HC Deb 26 February 2002 vol 380 cc1132-4W
Chris Grayling

To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry (1) what representations she has received on the planned closure of the Bradmere house factory in Leatherhead by the Queen Elizabeth's Foundation; [30032]

(2) if she will make a statement on the reasons for the changes in Government funding for the Queen Elizabeth's Foundation. [30033]

Maria Eagle

I have been asked to reply.

We have been in contact with representatives of the Queen Elizabeth's Foundation and have asked to be kept informed of the progress of the consultation they are conducting regarding the future of the Bradmere house factory. We intend to work with the Foundation to consider all the options for securing the future employment of the disabled people who work at the factory.

The funding arrangements for residential training contracts changed from advance to arrears payments in April 2000. This change was made to bring the funding arrangements in line with Government accounting procedures, which require all activities funded through contracts to be paid in arrears. The system for the arrears payment is much simpler and providers were expected to be able save on administration costs.

All residential training providers were informed of this change in writing in January 2000 and arrangements were made for advance payments to be reconciled by June 2000. The introduction of the change was staggered through the first quarter of the financial year 2000–01 to ease any short-term difficulties.