Select Committee on Public Accounts Minutes of Evidence


Letter to the Chief Executive, English Heritage from the Committee Assistant, Committee of Public Accounts, requesting additional information on wedding receptions held at Kenwood House (PAC 99-00/225)


  You will already have received copies of the uncorrected evidence given by yourself and Robin Young on 19 June. Those proceedings include a number of requests for information.

  Following the meeting the Committee considered further certain aspects of the evidence heard and agreed that more was needed. The attached paper lists a number of specific requests related to the use of Kenwood House. I would appreciate a response to each of those questions.

  You may find it useful to incorporate all requests for additional information on this matter into a single comprehensive document. Should that be so, cross referencing to the original point at which the sub-point was raised would be made easier.

  The date by which your corrections and supplementary evidence was required was 3 July, but this additional request makes that deadline impracticable. I would therefore suggest that all corrections, including the response to this latest set of questions be with this office no later than 10 July.

  Please let me know if you need further guidance.

Committee of Public Accounts

29 June 2000



  When were English Heritage's costs for the event finalised?

  When was English Heritage repaid its costs?

  Who paid for these costs?

  Why did the time taken to sort out the costs affect the time at which the donation was received?

  On which day was the donation of £5,000 received by English Heritage?

  Who paid the donation?

  Was the size of the donation agreed in advance with English Heritage?

  Is there any evidence in writing about how large the donation was expected to be? If so, please may we have a copy of each relevant document?

  What efforts were made either orally or in writing to "Chase" the donation?

  Who made these efforts?

  If no such efforts were made, who took the decision not to do so, on what grounds and on whose advice? If such efforts were made, who took the decision not to press harder for the donation, on what grounds and on whose advice?


  How much did "Hello" magazine pay for the right to take and publish photographs of the event? How much of this was paid to English Heritage?


  For how long and on which day or days was Kenwood House closed to the public because of the wedding when it would otherwise have been open? What access did wedding guests have to Kenwood House and its art collection?

  What are the normal public opening hours of Kenwood House?


  Please list all the costs to English Heritage which were later repaid. In particular, was any extra insurance in relation to the buildings and/or the grounds and/or the art collection, taken out by the wedding hosts? If so, what did it cover?

  Was the time used by Senior Officers of English Heritage in handling the issue added to the costs?


  Was any payment made by the filmmakers of "Notting Hill" to English Heritage for the use of Kenwood House? If so, how much and for how long? Did any such payment include English Heritage's costs on that occasion?


  When was the scheme launched?

  Please give details of all functions so far held under the scheme, including income received and costs incurred by English Heritage, dates and times.

  Were any English Heritage properties ever rented out for functions prior to the scheme's launch? If so, please give details.

19 June 2000

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