§ Mr. Churchill
To ask the Secretary of State for Social Services how many employees within his Department are currently employed in London and the south-east of England; what percentage of these are engaged in work which can only readily be done within this area; and what consideration he has given to the relocation of units within his Department to Manchester and other regional centres.
§ Mr. Moore
On 1 June there were approximately 99,000 staff in post in my Department, of whom 29,000 (including 22,000 in the regional social security organisation) were located in London and the south-east. I have accepted in principle that relocating some work would provide a better way for my Department to conduct its business by improving efficiency and by providing a better service to the public.
Detailed work is going forward urgently to identify those functions in both headquarters and some local offices which could be relocated. I shall consider all alternative locations which will enable my Department to improve efficiency.