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  #721  
Old 10-14-2013, 01:03 PM
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Royal Central ‏@RoyalCentral 53m
Queen's Treasurer Sir Alan Reid says 39% of royal property not up to standard and in need of repairs at Royal Household Accounts Committee
PAC should have remembered the 20 year pay freeze on the Grant.
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  #722  
Old 10-14-2013, 03:35 PM
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Royal Central ‏@RoyalCentral 53m
Queen's Treasurer Sir Alan Reid says 39% of royal property not up to standard and in need of repairs at Royal Household Accounts Committee
That 39% will become 49% and then 59%..it will only keep increasing. But the funding will keep decreasing and the voices will get louder.. Unfortunately this is one sad reality monarchy has to live with..Dont think there is any solution..
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  #723  
Old 10-14-2013, 03:37 PM
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Even the Queen is hit by energy price rises as utility bills soar by £1m as 'crumbling' Royal Estate requires £50m in repairs-
Even the Queen is hit by energy price rises as utility bills soar by £1m as 'crumbling' Royal Estate requires £50m in repairs | Mail Online
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  #724  
Old 10-14-2013, 04:11 PM
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That 39% will become 49% and then 59%..it will only keep increasing. But the funding will keep decreasing and the voices will get louder.. Unfortunately this is one sad reality monarchy has to live with..Dont think there is any solution..
At the moment, the funding has increased because of the change in sourcing (15% of the profit from Crown Estates - and profits have increased hence the rise in funding). They are also allowed to keep some of the money yr on yr. The old method meant that you had to spend it (stupid but true).

This will enable them to build a fund for refurbishment - Frogmore is in desperate need, and BP needs structural work. I think HMQ's previous advisers were not as competent as those in place now. But the priority in the past has been paying to be seen, rather than mend the fabric.
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  #725  
Old 10-14-2013, 07:26 PM
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I think a big problem was before there were 3 different sources of royal funding- civil list, grant in aid for royal travel and grant in aid for building maintenance. So if you saved money from royal travel the extra couldn't be used to fix the buildings. Now with the sovereign grant, it is one pool and they can use it where they need it.
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  #726  
Old 10-14-2013, 07:41 PM
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I am sure you can take up a collection. Either it is state property, not the queen's and that is your problem or it is not state property, which makes it their problem.
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  #727  
Old 10-14-2013, 07:46 PM
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I am sure you can take up a collection. Either it is state property, not the queen's and that is your problem or it is not state property, which makes it their problem.
Way too sensible and straight forward. The deal is the Govt pays the Queen and she funds the maintenance. Which would have been fine if her finances hadnt been frozen. New deal means she will be able to organise the fixes req.
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  #728  
Old 10-14-2013, 10:14 PM
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Royal train may hit the buffers after Queen's treasurer says cost of replacing it is 'staggering'-
Royal train may hit the buffers after Queen's treasurer says cost of replacing it is 'staggering' - Telegraph

Now, that would just be tragic and very sad to see the royal family loose the Royal Train. They've already lost the Royal Yacht Britannia.
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  #729  
Old 01-27-2014, 08:26 PM
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The Committee Report on the Royal Finances has been published.

Queen down to her last million due to courtiers' overspending, report finds - Telegraph

Summary:

The Queen’s household finances were at a “historic low” with just £1 million left in reserve, MPs said on Monday.
.
A report by the Commons public accounts committee found that the Queen’s advisers were failing to control her finances while the royal palaces were “crumbling”.

MPs said her advisers had overspent to such an extent that her reserve fund had fallen from £35 million in 2001 to just £1 million today.

The Royal household had made efficiency savings of just 5 per cent over the past five years

MPs on the committee said the Treasury must “get a grip” and help to protect the royal palaces from “further damage and deterioration”.

Margaret Hodge, the Labour chairman of the committee, said: “We believe that the Treasury has a duty to be actively involved in reviewing the household’s financial planning and management — and it has failed to do so.”

Buckingham Palace and Windsor Castle are reported to be in urgent need of repair. Staff must catch rain in buckets to protect art and antiquities, while the Queen’s old boilers were contributing to bills of £774,000 a year.

Mrs Hodge said: “The household must get a much firmer grip on how it plans to address its maintenance backlog. It has not even costed the repair works needed to bring the estate back to an acceptable condition. Again, the Treasury has an oversight role here.”

In April 2012 the Sovereign Grant replaced the old way of funding the Royal family through the Civil List and various Government grants.

