§ The Prime Minister
[holding answer 8 November 1999]: Maintaining, decorating and otherwise improving 10 Downing street is part of a continuing programme of work. No. 10, now as in the past, is maintained to standards appropriate to its status as a Grade 1 listed building, as laid down by the Department of the Environment, Transport and the Regions, in consultation with Westminster City Council and English Heritage as appropriate. The building also fulfils an important representational role.
Expenditure is recorded by financial years. No distinction is made between maintaining, decorating and otherwise improving the property as projects frequently cover two or more of these categories of work. Since 2 May 1997, the recorded expenditure by the Cabinet Office for No. 10 Downing street is:
- 1997–98: £188,000
- 1998–99: £348,000
- April-October 1999: £435,000.
The expenditure is mainly attributable to the refurbishment of the state rooms and converting the top floor of the building into office accommodation. Approximately £1,200 has been spent on supplies of wallpaper.
Expenditure prior to 1997–98 is recorded in respect of the Nos. 10–12 Downing street complex as a whole and it is not possible to separately identify expenditure in respect of No. 10. On this basis recorded expenditure is as follows:
- 1995–96: £504,700
- 1996–97: £1,486,775.
Plans for future years' expenditure have yet to be agreed.