HC Deb 23 May 1978 vol 950 cc1322-3
11. Mr. Arnold Shaw

asked the Secretary of State for Defence if he will review the regulations governing the redecoration of RAF married quarters to enable airmen to exercise an option of carrying out redecorations themselves.

Mr. Wellbeloved

Airmen are already permitted to carry out limited internal redecoration on a self-help basis, for which they can borrow, free of charge, materials, brushes and other equipment from the Property Services Agency.

Internal redecoration is carried out approximately every four years by the PSA, in addition to selective redecoration on change of occupancy. At present, choice of wall colouring is limited to eight pastel shades for walls, while paintwork is a standard brilliant white.

I appreciate that some occupants might prefer a wider range of decorating options and I am arranging for the current regulations to be reviewed to see whether it is possible to introduce a more liberal policy. This review will, of course, take into account the views of both the PSA and PSA employees' representatives.

Mr. Shaw

I thank my hon. Friend for that reply, as far as it goes, but can he assure the House that when he reviews the situation there will be full freedom of choice of materials, colour schemes, and so on? Will he make certain that there are safeguards for the existing workforce?

Mr. Wellbeloved

I am deeply interested in trying to improve the quality of life in the Royal Air Force. Therefore, I take seriously the question of providing wider options for airmen to decorate their quarters. In the review that is taking place we shall take into account not only the views of the Property Services Agency but the views of the trade unionists employed by that organisation.