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Insolvency: Northern Region

Business, Innovation and Skills written question – answered on 14th December 2011.

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Photo of Diana R. Johnson Diana R. Johnson Shadow Minister (Home Affairs)

To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills, pursuant to the answer of 24 October 2011, Official Report, columns 95-96W, on insolvency, how many staff at each grade are employed in each of the northern offices of the Insolvency Service; and how many will be employed in each such office following implementation of the delivery strategy.

Photo of Edward Davey Edward Davey The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills

The Insolvency Service’s delivery strategy aims to restructure the organisation to make it more able to respond flexibly to future volatility in the case numbers that it deals with. This will change the current regional structure.

The offices in the existing north region currently have the following staffing complements broken down by grade.

D3 D2 C2 C1 L3 L2 L1 B3 B2 B1 A2 A1 Total
Newcastle 0 1 4 0 7 5 3 0 1 3 10 5 40
Stockton 0 0 2 0 7 4 4 0 2 4 13 3 39
Leeds 0 2 5 1 15 5 12 0 3 9 22 4 78
Blackpool 0 1 4 0 9 4 10 0 1 3 15 6 53
Manchester 3 6 24 6 27 9 7 0 6 3 32 4 127
Liverpool 0 0 3 1 3 4 2 1 0 2 7 7 30
Chester 0 0 2 0 5 2 7 0 2 3 10 3 34
Stoke 0 1 4 0 5 2 4 0 2 5 25 1 49
Hull 0 0 3 0 9 2 9 0 1 4 16 7 51

Staffing levels are not intended to change in the short term or as a direct result of the implementation of the delivery strategy. It is being implemented in a virtual, i.e. non-physical, way, until at least 2014. The process by which the Insolvency Service moves to physical implementation of the delivery strategy, beyond 2014, is still being discussed and will form part of future consultations with staff.

A possible exception to this is the Stockton office as the Insolvency Service has announced its intention to issue a public consultation on the closure of this office in 2013, subject to funding being secured. There may be further, as yet unidentified, office closures/mergers in the northern offices as the Insolvency Service has indicated that, in the longer term, it anticipates reducing its total number of locations to around 25, some 10 fewer than now.

The number of staff required in each office, in respect of the Official Receivers Services, part of the Insolvency Service, is a factor of how many cases the Insolvency Service receives. The number of new cases has been declining, and is expected to decline further, and staffing complements are likely to be adjusted if this trend continues, including in the northern offices. This is a separate issue from the delivery strategy, whose purpose is to deliver a new and more flexible operating model for the Insolvency Service.

Accordingly, subject to these complementing issues, while at specific northern locations the staffing numbers may change and some locations may close, it is intended that, under the delivery strategy, the overall staffing levels across the northern offices would remain consistent.

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