HL Deb 24 July 1991 vol 531 cc53-5WA
Lord Thomas of Gwydir

asked Her Majesty's Government:

What plans they have for re-shaping the organisation of the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food to make it more effective in meeting the requirements of its customers.

Service centre location Areas covered
Bristol Avon, Dorset, Somerset, Wiltshire
Cambridge Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire, Essex, Hertfordshire, Norfolk, Suffolk
Carlisle Cumbria, Lancashire, Northumberland, Tyne and Wear
Crewe Cheshire, Merseyside, Greater Manchester, Shropshire, Staffordshire
Nottingham Derbyshire, Leicestershire, Lincolnshire, Northamptonshire, Nottinghamshire
Northal erton Cleveland, Durham, Humberside, Yorkshire (North, South and West)
Reading Berkshire, Buckinghamshire, East Sussex, Hampshire, Isle of Wight, Kent, Greater London, Oxfordshire, Surrey, West Sussex
Worcester Hereford and Worcester, Gloucestershire, Warwickshire, West Midlands

The ninth regional service centre will cover Cornwall and Devon. We have asked for further study of where this centre should be located. Meanwhile, the administrative staff will continue to be in Exeter and Truro, as at present.

It is proposed to put in place this new structure of regional service centres as from April of next year. The reorganisation of the offices will take rather longer than this, but will be put in effect as quickly as possible. Initially, all the centres will occupy existing offices, although in the case of Cambridge, the possibility of a move to a location outside the city is being considered.

In order to make sure that the needs of the regions covered by each of these new centres are properly reflected, we are intending to appoint nine regional panels of outside advisers, drawn from producers, retailers and consumers. They will continue the work done by the five larger panels we have at present, and the wider consumer representation will complement the work of the consumer panel which we set up in 1989, and our meetings with consumer groups.

2. Baroness Trumpington

The Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food provides a range of services for our customers. Our regional administrative staff handle grant and subsidy work, licensing and other services for farmers; animal health offices provide veterinary services; and ADAS makes available advice and expertise to farmers and growers.

We have been considering how best to improve the delivery of our services, particularly in the light of the decision to establish ADAS as an executive agency from 1st April 1992. As a result, we are establishing three service centre networks, each one dedicated to delivering the best possible quality of service.

MAFF Service Centres

There will be nine regional service centres, which will handle the Ministry's grant and subsidy work, licensing and various other services which are provided to farmers and growers. These centres will be located as follows:

Animal Health

We have concluded that the continuation of efficient and effective services by the state veterinary service will be best achieved by retaining the present structure of 29 animal health offices and five regional centres. They will continue in their present locations.


The Agricultural Development and Advisory Service plans to restructure the management of its main consultancy operations into 13 new business centres in England located at Bury St. Edmunds, Guildford, Huntingdon, Leeds, Lincoln, Maidstone, Newcastle, Oxford, Preston, Starcross (Devon), Taunton, Wolverhampton and Worcester. Proposals for office locations in Wales are being considered by ADAS and the Welsh Office. ADAS plans to retain its existing analytical and microbiology laboratories together with the network of experimental farms. ADAS also envisages that some consultancy staff will continue to be located in satellite offices. The precise number and location of these satellite offices is still under consideration, but most of the existing ADAS locations will still be operating when ADAS becomes an executive agency in April 1992. Initially, at least, the new business centres will be located in existing Ministry offices, but in all cases ADAS will be reviewing its office accommodation. Any changes will be publicised by ADAS.

We are confident that this new tripartite organisation will enable the regional service centres, the animal health offices and ADAS to provide the high level of cost effective and efficient service which the Ministry's customers have a right to expect from us.