§ Mr. Cormack
asked the Secretary of State for Transport whether he has taken any decisions on the reorganisation of his Department's offices and work in the Midlands; if he will list the specific options being considered for the reorganisation; what are the anticipated annual costs arising from the adoption of each option; and what steps he is taking to ensure that all the road planning staff in his Department in the Midlands work alongside the regional planning staff of the Department of the Environment in the same offices.
§ Mr. Kenneth Clarke
Following a review of the joint DOE/DTp regional offices by a study team under the direction of Sir Derek Rayner, my right hon. Friends the Secretaries of State for Transport and the Environment announced on 17 December 1980 that regional directors would assume responsibility for the work of road construction unit headquarters with effect from October 1981. Action plans to implement that merger are now being worked out, and these will examine the practicalities of locating together the staff of the two Departments. If it is practicable, co-location should facilitate the close working relationships which are needed between those responsible for roads and the land-use planners in the DOE regional offices.