asked the First Commissioner of Works whether he is aware that the public are now charged 2d. for the use of chairs in Hyde Park and other parks in London; whether he will give the annual amount paid to the Office of Works by the owner of the chairs; is the contract between the owner and the Office of Works renewable yearly; and was his consent obtained before this extra charge was imposed on the public?
Mr. TOWYN JONES
The answer to the first part of the question is in the affirmative. The owner of the chairs in the Royal parks has been paying a rent of £7,000 per annum for the sole right to let them. Owing to the great increase in the cost of the band performances, upon which the value of the letting mainly depends, and in the cost of labour and materials, the contractor asked for some modification in the terms of his contract. After full consideration it was decided to authorise him to increase the 287W charge for the use of chairs outside the band enclosures from 1d. to 2d., and inside the band enclosure from 2d. to 3d. (inclusive of Entertainments Tax and supply of band programme). In return for this consideration the contractor is to pay an increased rent of £10,500 per annum. The position is to be reviewed at the end of two years.