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Married Quarters

Volume 163: debated on Monday 4 December 1989

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To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what is the total amount of money gained from the sale of surplus married quarters since 1981.

The amount of money gained from the sale of surplus married quarters before 1 April 1987 is not identifiable without disproportionate effort. Receipts since then are as follows:

Financial yearReceipts
£ million
11989–9015·721
1988–8955·627
1987–8827·010
1 To 30 September 1989.

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what was the maintenance backlog at 1 April for each year since 1979 for (a) unavoidable and essential repairs, and (b) urgent repairs for married quarters.

The backlog of unavoidable repairs at 1 April 1989 was estimated at £323 million, although it cannot be guaranteed that this is precisely accurate in every respect, given that assessments of this kind are a matter of professional judgment. Figures for previous years were either not collated at all or, where they were, not in such a way as to permit comparison between one year and another, as the definition and interpretation of what constitutes backlog has been progressively revised from year to year. At no time has the backlog of maintenance of married quarters been separately identified. Consequently the information requested could not be obtained at all or without incurring disproportionate cost.

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence whether any surplus married quarters have been sold or leased to housing associations since 1981.

Yes. There have been several occasions since 1981 when surplus married quarters have been sold to housing associations. However, records are not kept in a way which makes specific purchasers readily identifiable, and to give details of all such transactions would entail disproportionate effort. Properties which were temporarily surplus to MOD requirements have been leased to a housing association in recent years but there are no such leases at present.

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence whether any surplus married quarters have been sold or leased to local authorities since 1981.

Yes. There have been several occasions since 1981 when surplus married quarters have been sold to local authorities. However, records are not kept in a way which makes specific purchasers readily identifiable and to give details of all such transactions would entail disproportionate effort. Properties which are temporarily surplus to MOD requirements may be offered for leasing to local authorities when circumstances permit. There are currently over 500 such properties leased to local authorities throughout the United Kingdom.