HC Deb 21 October 2002 vol 391 c6W
Mr. Stunell

To ask the hon. Member for Roxburgh and Berwickshire, representing the House of Commons Commission, (1) what plans the Commission has to cap the subsidy for catering over the period of the Three Year Strategic Plan; [73759]

(2) what steps the Commission is planning to reduce the annual subsidy for catering set out on page 16 of the 24th Annual report of the Commission. [73760]

Mr. Kirkwood

The Commission is satisfied that the Refreshment Department achieves value for money in the delivery of its services, given the nature of the services required by the House's sitting patterns.

Both the Commission and the Finance and Services Committee see these issues as important elements in the House's three-year financial plans. The Commission has asked the Finance and Services Committee to examine the recommendations of the Catering Committee's recent Report on Refreshment Facilities in the House of Commons, 1especially in the light of the Modernisation Committee's proposals for changes to the House's working patterns. It would be premature for the Commission to make any long-term decision about the appropriate cost of catering services until the extent of these changes has become apparent and the Finance and Services Committee has considered these matters. No doubt my hon. Friend, as a member of the Committee. will contribute fully to that consideration.

Note: 1 Refreshment Facilities in the House of Commons, Catering Committee, First Report 2001–02