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Raf Church Fenton

Volume 406: debated on Wednesday 4 June 2003

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To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he will make a statement on contract negotiations at RAF Church Fenton; and when he expects the negotiations to end. [116749]

The current Joint Elementary Flying Training School (JEFTS) contract which is held by Babcock HCS, is due to expire in July 2003. This includes some flying training at RAF Church Fenton.From July, the tasks under the current JEFTS contract will be met in two ways. The JEFTS flying at Barkston Heath, Cranwell and Middle Wallop will be re-brigaded under the title of the Defence EFT School, the supporting contractor again being Babcock HCS. The flying currently undertaken by JEFTS at RAF Church Fenton will be carried out under the Light Aircraft Flying Task contract, supported by Vosper Thorneycroft Aerospace, at University Air Squadron sites around the country, including the Yorkshire University Air Squadron site at RAF Church Fenton.The main contract negotiations have been completed, but an ongoing issue is the possible Transfer of Undertakings (Protection of Employment) (TUPE) liabilities in respect of the Babcock HCS employees at RAF Church Fenton. Due to the complexity of the issue, it is not possible to predict when these negotiations with both contractors will be complete.