I recently questioned the Minister on the need to move forward with the Restoration and Renewal Programme, instead of continually re-examining the scope and cost of the project, in order to preserve one of our great heritage assets. You can read the full exchange below:
What recent estimate that body has made of the total cost of the restoration and renewal of the Palace of Westminster.
The Sponsor Body, supported by the Delivery Authority, is currently developing the detailed plan that will for the first time give an accurate sense of the costs and timescales and the full detail of the work needed for restoration and renewal. It will be put before both Houses for a decision before works commence. Securing best value for money is fundamental.
Given that the House has debated the subject numerous times, supported the Joint Committee’s 2016 proposal and passed the Parliamentary Buildings (Restoration and Renewal) Act 2019, does my right hon. Friend agree that continually re-examining the scope and cost of the project increases the risk that we are not making our national Parliament fit for purpose and runs the risk of us having our own Notre-Dame moment with our beautiful and historic building?
My hon. Friend is right to mention the terrible fire at Notre-Dame, which serves as a reminder to us all of the risk to our great heritage assets. He is also right that putting off works tends to increase costs eventually, so I agree entirely about the time sensitivity of action and thank him for his timely reminder.