Northern Ireland Office written question – answered on 8th December 2014.

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Photo of Simon Kirby Simon Kirby Conservative, Brighton, Kemptown

To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, what steps she is taking to reduce water (a) usage and (b) bills in her Department; and if she will make a statement.

Photo of Theresa Villiers Theresa Villiers The Secretary of State for Northern Ireland

My Department is committed to reducing water usage. In the London office, water usage is monitored by the landlord, Her Majesty’s Treasury (HMT). Northern Ireland Office officials engage with HMT regularly, along with other tenants, on meeting water efficiency targets and the costs for water usage are built in to the rental charge for the premises.

In the Belfast office, as part of a range of efficiency and reform measures, a number of working practices have been streamlined or ceased in recent months, which have resulted in reduced water usage. My Department does not pay water charges for the Belfast office.

Whilst the Northern Ireland Office still utilises a small area of accommodation at Hillsborough Castle for Ministers, Historic Royal Palaces took over responsibility for management of the Castle on 1 April 2014 and they are now responsible for water efficiency. We do not pay water charges for the accommodation at Hillsborough Castle.

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