The Government’s Department for Business could be moved to the Black Country, Transport to Birmingham and Culture to Manchester under a new bill presented to Parliament by Dudley MP Ian Austin.
Austin is calling for departments to move as part of his Government Departments Decentralisation Bill which would transfer up to 100,000 civil service jobs from London to the regions.
Under the plans departments would move to ‘public service hubs’ around the country where they would share space with other public sector bodies. Core civil service staff remaining in London would move to shared offices.
The moves would create 100,000 jobs and develop property in up to fifty towns and cities outside London. Taxpayers would save £10 billion from the sale of expensive London offices plus an extra £725 million annually thereafter from cheaper property and staffing costs.
Austin is calling for all parties to consider the proposals as part of the devolution deals being negotiated between the Government and regions like the West Midlands.
Ian Austin said:
“It’s no surprise that London is first in the queue for investment when every government department is based there.
“This bill is an opportunity to transform the way government works, bringing decisions closer to local people and enabling civil servants to find out what life is like in places like Dudley.
“It would save taxpayers more than £10 billion and distribute wealth more fairly too, transferring 100,000 jobs and billions of investment from the capital to the rest of the country.
“I want MPs from every party to support these plans for real devolution from London to places like the Black Country and Birmingham.”