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Social Fund: Manpower

Volume 487: debated on Wednesday 28 January 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions (1) at which locations Social Fund staff work; and how many such staff work at each location; (241447)

(2) how many staff have worked on the Social Fund in each month in each of the last five years.

The administration of Jobcentre Plus is a matter for the acting chief executive of Jobcentre Plus, Mel Groves. I have asked him to provide the hon. Member with the information requested.

Letter from Mel Groves:

The Secretary of State for Work and Pensions has asked me to reply to your questions asking at which locations Social Fund staff work and how many such staff work at each location and how many staff have worked on the Social Fund in each month in each of the last five years. This is something which falls within the responsibilities delegated to me as Acting Chief Executive of Jobcentre Plus.

The following tables attached at Annex 1 provide the average number of staff working on Social Fund from April 2008 to September 2008, the mid point of the 2008/09 operational year for each Benefit Delivery Centre and Contact Centre.

Historically it is difficult to make a robust estimate of the number of staff working on Social Fund alone. Although Social Fund activity was recorded on our Activity Based Modelling System, we know that for many of these staff Social Fund was only part of their work. Following centralisation of benefit processing, which began in April 2006 and was completed in March 2008, we can be more confident that our data represents people working full time on Social Fund.

Overall our data shows staff working on Social Fund for 2003/04 around 3,400; 2004/05 around 3,200; 2005/06 around 3,200; 2006/07 around 3,300 and 2007/08 around 3,600.

Annex 1: Social fund processing locations and average staff numbers between April 2008 and September 2008

Benefit Delivery Centre1

Average staff number (FTE)

Balham and Ilford

382

Basildon

66

Belle Vale

227

Bradford

62

Bristol

153

Chesterfield

73

Chorlton

221

Inverness

121

Llanelli

59

Milton Keynes

178

Newcastle

67

Newport

123

Norwich

99

Nottingham

78

Perry Barr

252

Sheffield

174

Springburn

276

Stockton

73

Sunderland

89

Total

2,773

Contact Centre location2

Average staff number (FTE)

Annesley

85

Middlesbrough

165

Lowestoft

95

Caerphilly

73

Dundee

117

Taunton

90

Halifax

115

Marton Mere

40

Lincoln

25

Pembroke Dock

40

Total

845

Sources:

1 Jobcentre Plus ABM systems.

2 Contact Centre Directorate.