HC Deb 16 September 2003 vol 410 c666W
Mr. Edwards

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department which police forces in England and Wales contract work to the Forensic Science Laboratory in Chepstow; how many staff are employed at the Forensic Science Laboratory in Chepstow; and what representations he has received in response to his statement of 17 July regarding the future of the Forensic Science Service from(a) trade unions, (b) police forces and (c) other bodies. [129337]

Ms Blears

Chepstow Forensic Science Laboratory provides services to the police forces in its region, which are Avon and Somerset; Devon and Cornwall; Dorset; Dyfed Powys; Gloucestershire; Gwent; Hampshire; South Wales; Thames Valley and Wiltshire.

These services are based on Service Level Agreements and not legally binding contracts. Some forces in the area (Dorset for example) use services supplied by other forensic providers; these may be managed through legally binding contracts.

There are currently 226 individuals employed at Chepstow Forensic Science Laboratory.

Representations in response to my right hon. Friend the Home Secretary's statement of 17 July about the future of the Forensic Science Service have been received from two trade unions Prospect and PCS, and from Brendan Barber, General Secretary of the TUC.