§ Mr. Rooker
asked the Secretary of State for the Environment how many extra staff have been appointed, and at what grade, to his regional director's office in the West Midlands to handle work on economic initiatives; and if he will make a statement on the costs of these appointments and indicate how the work to be undertaken differs from that carried out by the former Economic Planning Council.
§ Mr. Heseltine
[pursuant to his reply, 4 November 1980, c. 554]: The staff of the East Midlands and the West Midlands regional offices have been reduced by some 50 posts since May 1979. This will produce a total net annual saving of around £600,000 taking account of the £36,000 annual cost of two appointments (an assistant secretary and his personal secretary) which have been made to do work—in both the East and West Midland regional office areas—involving the promotion of new initiatives such as enterprise zones and land registers. This work is entirely different from the advisory role on the regional economy exercised by the former economic planning councils for the two regions. These appointments are not extra to the reduced staff ceiling I have set but come from redeployed staff resources.