asked the Minister for the Civil Service what steps are being taken to redress the imbalance in the number of civil servants of central Government Departments employed in the various economic regions of England outside the South-East.
As my hon. Friend knows, we announced last year an intensive programme for the relocation of Civil Service work away from the South-East involving some 31,000 posts, nearly 90 per cent. of which will be located in the assisted areas. It is our policy to continue to look for opportunities to disperse Government work from London and the South-East and to set up any new work in other regions whenever possible.
I welcome the action taken to situate the Manpower Services Commission in Sheffield, but is the Minister aware that the number of nonindustrial civil servants in Yorkshire and Humberside is 23,000 compared with 33.000 in the Northern Region, 44,000 in the South-West and 47,000 in the North-West? Will he bear this in mind when considering future redeployment programmes?
I shall do that and take particular note of the statistics.