Government departments and thousands of civil servants could be moved to the Black Country, Birmingham and Coventry under a new bill presented to Parliament by Dudley MP Ian Austin today.
Austin’s bill calls for thousands of officials working for the Home Office, the Department for Business or Department for Transport to be moved to the West Midlands so that “London-based civil servants can find out what life is like in places like the Black Country, Birmingham and Coventry”.
The Dudley MP says government departments and 100,000 civil servants should be moved out of London to the regions. He says it would modernise the civil service, help regenerate 50 towns and cities around the UK, save £10 billion initially and £725 million each year afterwards from running costs and improve policy making because officials would see the impact of their decisions on the ground.
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 the Midlands.
“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, Birmingham and Coventry.”