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Royal Naval College, Greenwich

Volume 32: debated on Thursday 25 November 1982

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asked the Secretary of State for Defence (1) what is the approved complement of catering staff at the Royal Naval College, Greenwich; and how many of these posts are currently filled;(2) whether his decision to employ private caterers at the Royal Naval College, Greenwich, was based on a comparison between the contractor's tender and the costs now incurred with the present staff in post or with the costs which would be incurred with a full complement of staff; and what is the difference between the two figures;(3) what is his estimate of the total redundancy payments which will have to be met by his Department as a result of the decision to replace directly employed catering staff at the Royal Naval College, Greenwich, with contract caterers.

We expect to be able to announce a decision in the near future on whether to introduce contract catering at the Royal Naval College, Greenwich.

The approved complement of catering staff at the college is 138½ full-time equivalent civilian posts. There are in addition four complemented posts for naval personnel, of which one would be retained. 105 of the present complemented civilian posts are currently filled.

I would refer to the Adjourment debate—[Vol. 31, c. 646–47]—for a description of the cost comparison used. For the reasons given then, the in-house costs are calculated on the basis of the full complement of staff for the posts which would be affected rather than the actual number of staff in post. The difference between the two figures is £191,000 a year at 1981 prices. In this case contract catering would be cheaper even than the costs of the actual number of staff employed at present.

Our present estimate of the likely total redundancy payments to staff who would be declard redundant if contract catering is introduced at the college is £217,780. These redundancy payments would not be borne on Defence votes.