The UK Government has announced plans to relocated between 20,000 and 30,000 civil service jobs away from London as part of a strategy to save £3 billion of public money a year.
Almost a third of government employees are currently based in London and the South East.
The plans, announced by Chancellor Gordon Brown, include selling off buildings and cutting rental costs in the capital. Policy staff will be expected to travel into London or use the phone or video conferences instead of meeting ministers face-to-face.
Three separate Treasury reviews have revealed duplication, waste and red tape in government offices. Departments were found to carry out their own back office functions such as finance, personnel and computer work. The Treasury wants these departments to pool their resources, thereby saving money for frontline services.
A quarter of the government’s 52 London call centres are also expected to be relocated (although we presume that this will not mean them moving to India!)
The giant Department of Trade and Industry, which employs 7,600 staff in London, will be in the forefront of the relocation.