HC Deb 18 December 2001 vol 377 cc212-3W
Mr. Sheerman

To ask the hon. Member for Roxburgh and Berwickshire, representing the House of Commons Commission, (1) how many people have been employed by the Refreshment Department in each year since 1990; [21657]

(2) how many of those employed by the Refreshment Department in each year since 1990 have been managers. [21658]

Mr. Kirkwood

The hon. Member will recall that by 1990, when Sir Robin Ibbs made his recommendations for the future management of House services, there was considerable dissatisfaction with the catering services provided by the Refreshment Department. Since then, the House has not only invested in its catering premises, but also in the training and development of the staff and management of the Refreshment Department. The management task has increased over this period in order to maintain and improve the standard of catering provided in a larger number of outlets, while modern business management techniques have required the employment of managers with specialist skills, such as IT, training, and procurement expertise.

The authorised staffing levels and senior management posts in the Refreshment Department since 1990 were as shown in the table.

Financial year Authorised staff complement1 Senior management posts2
1989–90 263 8
1990–91 266.5 8
1991–92 305.5 8
1992–93 309.5 8
1993–94 318.5 8
1994–95 318.5 10
1995–96 317.5 12
1996–97 316.5 14
1997–98 310 15
1998–99 314.5 15
1999–2000 313.5 16
2000–01 300 16
1Staff numbers are stated as full-time equivalent posts as at the end of each financial year, except for 2000–01, which is calculated as the average across the year.
2Senior management is defined as Band B (previously Grade 8) and above in the main House of Commons service.

In addition to the senior manager posts listed in the table, the Refreshment Department employs a team of Assistant Managers and supervisory staff (sous chefs, head waiters, cafeteria and restaurant supervisors, etc.) who undertake management responsibilities as part of their duties. As at the end of November 2001, the Department employed 36 such management staff in addition to the 16 posts reported in the table. No figures are available for previous years, as this information was not recorded.