To ask the Secretary of State for Employment what was the capital cost of the purpose-built employment rehabilitation centre at Ingol, Preston, at the time it was built, expressed in 1993 values; and what price has been agreed for its sale.
[holding answer 20 July 1993]: Responsibility for the subject of the question has been delegated to the Employment Service Agency under its chief executive. I have asked him to arrange for a reply to be given.
Letter from M. E. G. Fogden to Mrs. Audrey Wise, dated 22 July 1993:
As the Employment Service is an Executive Agency, the Secretary of State has asked me to write to you direct to respond to your Parliamentary Question to him about the capital cost of Preston (Ingol) Employment Rehabilitation Centre (ERC) when it was built and the price agreed for its sale. This is something which falls within the responsibilities delegated to me as Chief Executive of the Agency.
The building of Preston ERC was completed in 1978 and the centre was opened in 1979. The work involved in retrieving the exact total capital costs of the ERC and converting these to 1993 prices would incur disproportionate costs. I am therefore unable to supply this information.
The ERC was closed on 31 December 1992 and tenders were invited for its sale. A price has been agreed and the site has been sold subject to contract. You will appreciate that, until the sale is completed and contracts are exchanged, the price agreed is still classified as "Commercial in Confidence" and cannot be revealed.
I am sorry to have to send you a disappointing reply. However, I am satisfied that all the correct tendering procedures have been followed to ensure we obtain the best possible price for the site.
As decided by the Administration Committee of the House of Commons, Chief Executive replies to written Parliamentary Questions will now be published in the Official Report. I will also place a copy of this letter in the Library of the House.