HC Deb 06 November 1989 vol 159 cc469-70W
Mr. Kirkwood

To ask the Secretary of State for Employment if he will publish in theOfficial Report details of those sections of his Department which have been relocated in the last five years, indicating the sites to which they have been moved; whether consideration is being given to future relocation of London-based sections of his Department to sites outside London; and whether the central borders of Scotland has been identified as a suitable area for any future moves.

Mr. Eggar

On 2 August 1989, I announced that 1,100 jobs from my Department's headquarters will be moved to Runcorn and Sheffield over the next two to three years. This represents another major dispersal of head office jobs in the employment department group to the north; and will mean that since 1979 over 5,000 administrative head office jobs have been relocated in the north. Previous major dispersals have been to Runcorn, to Sheffield, where the Manpower Services Commission was based and Bootle where parts of the Health and Safety Executive are now based.

When considering possible regional locations I looked at a range of factors and sites and concluded that, for operational and logistical reasons, jobs should be moved only to those locations where my Department has existing headquarters establishments.

When this stage of relocation is complete more that four out of five of my Department's administrative head office jobs will be located outside London. I am persuaded that there is unlikely to be scope for any further relocation.