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MPs’ Parliament restoration debate postponed

4 January 2018

MPs were due to debate Westminster repairs this month (Mike Gimelfarb/Wikipedia)

The MPs’ debate on the proposed £4bn Palace of Westminster restoration programme, originally scheduled for 11 January 2018, has been postponed by the government.

No future date has been confirmed.

The leader of the House of Commons, Rt Hon Andrea Leadsom MP, announced before Christmas that the government will now look to find a suitable alternative date, taking account of representations she had received for the debate.

MPs and peers had been due to discuss the future of the Palace of Westminster, which faces major and increasingly urgent repairs, with a cost estimated between £4bn and £6bn.

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Members from both Houses are awaiting the government’s yet-to-be published motion, which is expected to allow for a sponsor board and delivery authority to be established, to oversee and deliver the programme and consider the options for how the work could be delivered.

The government has previously indicated that the three likely options are:

Architect BDP and consultant CH2M have been appointed to manage the programme of restoration works.

There are concerns over the likely cost of the scheme after the contract value of the Big Ben restoration, where Sir Robert McAlpine is main contractor, almost trebled to £61m last month.

Comments

This appears to be developing as a typical government project where costs get out of control and the opposition party start crumbling that it's being totally mismanaged but it would be just the same if they were in power.

Why are they having to debate over something that has to be done and the high cost of the works is because nobody has wanted to spend money on it in the past to give it a more controlled approach to maintenance. For such an iconic building we have no option but to bring it back to a good condition and then put money aside to ensure it's maintained properly and regularly. It's an inherent problem in both central and local government. Just get on with the job and look after this countries heritage buildings for the benefit of future generations.

Ray Sheller, 5 January 2018

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