§ Mr. Butler
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what plans he has to relocate the marine directorate of his Department away from central London.
§ Mr. Chope
It is this Government's policy to keep under review the cost and location of work carried out by Departments.
Following a review of my Department's marine directorate headquarters, we have decided that most of the directorate's posts which are currently located in offices in central London should relocate to Southampton.
The work to be relocated includes the central staff of the Surveyor-General's Organisation, the HQ administration of Her Majesty's Coastguard, and the marine pollution control unit. Approximately 260 jobs are affected. Some 20 posts dealing with ports matters will remain in central London.
The marine directorate plans to move into new offices in Southampton in May 1993. They will be equipped with all the necessary up-to-date technology to ensure that communications with the rest of the Department, both in London and round the coast, are easy and quick at all times. The move is expected to yield savings of about £19 million over 20 years.