§ Dr. Gibson
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence (1) what progress has been made in re-siting the Meteorological Office; 
(2) if he will review the decision to re-site the Meteorological Off ice. 
§ Dr. Moonie
This is a matter for the Chief Executive of the Meteorological Office. I have asked the Chief Executive to write to my hon. Friend.
Letter from Peter Ewins to Dr. Ian Gibson, dated 3 April 2001:I am replying to your questions to the Secretary of State for Defence about the relocation of the Met Office. This matter falls within my area of responsibility as Chief Executive of the Met Office.The Under Secretary of State for Defence, Dr Lewis Moonie, announced in the House on 9 November (Official Report, column 326W) that the Met Office has chosen Exeter as its preferred site for relocation. Detailed tenders were submitted at the end of the February by the two consortia seeking to provide the new accommodation. These tenders are now being evaluated with a view to selecting a preferred bidder and further negotiations leading to contract signature by July 2001.Our existing accommodation in Bracknell is not suitable for a modern, IT based organisation. It places weather forecasting services at unacceptable risk and is increasingly costly to maintain. A new site with purpose build accommodation is the best way of meeting our long-term needs and those of our customers. Defence Ministers scrutinised the choice of site closely and are satisfied that both the financial and non-financial arguments are substantially in favour of Exeter and that this is the best location for the Met Office to build a secure and successful future. Since the choice was made, the arguments in favour of Exeter have, if anything, increased and there are therefore no plans to review the decision.