Palace of Westminster Restoration and Renewal Programme: Spending

Debate between Lord McNally and Baroness Scott of Needham Market
Tuesday 24th November 2020

(3 years, 8 months ago)

Lords Chamber
Read Full debate Read Hansard Text
Baroness Scott of Needham Market Portrait Baroness Scott of Needham Market (LD) [V]
- Hansard - - - Excerpts

The sponsor body agrees with the recommendations of the Public Accounts Committee, has responded to them and is providing the information requested. As the noble Lord said, we are also undertaking a strategic review of the programme, which is almost complete now. It will go to the commissions of both Houses and the appropriate committees for consideration, and then will be discussed by Members early in the new year.

Lord McNally Portrait Lord McNally (LD) [V]
- Hansard - -

My Lords, will the commissions of both Houses have copies of Mr Barry’s War, by Caroline Shenton, which records how the meddling of parliamentarians in the 19th century added to the costs and time to build this magnificent Palace? Will the noble Baroness assure me that she and her colleagues will keep their nerve and keep going, because we owe it to history and future generations to preserve this symbol of democracy in a troubled world?

Baroness Scott of Needham Market Portrait Baroness Scott of Needham Market (LD) [V]
- Hansard - - - Excerpts

I assure the noble Lord that the sponsor body is well aware of the lessons learned. In fact, the first item of business at our first meeting was a presentation from Caroline Shenton. The National Audit Office has highlighted that, in fact, nothing has changed: there has to be consistent political buy-in for a project of this size, which will last this long. Further to that, we are spending around £127 million this year just on ongoing maintenance, so doing nothing is not a cost-free option.