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Service Personnel and Veterans Agency: Location

Volume 476: debated on Tuesday 20 May 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, (1) what steps he will take to (a) minimise the potential for disruption and (b) retain (i) skills and (ii) service levels in relation to the proposed re-location of the Service Personnel and Veterans Agency; and if he will make a statement; (204670)

(2) if he will place in the Library a copy of the Business Case for the re-location of the Service Personnel and Veterans Agency; and if he will make a statement;

(3) what estimate he has made of the costs to his Department associated with re-locating the Service Personnel and Veterans Agency; and if he will make a statement;

(4) when he plans to make a statement on the proposed re-location of the Service personnel and Veterans Agency.

I will write shortly to the hon. Member regarding my decision about the proposed relocation of the Service Personnel and Veterans Agency functions undertaken currently at Innsworth Station.

Substantive answer from Derek Twigg to Andrew Murrison:

You may recall that I wrote to you on 22 April (ref: D/US of S/DT MC02052/2008) in reply to your letter of 2 April (ref: AM/JCP/29/020408) enclosing one from your constituent, Ms K Eastwood of 17 Bush Court, Priors Road, Prestbury, Cheltenham who expressed her concern about the proposed relocation of the Service Personnel and Veterans Agency (SPVA) from Innsworth to Gosport and Norcross.

As you will be aware from my letter to you on this issue, I undertook to write to you once I had made my decision. I trust you will also accept this as my written reply to your written questions ref 204670,204676, 204677 and 204678.

I have considered carefully all of the issues surrounding the options outlined within the Future Accommodation Study (FAS) for the relocation of the SPVA functions from Innsworth, and have decided that SPVA should retain a four site structure based at Centurion Building, Gosport, Tomlinson House, Norcross, Kentigern House, Glasgow and Building 247, Innsworth (i.e. Option One under the FAS).

While I recognise that there would be business benefits in the medium term to be gained from moving the SPVA functions currently undertaken at Innsworth, I consider that the risks associated with moving the Joint Casualty and Compassionate Centre and the MOD Medal Office at this time, given the vital role and the excellent service they provide, to outweigh these benefits. Therefore, I have decided that, on balance, those functions currently undertaken at SPVA Innsworth should remain there for the foreseeable future.