BIS plans make mockery of Northern Powerhouse ideal

Business department plans make mockery of Northern Powerhouse ideal

Civil service union Prospect has condemned Department for Business (BIS) plans to close its Sheffield office, threatening 250 jobs, as part of a five-year restructure which will shift all policy roles to its London HQ.

The BIS proposal, which was only revealed to trade unions 30 minutes before being announced to staff, will see the Sheffield office close in January 2018. BIS also stated its intention to withdraw from other sites throughout the regions, putting a further 100 jobs at risk.

Prospect negotiator Julie Flanagan said: “We hear lots of rhetoric about the importance of the regional growth agenda and the need to develop a Northern Powerhouse. Today’s announcement – and others like it – makes a mockery of the government’s stated policy. Greater centralisation of power in London will create an even bigger gulf with the regions.

“As the wording makes clear, this move is all about accommodating large reductions in headcount and nothing to do with the department’s core function of boosting business.

“No relocation expenses have been offered to staff in Sheffield, so most of them face the very real threat of redundancy. However, given the state of pay in the civil service it will be no easy task recruiting to new roles in one of the world’s most expensive cities.”

Prospect represents 30,000 specialists across the civil service.

For further information contact:

Julie Flanagan
020 7902 6616 (w)
07718 157883 (m)
[email protected]
Andrew Child
020 7902 6681 (w)
07770 304480 (m)
[email protected]