Government Hubs: Civil Service Efficiency

Oral Answers to Questions — Cabinet Office – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 14th November 2018.

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Photo of Johnny Mercer Johnny Mercer Conservative, Plymouth, Moor View 12:00 am, 14th November 2018

What assessment he has made of the potential effect of Government hubs on levels of efficiency in the civil service.

Photo of Oliver Dowden Oliver Dowden The Parliamentary Secretary, Cabinet Office

The hubs programme saves money and creates a better place to work by bringing together Government activity on to single sites. We make extensive use of shared spaces, smarter working and workplace design. This encourages productivity as well as reducing vacant space. Indeed, in total, the programme is saving £2.5 billion over 20 years.

Photo of Johnny Mercer Johnny Mercer Conservative, Plymouth, Moor View

The Minister knows what a capable and deeply talented Minister he is, and there are plenty of people like him in Plymouth, Moor View. Does he agree that Plymouth would be an ideal place for one of these Government hubs?

Photo of Oliver Dowden Oliver Dowden The Parliamentary Secretary, Cabinet Office

Flattery will get my hon. Friend everywhere, and may I repay it by saying that I know what a powerful advocate he is for the city of Plymouth? He once again makes his case exceptionally well. While further hub locations cannot be confirmed until commercial negotiations have concluded and Departments have informed staff, future locations are under active consideration.

Photo of Luke Pollard Luke Pollard Labour/Co-operative, Plymouth, Sutton and Devonport

There is cross-party support for moving Government hubs to Plymouth. What support can the Minister give to local authorities such as Plymouth City Council, which is working to create the buildings and land for these Government hubs to move into?

Photo of Oliver Dowden Oliver Dowden The Parliamentary Secretary, Cabinet Office

The hon. Gentleman rightly highlights the Government’s One Public Estate programme, and the example he cites in Plymouth is just one of many. Overall we expect to release land for 25,000 new homes and create 44,000 jobs by 2020.