Mr. Pickles: To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster what the budget for works associated with Crown proposal 08/00696/1884 made under the Circular 1884 Procedure is; and on what date such works are expected to be completed. 
Mr. Watson [holding answer 10 March 2008]: Costs incurred on refurbishments and improvements to No. 10 Downing street will be available only when the Department’s resource accounts are fully audited and laid before Parliament.
The Government are legally required to maintain the Downing Street complex to standards appropriate to its Grade 1/2 listed status in consultation with English Heritage. In addition to providing office accommodation the building also fulfils an important representational role. No significant refurbishment works have been undertaken at the Downing street complex since the large scale rebuilding works that took place between 1960 and 1963. As a result much of the infrastructure now needs to be renewed or upgraded. It has therefore been recommended that essential improvements are undertaken through ongoing annual maintenance works.
Friday, March 21, 2008
In Defence of Tom Watson
Yesterday, the government slipped out this written answer...