A Buckingham Palace spokesman said the sovereign grant had made the Queen’s funding “more transparent and scrutinised” and was resulting in a “more efficient use of public funds”.

He said that repairing the royal palaces was a “significant financial priority”, and that the Royal household had almost doubled its income to £11.6 million since 2007.

End
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  #730  
Old 01-27-2014, 08:35 PM
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The Daily Telegraph lays the blame squarely with the Queen's advisors. Summary of their report

Queen's advisers wasting money while royal palaces are 'crumbling'

The Queen is being failed by her advisers who are spending too much money and not doing enough to save her "deteriorating" palaces, MPs have warned.
More than a third of the royal estate has been found to be below "target condition", with Buckingham Palace and Windsor Castle in urgent need of repair.

The report found that last year the Royal Household has overspent to such an extent that it now has just £1million left in its reserve fund, the lowest level in its history.

The committee criticised the Household for failing to make more savings and also said it should be making more money.

The MPs compared the success of the Tower of London, which has more than 2million visitors a year, to Buckingham Palace, which has 500,000 visitors a year.

Margaret Hodge, the Labour chairman of the Public Accounts Committee, said: "The Queen has not been served well by the Household and by the Treasury.
"We got the impression that they just haven't tried to make greater savings. Here we are, we're all in it together, but they are failing to eek better value for the Queen. They are dipping into their reserves in a way that just isn't sensible.

"If you look at the Tower of London and its visitor numbers it makes you think that there's potential there. Have they done their darndest to maximise value for money."

The report found that 39 per cent of the royal estate is in need of repair, but the Royal Household has failed to make an estimate of how much it would cost.

The Victoria and Albert Mausoleum in Windsor has been desperate need of repair for more than 18 years and is "getting worse". However, the Royal Household says it has no plans to carry out more repair work because of "resource constraints".

At Buckingham Palace, the heating system is more than 60 years old which has contributed to energy bills of £774,000 a year.

The household has also spent more than £800,000 in removing asbestos from the walls of the palace, while the wiring has not been replaced since 1949.

The lead roofs at Windsor Castle are also in urgent need of replacement.

The royal household has not even attempted to estimate the cost of the maintenance backlog because it believes there was no point in doing so until it has new funding in place.

The report also found that the royal household has made efficiency savings of just 5 per cent since 2007 at a time when many government departments have saved significantly more.
Last year the royal household's net expenditure was £33.3million, while it received £31million from the Sovereign Grant.

The household had to make up the difference by dipping into its reserve fund.

The report found that the Treasury, which is responsible for overseeing the royal household’s finances, is failing to do enough and should draw on its experience to “offer advice on key challenges”.

The royal household has now pledged to introduce a 10 year maintenance plan to help address the backlog it is facing. It has also pledged to increase the size of the reserve fund.
End

I think that although there is some politicking (blaming the Treasury) and failing to realise that comparisons between a Museum (Tower of London) and a working palace (BP), there is substance to the Committee's viewpoint.

The new funding mechanism which has seen a huge increase in funds should help but I can't help but wonder what would have happened if the funding changes hadn't occured.

The Queen has to take some responsibility for this not least of all ensuring that her officials take steps and make appropriate plans. I think that perhaps Charles will also get involved because this mess is not going to resolve itself in the next few years and he will carry the burden in the future.
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  #731  
Old 01-27-2014, 08:43 PM
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Look, it takes money to run these places. No one will take up a collection for this family, who, until the recent past took a great deal and paid no taxes. Their wealth has accumulated for many years tax free. Their lands, were inherited, but at the bottom purloined from the people. If you look at it as a business, which it really is, you do what you have to and you spend only where necessary.
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  #732  
Old 01-27-2014, 08:52 PM
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Look, it takes money to run these places. No one will take up a collection for this family, who, until the recent past took a great deal and paid no taxes. Their wealth has accumulated for many years tax free. Their lands, were inherited, but at the bottom purloined from the people. If you look at it as a business, which it really is, you do what you have to and you spend only where necessary.
This is public buildings, not the BRF's private owned and purchased property.

I think this is down to poor management and it needs to be sorted. What I really dont understand is that these accounts were audited and there is a minimum level of reserves that should be held. So now they have to do the repairs, improve the buildings environmental status whilst maintaining it's historical integrity and build the reserves.

Additional expenditure for the Jubilee will not have helped.
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  #733  
Old 01-27-2014, 09:46 PM
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From the Mail

Rent out your palace, Ma'am: Royals must help fund repairs to crumbling homes, say MPs | Mail Online

They mention that BP was hired by JP Morgan - and IIRC that was criticised.
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  #734  
Old 01-27-2014, 10:29 PM
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It was criticized mainly I think because it was Andrew. If it had been William or Anne it would have been praised.

