§ Mrs. Shephard
To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions what has been the total cost to public funds of the Westminster auditor's inquiry into the Westminster Council's designated sales policy over the period 18 July 1989 to 30 April 1999. 
§ Ms Armstrong
We are advised by the Audit Commission that the auditor's costs for the investigation, up to and including the publication of his report in 1996, was £3,017,905, which has been met by Westminster City Council. The Audit Commission has, since the commencement of High Court proceedings, met further costs of £3,705,000. This includes the legal costs of the auditor for the High Court and Appeal Court Hearings, and the costs of those appellants whose appeals were successful in the High Court. It does not include the High Court and Appeal Court costs of Dame Shirley Porter and David Weeks; the Appeal Court is reconvening in several weeks to consider the award of these costs.