HC Deb 22 July 1970 vol 804 cc531-2
35 and 36. Mr. Ramsden

asked the Minister for the Civil Service (1) what proposals he has for redeploying Civil Service posts in Harrogate;

(2) what will be the effect of the move of the Post Office Savings Bank to Glasgow upon the employment of civil servants in Harrogate; and if he will make a statement.

The Parliamentary Secretary to the Civil Service Department (Mr. David Howell)

The removal of the National Savings Bank to Glasgow is now expected to make surplus by 1976 some 220 established staff after allowing for normal wastage and for the placing of Bank staff with another Ministry of Defence unit moving into the town. Arrangements are also in hand for the placing of staff with other Departments in the area, and it is hoped that these measures will go a long way towards meeting the problem.

Mr. Ramsden

I thank my hon. Friend for that reply. Will he consider being more flexible than was the previous Administration in the application of development area policy over the redeployment of civil servants' work? When people enjoy living and working in a place and suitable accommodation is available, should not those factors also have consideration?

Mr. Howell

We shall certainly consider that, and I can assure my right hon. Friend that we shall look at Harrogate as sympathetically as circumstances allow. Our first task will be to place staff with other Government Departments in the neighbourhood.

Mr. Shore

I congratulate the hon. Gentleman on his appointment to a Department in which, the House knows, he has taken a special interest.

In the light of his reply, will the hon. Gentleman make clear at the outset that he intends to give full priority to development areas and other relevant considerations, such as where unemployment is a special problem, when deciding on the location of Civil Service offices?

Mr. Howell

I thank the right hon. Gentleman for his kind words. We intend to give those considerations high priority in our dispersal policy generally.