Official residences (2015)
List of all the grace-and-favour residences on the parliamentary estate along with details of whether they are occupied and any information about the estimate running costs to taxpayers over the last five years.
Please note that our response only deals with official residences of the House of Commons. The House of Lords are a separate public authority for the purposes of the Freedom of Information Act therefore you may wish to consider forwarding your request to them.
A great deal of information on official residencies on the parliamentary estate is already published on the Parliamentary webpages.
(Please refer to exemption paragraph at the end of our response)
All the residential accommodation is occupied. The parliamentary estate consists of the Palace of Westminster, buildings north of Bridge St and satellite properties in the vicinity. The running costs (minor maintenance and council tax) of each of the residences provided for officials of the House of Commons Service over the last five financial years on the parliamentary estate are shown in Table 1.
Utilities for properties north of Bridge St are provided with heating from a single source and with no separate electricity meters, hence no information exists for the cost of individual properties’ utilities. The cost of items aggregated with other properties on the estate, such as major infrastructure costs, are not included.
Table 2 The residential accommodation listed is a satellite property.
Residential accommodation is provided by the House of Commons within the Palace of Westminster for the Speaker (and his family and the family staff) in order to facilitate him undertaking his duties.
Table 3 Costs were incurred on Council Tax for the Speaker and family staff:
As Speaker’s House is part of the Palace of Westminster, works are undertaken on the authority of the House administration and paid for from central budgets. As such, it is not possible to identify an exact figure for the amount paid by the House each year for the costs of running and maintaining the Speaker’s official apartment.
Table 4 shows costs of minor maintenance that are identifiable to the Speaker’s Residence or Apartment, from a search of descriptions held on our financial system.
Information relating to minor maintenance of the Speaker’s residence for the financial years 2013/14 and 2014/15 is already published.
(Please refer to exemption paragraph at the end of our response).
Further information relating to Speaker’s accommodation is also published on the Parliamentary webpages.
FOIA Section 21 – Exemption for publicly accessible information
This exemption applies to the information that is available via web links provided in our response. As this information is reasonably accessible to you otherwise than under the Freedom of Information Act 2000 your FOI request for this information is refused. In refusing your request the House is applying the exemption set out in section 21 (1) and (2) (a) of the FOI Act. This is an absolute exemption and the public interest test does not apply.