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Departmental Civil Servants: Coventry

Volume 611: debated on Monday 6 June 2016

10. If he will take steps to increase the number of civil servants of his Department based in Coventry. (905272)

There are currently no plans for the Department to open new government offices in Coventry, but we welcome the significant economic growth the city has enjoyed and we welcome the £89.4 million investment that the Warwickshire and Coventry growth deal is delivering for the local economy. We want Coventry—in particular, its private sector—to continue to grow. The contribution of businesses in Coventry is quite incredible. I welcome the hon. Gentleman’s question in focusing attention on the good work that has been done.

I thank the Minister for that answer, but surely he agrees that in having elected mayors for the regions it should follow that the civil servants are dispersed to areas like Coventry? Friargate would be a good site.

I welcome the hon. Gentleman’s enthusiasm, but at present there is no intention to relocate existing offices of this Department to Coventry. In April 2010, 3,382 people were claiming jobseeker’s allowance in Coventry. We welcome the fact that, thanks to the Government’s long-term economic plan, that number has fallen to 1,284. We want that trend to continue. The hon. Gentleman is quite right: as we devolve power to local areas, giving more responsibility to local economies and the people in them, we would like rebalancing to take place.