§ Mr. Trotter
To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food if he will make a statement on the location of the work of the Intervention Board.
§ Mr. Gummer
Ministers have approved in principle the Intervention Board's proposal that a third of the agency's functions, consisting of its external trade work and administrative support, should be relocated in Newcastle, in order to relieve its staff shortages in Reading. About 350 posts will be transferred. In deciding upon Newcastle, where the agency already has facilities, Ministers and the agency were satisfied that there are good recruitment and career prospects, and that satisfactory office accommodation, housing, communications and other facilities are available. Subject to the necessary resources being available, the transfer of work will begin as soon as accommodation can be obtained and be made ready and essential data links installed. After a suitable period at this new site, the agency's experience there will be reviewed and a further report made to Ministers.