A Strong Voice for Croydon Central - Gavin Barwell MP
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Relocating civil service jobs from Westminster to Croydon
23/03/2011 15:36:00

I was shortlisted to ask another question at PMQs today and chose to make the case for relocating some government departments and agencies from Westminster to Croydon.

At the moment, the Government is occuping some of the most expensive real estate in the country in SW1. Clearly some officials need to be in Westminster but there has long been a consensus that many functions could be located elsewhere.

The previous government had a plan to move lots of civil servants to other parts of the country. The problem with that is that many people would choose not to re-locate so it would end up costing more, not less, at least in the short term.

This Government has abandoned that policy but it does want to move some civil servants to outer London and the near South East. Croydon town centre is just 15 minutes from Victoria by train and rateable values are 60% lower than in central London so it is an ideal location from the Government's perspective and from our perspective any relocations would provide a welcome boost to the local economy.

It was good to get a positive response from the Prime Minister and we will be meeting Francis Maude, the relevant Cabinet Minister, to discuss how we can take this forward in early May.

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Readers' Comments

On 26/03/2011 11:33:00 Jim wrote:
I turned on hoping to see the budget, got the time wrong and caught you batting for Croydon! Good stuff...

It will be hard to force civil servants to give up their cushy lives in SW1 in favour of Croydon. But I'm all in favour - a lot of empty offices here and costs are cheaper.

But can I suggest that we set up some barrier at the door? Only let those in that are actually do anything useful? The rest can take their chances in the private sector.

Oh and don't let them suggest a 5 year consultation about this idea....




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