Palace of Westminster: Restoration and Renewal - Question

Part of the debate – in the House of Lords at 3:02 pm on 3rd December 2018.

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Photo of Baroness Smith of Basildon Baroness Smith of Basildon Shadow Leader of the House of Lords, Shadow Spokesperson (Northern Ireland), Shadow Spokesperson (Cabinet Office) 3:02 pm, 3rd December 2018

My Lords, we all agree that it is important that we keep the costs down and ensure value for money during the restoration and renewal project. I turn to two specific areas, not about the Chambers but about the office location for Peers following decant. First, is it correct that available offices in government departments in Whitehall which were identified by the Joint Committee as possible office space have now been blocked and ruled out by the Government because they are being used by the additional staff who have had to be brought in for Brexit, thus forcing more expensive options to be considered for office space for Peers? Secondly, can he quantify the extra costs incurred by delay not only in terms of the additional maintenance and prevention work that is needed but also the increased costs of the work involved?