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Departmental Buildings

Volume 477: debated on Friday 13 June 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions (1) what plans his Department has for its services at Sunley House, Aylesbury; (208574)

(2) how many staff are employed in each of his Department's offices in Aylesbury; whether he plans to change those staff numbers; and if he will make a statement.

The administration of Jobcentre Plus is a matter for the chief executive of Jobcentre Plus, Lesley Strathie. I have asked her to provide the hon. Member with the information requested.

The Secretary of State has asked Lesley Strathie to reply to your questions asking what plans his Department has for its services at Sunley House, Aylesbury and how many staff are employed in each of his Department's offices in Aylesbury; whether he plans to make changes to those staff numbers; and if he will make a statement. I am replying on behalf of Ms Strathie in her absence as Acting Chief Executive.

The Department currently has two offices in Aylesbury. The Jobcentre Plus office in Heron House provides customer facing Jobcentre services to local people. A total of 35 staff are employed at this site.

A second Jobcentre Plus office in Sunley House provides Social Fund services to customers across the South East by telephone or by post. A total of 63 staff are employed there; 41 of these are permanent staff and 22 are employed on either casual or fixed term contracts which are due to end in December 2008.

We have now acquired sufficient space to house the Sunley House operations in Bowback House, Milton Keynes. We plan to move Social Fund work from Sunley House to Milton Keynes Benefit Delivery Centre by 31 March 2009.

All Social Fund staff in Sunley House will be given the opportunity to redeploy to Milton Keynes Benefit Delivery Centre and will be given advice and support to help them decide whether this is what they wish to do, including the option of trying out working in Milton Keynes on a temporary detached duty basis. A number of staff have already successfully transferred to Milton Keynes. Staff will also be able to apply for other DWP vacancies at Aylesbury Jobcentre.