We have made good progress. The Education and Lifelong Learning Department is now wholly located in Glasgow, the Food Standards Agency has been set up in Aberdeen and the Public Guardian’s Office has been set up in Falkirk. Following my announcement of 1 December last year on the forward programme, the First Minister announced on 6 March that the National Office of the Scottish Commission for the Regulation of Care and the offices of the Scottish Social Services Council will be located in Dundee. The commission’s regional office for the area will also be located in the Dundee HQ. Locations under consideration for the other five regional offices are Inverness, Aberdeen, Paisley, Hamilton/East Kilbride and East Lothian. I announced on 17 July that the Scottish Public Pensions Agency will be located in the Galashiels area.
In line with my statement of 1 December last year, the following organisations are in the programme of relocation reviews - the Health Education Board for Scotland, the Common Services Agency of the National Health Service in Scotland, sportscotland and the Scottish Arts Council and Registers of Scotland.
Rolling the relocation programme forward, I can announce today that we will examine relocation options for Scottish Natural Heritage which has a forthcoming lease break in a property in Edinburgh. A decision on this will be made by mid 2002.
These organisations will be examined on a case-by-case basis, with the aim of finding the best location for each organisation, within the context of the relocation policy. The position of staff will be a consideration, as will the costs and benefits of moves. As part of the process, the organisations concerned will continue to consider how most efficiently to conduct their work in line with the most up to date practices and use of technology. There will be opportunities for representations to be made about different locations and full consultation with the organisations concerned and with the relevant trade unions.
We have also been examining where to locate the headquarters of the new body, Scottish Water, in the light of our relocation policy. We expect to take a decision on this shortly.