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Civil Service Jobs

Volume 461: debated on Wednesday 20 June 2007

3. What steps her Department is taking to change the geographical distribution of civil service jobs. (143853)

The Government remain committed to meeting our target of moving 20,000 posts out of London and the south-east by 2010. We have made good progress so far with more than 11,000 posts moved to all nations and regions in the UK as of December 2006.

My hon. Friend will know that Dundee in particular has recently suffered a spate of job losses, with major employers—including NCR, Tesco and the Wood Group, to name but three—announcing redundancies. In the light of that, many Dundee people hope that civil service jobs that are being relocated from London and the south-east may make their way to Dundee. What will my hon. Friend do to ensure that jobs come to Dundee as a matter of urgency to help offset the job losses that have been announced recently?

I am aware of the recent announcements of job losses in my hon. Friend’s constituency and nearby that he cited. I am also aware of the excellent job that he has done in speaking up for his constituents over the issue. He makes a strong case, and the Government will continue with the relocation process because the civil service serves the whole of the UK and it makes sense to ensure that some posts are located to parts of the country where property and other costs are lower than they may be in central London. We will continue the process from now to the end of the time scale that we have set.