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Christmas events (2017)

Request

Please disclose the amount spent on Christmas events, including receptions, in the years 2013, 2014, 2015 and 2016;

For 2015 and 2016 please disclose the amount spent on alcohol for the events/receptions;

Please disclose the budget for 2017 Christmas events/receptions.

Response

Please note that our response only deals with Christmas event in venues for which the House of Commons is responsible. Some venues in Parliament are the responsibility of the House of Lords, which is a separate public authority for the purposes of the Freedom of Information Act, therefore you may wish to consider forwarding your request to them.

In addition, we have interpreted your request to be for Christmas events funded by the House of Commons.  It may help you to know that the House’s Banqueting and Events team are very busy over the Christmas period running events sponsored by Members and/or funded by other organisations. It is not always easy to tell which events are specifically Christmas events (although some may be titled as such), but further information is published as part of our Transparency information on an annual basis. 

  1. Please disclose the amount spent on Christmas events, including receptions, in the years 2013, 2014, 2015 and 2016;
    And
  2. For 2015 and 2016 please disclose the amount spent on alcohol for the events/receptions;
    Information related to spending on Christmas events/receptions in 2013, including the spend on alcohol, is not held by the House of Commons.  Detailed financial information for this year has been destroyed in accordance with Parliaments record retention policy.
    Information related to spending on Christmas events/receptions in 2014, 2015 and 2016, including the spend on alcohol in 2015 and 2016, is held by the House of Commons.  The Speaker’s Office hold a number of Christmas events, as detailed:
    The Speaker’s Office expenditure in December 2014, which relates to identifiable Christmas events and receptions, was £2,058. This figure includes VAT at 20% and service charge. These events include two Christmas Carol receptions for staff, a lunch for a charity for terminally ill children and their families and a lunch for the Salvation Army band.
    The Speaker’s Office expenditure in December 2015, which relates to identifiable Christmas events and receptions was £2,917, of which £1,768 was spent on alcohol. These figures include VAT at 20% and service charge.  These events include two Christmas Carol receptions for staff, a lunch for a charity for terminally ill children and their families and a lunch for the Salvation Army band.
    The Speaker’s Office expenditure in December 2016, which relates to identifiable Christmas events and receptions was £2,870, of which £1,775 was spent on alcohol. These figures include VAT at 20% and service charge.  These events include two Christmas Carol receptions for staff, a lunch for a charity for terminally ill children and their families and a lunch for the Salvation Army band.
    Across the rest of the House of Commons, some departments may have held staff parties but these were not funded by the House; responsibility for payment fell to those organising or attending such events.  Therefore, other than the details of events held by the Speaker’s Office, no other information is held.
  3. Please disclose the budget for 2017 Christmas events/receptions.
    This information is not held by the House because neither the House of Commons, nor specifically the Speaker’s Office, hold a budget which relates specifically to Christmas events and receptions.