asked the Secretary of State for Defence whether any reduction in Service personnel or civilian employment at RAF Boulmer, the RAF Acklington helicopter squadron or the Otterburn Training Area will occur as a result of the reductions in defence expenditure recently announced.
No reductions in Service or civilian employment will occur at these units as a result of the recently-announced cuts in defence expenditure.
That news and that assurance will be welcome in the communities concerned, whose relations with the people manning the Service installations are good. Does the Minister agree that in locating defence installations operational needs are paramount, but that an important consideration is the employment which the installations provide in areas where there is little alternative employment?
Yes. That is why we have tried to take account of development areas in framing the review which we have just announced.