HC Deb 04 December 1991 vol 200 cc163-4W
Mr. Harry Greenway

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how many civil service jobs have now been moved out of London; and if he will make a statement.

Mrs. Gillian Shephard

[holding answer 2 December 1991]: Between March 1988 and June 1991 Government Departments, including executive agencies, reviewed the location of some 45,200–20 per cent.—of civil service posts in London and the south-east. As a result decisions have been taken to relocate or create 30,000 civil service jobs outside the south-east—around 80 per cent. of them to assisted and urban programme areas. Some 12,000 posts had already been moved since the beginning of 1988.

These posts are being located as follows:

Region Posts
South West 5,090
West Midlands 2,150
East Midlands 4,520
North-West 5,710
Northern 2,700
Yorkshire and Humberside 3,870
East Anglia 130
Scotland 2,360
Wales 2,180
Northern Ireland 1,290
Total 30,000

Analysed by Department, the main moves away from London and the south-east are as follows:

Department No. of Posts Main destination
Inland Revenue 8,575 5,140 to Repayment offices; 1,600 to PAYE offices, both to various locations; 1,800 HQ posts to Nottingham.
Social Security 5,600 Including 2,500 to Child Support Agency offices in various locations and 650 Contributions Agency posts to Newcastle.
MOD 4,200 Various locations.
Home Office 2,085 Including 1,700 Prison service HQ posts to Derby.
Land Registry 1,900 Various locations
Customs and Excise 1,755 Liverpool and Manchester.
Employment Group 1,440 Including 615 to Runcorn and 635 to Sheffield.
DTI 1,200 Including 985 Patent Office posts to Newport.
Health 1,200 NHS Management Executive to Leeds.
MAFF 485 Including 395 to York.
Invtervention Board 350 Newcastle.
OPCS 230 Southport.
Other Departments 980 Various locations.
Total 30,000

Decisions have been taken not to move 15,200 posts. The remainder—24,000—are still under review.

This rapid progress on relocation has been achieved under the relocation guidelines announced by the then Paymaster General on 31 March 1988, at columns 610–11. Under this approach, Departments and agencies are required to review the location of their work regularly and systematically with a view to finding sites offering better value for money and increased operating efficiency. These guidelines have recently been updated. They now cover for the first time non-departmental public bodies as well as Government Departments and agencies. I am placing a copy of the revised guidelines in the House of Commons Library.