To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, with reference to the oral contribution of 20 February 2017, Official Report, column 768, what the evidential basis is for his statement that the proposals for jobcentres will raise utilisation across the city of Liverpool from 66 per cent to 95 per cent; and what the current utilisation rate is of the jobcentres in (a) Wavertree and (b) Edge Hill.
The falling claimant count and the increased use of our online services in recent years mean that 20% of rent is going toward space we are not using. In response, we have sought to redesign our estate in a way that delivers value for the taxpayer while continuing to deliver vital support to our claimants. Many of our offices across Liverpool are currently underutilised, meaning that we are spending money on rent for space that is unused rather than on services and support. The proposal would see a reduction in the number of sites, from 14 Jobcentres to 10 Jobcentres resulting in a space utilisation improvement from 66% to 95%. Merging our staff and services offers the opportunity to maintain and improve the services we provide to claimants across Liverpool while offering the best value for money for the taxpayer.
With 19 front of house and 16 back of house full time equivalent staff occupying 820 m2 of space, utilisation is currently 53% at Wavertree Jobcentre.
With 82 front of house and 9 back of house full time equivalent staff occupying 2,307 m2 space, utilisation is currently 60% at Edge Hill Jobcentre.