§ Mr. Malcolm Bruce
To ask the Parliamentary Secretary, Lord Chancellor's Department what is his estimate of the(a) annual cost and (b) total value of the empty properties owned by (i) his Department, (ii) his agencies and (iii) other public bodies for which he has responsibility, in (A) 1995–96, (B) 1996–97, (C) 1997–98 to date and (D) 1997–98 full year. 
§ Mr. Hoon
(i) The Department owned no empty property in these years but rent and service charges on vacant parts of buildings amounted to (A) £375,000 in 1995–96, (B) £620,000 in 1996–97, (C) £441,000 in 1997–98 to date and (D) £503,000 for the 1997–98 full year. (ii) The Court Service agency's empty properties cost (A) –450,000 in 1995–96, (B) £327,000 in 1996–97, (C) £601,000 in 1997–98 to date and (D) £715,000 for the 1997–98 whole year, with values of £26.472 million in 1995–96, £0.491 million in 1996–97 and £2.458 million in 1997–8 to date and for the whole year. (iii) Other public bodies incurred annual costs of (A) £946,000 in 1995–96, (B) £698,000 in 1996–97, (C) £407,000 in 1997–98 to date and (D) £499,000 for the 1997–98 full year with a value of only £80,000 for each year as most are leasehold with a nil valuation.