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Departmental Dispersal (Glasgow)

Volume 928: debated on Monday 21 March 1977

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asked the Minister of Overseas Development (1) if, in the light of the 6,000 Ministry of Defence posts now allocated to Glasgow, the move of 1,100 Ministry of Overseas Development posts to that area is necessary, particularly in view of the reservations expressed in the Hardman Report concerning the strain on her Department if such a move were to take place;(2) if the move of 1,100 posts in her Department to the Glasgow area was made on the basis of cost alone; and if she will provide the detailed figures for the estimated cost of such a move;(3) what effect the move of 1,100 posts to Glasgow will have on the efficiency of her Department and its ability to draw up a comprehensive aid programme to assist rural development projects.

The dispersal programme announced by the Government in July 1974 has always provided for 1,000 ODM posts to be dispersed to the Glasgow area as well as 6,000 from the Ministry of Defence. They involve posts in the Overseas Manpower Division, Pensions Department, Accounts Department, and Statistics Department of ODM headquarters; and the Directorate of Overseas Surveys.I am confident that my Department will still be able to implement our aid strategy effectively, though there will inevitably be some loss of efficiency. The Government consider that this must be accepted for the sake of the benefits to the Glasgow area.The costs of the dispersal programme as a whole are being reassessed in the light of the moratorium on new building starts announced at the end of last year, and I cannot yet give the figures.