This issue for me is the number of engagements that are carried out in the State Apartments now if they really intend on opening BP for longer (and it probably means the Queen or future monarchs not living at BP for a longer period each year).

As it is now they remove the carpets etc before the State Opening to preserve the 'real' ones but if it is to be open on and off then those carpets will not last very long at all.

Maybe they should have people pay to attend some Garden Parties - not the ones they have now - but a few extra ones at which there is no guarantee there will be a royal present but you can say you went to a Garden Party at BP.
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  #735  
Old 01-27-2014, 11:54 PM
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Royal Wealth and Finances

The money from the public opening of BP goes to the Royal Collection which doesn't cover the buildings.

Garden parties are pretty expense to put on. From royal website , 27,000 cups of tea, 20,000 sandwiches and 20,000 cakes with a serving staff of 400 for just one party. There are 3 in London and 1 in Edinburgh. I read somewhere that the typical guest eats 14 sandwiches and cakes.
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  #736  
Old 01-28-2014, 02:14 AM
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I am not talking about the normal garden parties but allowing people to hire the gardens to hold their own - 50 pounds per head should bring in some money.
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  #737  
Old 01-28-2014, 02:47 AM
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Clearly the Queen's staff have been dipping in the cookie jar.

The Duchy of Lancaster lost money last year & now this.

The staff eats for free. When C&D lived in KP, the KP staff ate at BP and the food wasn't exactly standard fare but on the expensive side. The staff appears to eat better than the RF.
There are 188 staff bedrooms at BP. Do they need that many live-in staff?

Steps to reduce cost.
1. Decrease the number staff.
2. Reduce food budget.
3. Increase number of days BP is opened.
4. Offer tea in the BP gardens.
5. Grow more food at BP.
6. Roof top garden.
7. Roof top can be rented for parties.
8. Sell BP products, like the Duchy of Cornwall.
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  #738  
Old 01-28-2014, 07:36 AM
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I think that in the next reign we will see BP become the office block & Charles and Camilla will continue to live at Clarence House. This has happened in many of the European monarchies and would allow almost year round opening to tourists. The downside of this would be that people would be seeing "the Office" rather than the place the monarch calls home.
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  #739  
Old 01-28-2014, 07:43 AM
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I found this comment on Yahoo and thought it summed up the problem really well:

*if the British Government didn't confiscate most of the earnings of The Crown Properties which are indeed the Property of the Queen, and paid a fairer share of that Royal Income from those Properties to the Royal Family, they wouldn't have this problem of the Queen's staff having 100 year-old uniforms so patched and repaired that most Royal Families would have disposed of them decades ago. Most of the Royal income goes to pay Her Majesty's employees' salaries, pensions, benefits, etc., there is little left to repair the Royal inherited properties which are generally open to the public and are mostly ancient or significant National Treasures of the United Kingdom, e.g., the priceless Crown Jewels or Winsor Castle. The British Royal Family does its duty and is the Living Symbol of the British Nation and Sovereignty, they shouldn't be in rags or be made to feel that they are a burden to their People. Each and every year, they bring Billions into the Economy of the UK through Tourism from the "Children Nations" of the Great British Empire. Her Majesty and her Family are serious business and should be respected, loved, and nurtured as such.*

I very much admire the Queen, she is the hardest working royal out there and has given her entire life to the people. There will always be people that are never satisfied with what they have in life and will continue to complain. After all *Being Royal* is just an accident of birth, we can't choice our parents or anything else for that matter when born. I just can not understand jealousy in people, Their parliament is very much like the Congress here in America, so very full of their own poooo and how much they want to just keep taking and taking from the people and then blame someone else for their failings.



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  #740  
Old 01-28-2014, 08:45 AM
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I can see little problem with the Royal Family continuing to live and work at Buckingham Palace AND opening it up to the public more often.

The state and semi-state apartments [open to the public] are on the West Front, whilst the private apartments are on the North Front, [and possibly the East Front]

It is not as tho' the public get to gawp at the Queens Bedroom, or Study...

It may take a bit of jiggling round, but i'm sure it is possible for so large a building to accomodate both the Family, and the paying public at the same time ?

Also the Queen is at Windsor for the weekends so surely Buckingham Palace could be opened on both Saturday and Sunday, without inconvenience ?
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