Short-term costs will be incurred in closing any office, but they need to be set not only against the specific estate savings from that closure but also the long-term efficiency savings arising from the overall reorganisation of HMRC’s business, which cannot be apportioned to any specific office.
The Bath office was included in a review of offices in the Bristol urban centre. One of its conclusions was that business needs were best met by relocating teams from Bath, with the exception of the Enquiry Centre staff, to Bristol. The Enquiry Centre will remain in its present location or nearby.
Staff will wherever possible move with their work but the process to establish how many staff can reasonably be expected to travel to Bristol is still under way, and staff moves will not be completed until autumn 2008. The detailed breakdown of costs requested is therefore not yet available.
An impact assessment of HMRC’s plans to vacate Royal Mead, Bath is available at: http://www.hmrc.gov.uk/better-regulation/regional-reviews.htm. An Equality Screen of the plans, shown at Appendix A, concluded that a full equality impact assessment is not necessary at this stage as mitigating action can be provided for the potential and known impacts identified.
The impact on customers is expected to be minimal as Enquiry Centre services will continue to be provided in Royal Mead or nearby.