§ 6. Mr. Swingler
asked the Secretary of State for Air how many men are being made redundant at Stoke Heath Royal Air Force Station; what steps are being taken to offer them alternative employment; and if, in the matter of redundancy, he will treat Stoke Heath and Ternhill stations as a unit.
One hundred and twenty-four civilians were employed at Stoke Heath. Established staff are being transferred to vacant posts as near as possible to their homes. Wherever possible we have also offered other employment to unestablished staff. Of the 44 who are being discharged as redundant, most were offered employment at Sealand. Stoke Heath and Ternhill have been dealt with separately as regards redundancy in the past and in fairness to the staff at Ternhill we could not now insist on treating them as a unit.
§ Mr. Swingler
May I ask the Secretary of State what consultation there has been with the trade union in this matter? Is he aware that some of the draftsmen involved have worked on an interchangeable basis between Stoke Heath and Ternhill stations? As men have been taken on quite recently at Ternhill and some men with long service have been made redundant at Stoke Heath, should not this point be considered, and will the right hon. Gentleman consult the trade unions about it?
If we are to be fair we must be consistent. We could not suddenly insist that Ternhill should be treated as an extension of Stoke Heath just when the transfer of the maintenance unit from Stoke Heath had caused redundancies.