British parliament needs 100 million dollars of urgent repairs

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Britain's parliament needs more than 100 million dollars worth of urgent repairs over the next five years, lawmakers were told Monday.

The iconic Palace of Westminster in London needs 69 million pounds (107 million dollars, 82 million euros) worth of "aggressive maintenance" by 2015, Lord Ivan Brabazon told the upper House of Lords.

Brabazon, the head of the house's administration, said there were "considerable maintenance issues which require considerable investment".

He said the most pressing problem was that the "mechanical and electrical systems are in a poor state of repair".

"I can give an indication of the cost of the first phase of this remedy, which is budgeted at 69 million pounds to go to 2015. After that it is anyone's guess," he added.

Brabazon's role in day-to-day maintenance of the palace pitches him in an endless battle against mice. He has ruled out getting a cat.

Most of the palace was rebuilt in the Perpendicular Gothic style after a fire in 1834.

© 2010 AFP

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