§ Sir David Price
asked the Secretary of State for Social Services (1) what are the criteria of geography, population, and communication which determine his deployment of local offices of his Department round the country;
(2) what criteria a borough or district council area has to satisfy in order to obtain its own local office of his Department.
§ Mr. Newton
The main criterion for the deployment of the Department's local offices is to provide the best possible service to the public while at the same time exercising proper economy in administration.
The provision of a local office is not linked to a borough or district council area. However, in determining local office boundaries account is taken of the following criteria; these are not listed in any particular order:
- (i) Accessibility of offices to the public.
- (ii) Organisation of the work in the most economical way.
- (iii) The need for liaison and co-operation with local authorities. As a general rule local office boundaries should not cross those of social service departments and should coincide as far as possible with those of housing departments.
- (iv) Liaison and co-operation with unemployment benefit offices.
- (v) Ease of identification of the local office covering a given address.