§ Mr. Geraint Howells
asked the Secretary of State for Industry how many people are employed at the industry regional development grants office in Cardiff; what are their responsibilities; and if he will make a statement.
§ Mr. MacGregor
On 1 June 1982, 97 persons were employed by the Department at the regional development10W grants office, Cardiff. Their responsibilities comprise all aspects of administration of the RDG scheme for premises located in the development and special development areas of Wales and the South-West region of England, including payment of grant, inspection of qualifying premises and, where appropriate, grant recovery.
The effect of the policy changes announced by my right hon. Friend the then Secretary of State for Industry in July 1979 and of simplification in procedures introduced following a review in consultation with Sir Derek Rayner will continue to reduce numbers of staff employed in administering the RDG scheme.
In the past year the arrears of work at the Cardiff RDGO have substantially decreased, and the number of weeks work in hand has declined to five weeks from 13–14 weeks.