§ Mr. Beith
asked the Secretary of State for Transport what capital, running and removal costs arise from the removal from the north to the south tower of the Department of the Environment building in Marsham street of the private offices of Ministers in the Department of Transport; and whether the separation of these offices from those of the Department of the Environment will result in more staff or staff time being required to operate a separate typing pool and separate access to the building outside normal hours.
§ Mr. Ridley
About 750 staff are being moved within 2 Marsham street to rationalise accommodation, group Department of Transport Ministers and headquarters officials together in the south Tower and podium, and accommodate aviation and shipping staff transferred from the former Department of Trade. The overall cost attributable to my Department is some £400,000. A substantial part of the cost is for redecoration, which was last carried out 10 years ago. I understand that separate records have not been kept of the capital costs of the removal of Ministers' private offices, but additional staff costs arising from this are estimated to be £60,000 a year. No extra staff are required to operate a separate typing pool or separate access to the building outside normal hours.
Substantial and compensating benefits arise for my Department from the closer and more efficient working made possible by these arrangements.