HC Deb 12 December 1994 vol 251 cc524-5W
Mr. Cohen

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what is the total cost to his Department and the Highways Agency(a) to occupy the premises in Claremont road, Leytonstone and (b) for the security and associated costs of the M11 link road project as a whole; if he will break this expenditure down into its main components; and if he will indicate the extent of the continuing cost.

Mr. Norris

This is an operational matter for the Highways Agency. I have asked the chief executive to write to the hon. Member.

Letter from Lawrie Haynes to Mr. Harry Cohen, dated 12 December 1994: I have been asked to write to you in response to your Parliamentary Question about the costs of occupying Claremont Road and security costs for the Al2 Hackney Wick to M11 Link Road as a whole, since these are operational matters for the Highways Agency. We estimate the cost to the Agency of last weeks operation at Claremont Road at about £1 million. The protestors' action also meant that we were unable to salvage valuable materials from the properties, which had to be rapidly demolished and the resultant rubble carted away to the tip at a cost of £100,000. The total for other security and associated costs for the whole Link Road project since construction began in September 1993 is about £3 million for security staff costs, together with £185,000 paid in fees to Brays Detective Agency and legal costs of about £180,000. Levels of security are geared to the perceived likelihood of protest action involving trespass on to sites. If current levels are maintained, expenditure on security staff would be about £500,000 per month. The situation is, however, monitored all the time and if the activity of protestors diminishes, as it now should, this expenditure could, in turn, be reduced. Similarly expenditure on Brays Detective Agency, currently about £25,000 per month, will be reviewed but there remains continuing involvement for them with injunction proceedings at least until the end of January 1995. Legal costs in this connection will run at about £4,000 per month, but this figure could be higher dependent upon the number and length of Court hearings, which are unpredictable at present.