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Buildings: Ebbsfleet

Volume 505: debated on Tuesday 2 February 2010

To ask the hon. Member for North Devon, representing the House of Commons Commission what consideration he has given to the potential for the relocation of a Government office or executive agency to Ebbsfleet in the Kent Thameside growth area. (313432)

I have been asked to reply.

The Lyons review which reported in 2004 suggested that a Government relocation programme could generate savings over a 15-year period and demonstrated the positive impact that well planned relocations can have on local economies. In light of this the Government set a target to relocate 20,000 Civil Servants out of London and the South East by March 2011 and increased this to 24,000 at Budget 2009.

Putting the Front Line First: Smarter Government published in December 2009 went further and announced that Ian Smith would lead an independent review on relocations. The review will report in time for Budget and will outline how at least 10 per cent. of all Civil Service posts currently based in London and the South East can be relocated in the medium term.

As part of this I have asked that the review provide recommendations which deliver a step change in the transparency of Government relocations, involving both the development of a transparent long-term pipeline, and launch of a new forum to regularly bring together local areas and OGC to structure relocation propositions that deliver better value for money.