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Crown Prosecution Service Employees (York)

Volume 545: debated on Tuesday 22 May 2012

5. How many employees the Crown Prosecution Service has at (a) Athena house, York and (b) other locations in York. (108454)

Has the CPS consulted North Yorkshire police and the courts in York and Selby on the impact of moving staff from Athena house on administrative costs for those two bodies? If the staff have to be moved from Athena house, would not it be practical to relocate them to the offices in central York where the other York-based CPS staff are based?

Yes. As the hon. Gentleman might be aware, a consultation is taking place. An informal consultation procedure has now ended and a formal consultation procedure on any final decision on Athena house will follow. The argument for relocating a large part of the casework units to Leeds, in my judgment, cannot be argued against because, with the reduction in numbers resulting from the savings that have to be made, maintaining critical mass and having a regional hub makes sense, but I would like to reassure him that the need to maintain a presence in York is also accepted, because of its importance as the headquarters of North Yorkshire.

Order. If the hon. Lady’s intended supplementary question refers to York, it will be in order. If it does not, it will not.

Staffing numbers are a huge concern in the CPS. Will the Solicitor-General meet me to discuss what impact that might have had on the case of Mrs Swarnapali Timmann, who is concerned—

And it may not. The hon. Lady has got her point on the record, but it requires no answer. [Laughter.] I am glad that the House is in such a good mood.