HC Deb 17 October 1994 vol 248 cc14-5
22. Mr. Ian Bruce

To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster what plans he has to introduce further civil service contractorisation or next steps agencies in Dorset.

Mr. Robert G. Hughes

Departments and agencies in Dorset, as in all parts of the country, keep all their activities under review to improve the quality and efficiency of the provision of public services.

Mr. Bruce

I thank my hon. Friend for that reply. Will he assure the House today, as the Minister responsible for the civil service, that he will ensure that the civil servants who are currently working for the atomic energy authority at Winfrith in my constituency, who were first told that the authority was to be privatised in one way and have now been told a second way, are properly consulted and that the best way comes forward for either privatisation or contractorisation, which will preserve their jobs for the future?

Mr. Hughes

What the people working in Winfrith can be sure of is that they will receive the normal, steadfast support of their Member of Parliament, my hon. Friend the Member for South Dorset (Mr. Bruce). We know in Government that he will be absolutely rigorous in ensuring that we keep up to the standards that he expects. We are committed to frank and timely communication and consultation with the staff. I know that my hon. Friend will keep us up to the mark.

Mr. Campbell-Savours

Is the Minister aware that the Labour party now regards South Dorset as a marginal constituency? Is he aware of the deep concern being expressed by people throughout South Dorset, especially in the industrial part of that constituency, about the effects of contractorisation, privatisation and market testing on their home and family lives? Does he realise that many families are being destroyed by the insecurity that the Government are bringing to many people in South Dorset?

Mr. Hughes

I am aware of two things. After listening to the Labour party conference, I believe that the Labour party probably thinks that water can run uphill. Secondly, I am aware that the Labour party does not care at all about the quality of delivery of public service. It does not care what it costs, it does not care about the quality of it and it does not care whether people get the services that they want. My hon. Friend the Member for South Dorset does care. If Labour Members believe that they are going to win South Dorset, I look forward to seeing it.