§ Mr. Malcolm Bruce
To ask the Secretary of State for Employment what guidelines he has issued in respect of the geographical size of the catchment area served by the Jobcentres.
§ Miss Widdecombe
Responsibility for the subject of the question has been delegated to the Employment Service Agency under its chief executive. I have asked him to arrange for a reply to be given.
Letter from M. E. G. Fogden to Mr. Malcolm Bruce, dated 1 Februry 1995:The Secretary of State has asked me to reply to your question about the guidelines he has issued in respect of the geographical size of the catchment area served by Jobcentres.There are no specific guidelines on the geographical size of catchment areas. Decisions on the location of Jobcentres and the area they serve are made primarily on the basis of how the best possible service can be provided to clients taking economic, demographic and geographic factors such as travel to work patterns into account.The network of local offices nationally was reviewed in 1990 as part of the Employment Service's (ES) integration programme, which is about merging Jobcentres and Benefit Offices into a single location of ES Jobcentres.The location of the new integrated Jobcentres and the areas they serve were decided using the factors mentioned above to provide, wherever possible a service appropriate to the local economy and labour market. Since 1990, 925 integrated Jobcentres have been created, with a further 47 planned in the current financial year.