HC Deb 09 March 1970 vol 797 cc904-5
25. Mr. Milne

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services what arrangements have been made in regard to the siting of a central office of the Ministry of Health and Social Security covering the areas of Blyth, Bedlington and Seaton Valley; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. O'Malley

Arrangements are being made for the whole range of the Department's Social Security work in the Blyth, Bedlington and Seaton Valley areas to be administered from one office in Blyth. This office, which will occupy a central site in the town, will be shared with the Department of Employment and Productivity and should be ready for occupation towards the end of 1970 or early in 1971. Offices for personal inquiries will be maintained in Bedlington and Seaton Delaval.

Mr. Milne

Is my hon. Friend aware that we are grateful to him for this reply and to his regional and local offices for the way in which this work has been carried out in relation to the change? Will he ensure, as he has already done to some extent, that the review period will be used for examining the new position in Seaton?

Mr. O'Malley

I am grateful to my hon. Friend for his earlier remarks. On the latter part of his question, I have assured a delegation from Bedlington and Seaton Valley that if the new arrangements should be unsatisfactory I will be willing to listen to them again. Certainly we shall keep the situation in the area under continuous review.