HC Deb 21 January 2003 vol 398 cc267-8W
Mr. Chope

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions (1) what consultations have been carried out on the proposal to withdraw Social Fund services from the Ringwood Jobcentre; and what alternative arrangements are proposed for those living in Three Legged Cross and Kenwood. [90721]

(2) what enhanced services will be provided at Ringwood Jobcentre when Jobcentre Plus is introduced. [90754]

Malcolm Wicks

We are progressively extending the new integrated Jobcentre Plus office network across the country over the next four years. These offices are delivering a single, integrated service to people of working age claiming benefits, with a clear focus on work. They provide an active and responsive service to help people find jobs, and give advice on the full range of help and support available to them.

Full details of the services available in these new offices are described in the Jobcentre Plus Business Plan 2002–03, a copy of which is available in the Library.

Plans are currently being drawn up to roll out the new integrated Jobcentre Plus service in Hampshire District, which includes Ringwood Jobcentre. The future provision of Social Fund services in the District forms part of the plans. Partners and stakeholders were consulted about these plans in June and September 2002. Their comments are being taken into consideration in reaching final decisions, which will be announced in due course.