§ 64. Mr. Ashton
asked the Secretary of State for Employment what representations he has received about the future size of the jobcentre network; and how many were in support of the Manpower Services Commission proposals.
§ Mr. Peter Morrison
The Manpower Services Commission consulted some 4,000 organisations and individuals about its proposals for the jobcentre network. Replies were received from almost 3,000 of them.
There was substantial support for the expansion of the network through the addition of 82 new jobcentres and for plans to make better and more extensive use of new technology. Many of the responses expressed concern at the extent of the proposed centralisation and of the scale of the proposed staff reductions. The revised proposals approved by the Commission in December and subsequently endorsed by the Government contain 492W changes to meet the views expressed during consultation, including a less extensive centralisation of services and a smaller manpower saving.