealth Institute has 30 staff. The salary costs for the financial year 1997–98 were £1.25 million. This figure includes National Insurance, pension contributions, seasonal staffing and the chairman's honorarium.

The Commonwealth Institute is in Kensington High Street, London. In the current financial year the running costs of this building were approximately £470,510. This figure was broken down as follows:

Breakdown £
Maintenance and site service charges 171,000
Site security 92,000
Business rates 72,000
Electricity, fuel and gas 72,000
Water charges 40,500
Cleaning 23,000
Rental 10

The Institute also used to have premises in Edinburgh. This building, however, is no longer in use and we are currently seeking the agreement of the Trustees that it may be sold. Although empty, the Edinburgh building still generates running costs, for which this Department is liable. During the financial year 1997–98, the running costs for the building in Edinburgh totalled £8,452.15. This is broken down as follows:

Breakdown £
Council tax/water/sewerage 693.18
Rates 3,404.22
Electricity 37.14
Maintenance work 4,317.61

The grant-in-aid given to the Westminster Foundation for Democracy by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, during financial year 1997–98, was £2,713,650. No other financial assistance was provided. The Foundation's head office is at Clutha House, 10 Storey's Gate, Westminster. They do not use any other building.

The Foundation has 6 staff. The total salary cost for financial year 1997–98 was £215,892/ This figure includes National Insurance and pension contributions.

The total running costs for Clutha House during financial year 1997–98 came to approximately £56,199. This was broken down as follows

Breakdown £
Rent and rates 31,799
Service charge 14,000
Business rates 8,000
Electricity 1,200
Building insurance 1,200