Cuts inflict agency rejig

A halving of the Homes and Communities Agency (HCA)'s £80 million annual running costs will see its regional units cut from ten to five.

Chief executive Pat Ritchie announced that the new regions will cover the North East and Yorkshire, North West, Midlands, East and South East and South West. The boundaries may not follow current regions. For example, Milton Keynes will be assigned to the Midlands.

The HCA's work in London will be taken over by the capital's mayor, but it will gain social housing regulation from the doomed Tenant Services Authority.

The current 12 HCA director posts will be cut to six and the network of offices from 17 to four. Some staff will be billeted in other government offices.

"We have created a top structure that will provide effective leadership and engagement with local partners while saving money," Ritchie said.

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