asked the Home Secretary what was the original cost to the police fund of the Imber Court Estate; when was this purchased, and for what purpose; what was the cost of upkeep in 1921; and, in view of the urgent need for economy in Government Departments, does this place serve a sufficiently useful purpose to justify the expenditure involved?
The price paid for the Imber Court Estate, including the buildings on the site which have since been adapted for police purposes, was £12,743. The estate was purchased in 1920 for the purpose of providing new reserve stables a riding school and exercise ground, etc., for the mounted branch of the Metropolitan Police. The new stables, riding school and quarters were not taken into occupa- tion until last month. The estimated cost of upkeep, including repairs, rates, taxes, fuel, light and cleaning is between £800 and £1,000 per annum, but there will be a set-off in respect of the reserve stables and riding schools hitherto used. The buildings and ground were urgently required for the purposes of the mounted branch and it would be impossible to dispense with them.
I may add that part of the ground which was not required for the purposes of the mounted branch has been allocated as a recreation ground for the force in view of the lack of facilities nearer London. This ground has been developed entirely at the expense of the men themselves, and no part of the cost will fall on the Police Fund.