Moving Sheffield Government jobs to London ‘will cost taxpayer £2.5m-per-year’

Sheffield Central MP Paul Blomfield
Sheffield Central MP Paul Blomfield
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Sacking hundreds of Sheffield civil servants and moving their jobs to London will cost the taxpayer an extra £2.5m per year, 
a city MP has suggested.

Speaking in Parliament, Paul Blomfield MP called for the Government to reverse its plans to shut down the Sheffield office of its Business, Innovation and Skills department in a move that is expected to cost 247 jobs in South Yorkshire.

He said the Government should consider alternatives as it consults on the proposal.

Mr Blomfield said: “The chief executive of Sheffield City Council has written to the Permanent Secretary pointing out that moving 247 jobs from Sheffield to London will add around £2.5 million to the annual operating costs of the Department and has offered to work with him to look at alternatives.

“Will the Department take up this offer before the final decision is made?”

Government minister Jo Johnson said the move is part of wider money-saving plans.

He said: “The Department is in consultation with staff, trade unions and local authorities. The savings from those changes will result in £350m across the spending review period, or 30 per cent to 40 per cent of such budgets. That important saving comes from the consolidation of 80 sites in seven centres of excellence.”

Speaking after the debate, Mr Blomfield said: “I’m sorry that the Minister wouldn’t even agree to meet with Sheffield leaders to discuss how money can be saved by keeping jobs in Sheffield. Their proposed closure makes no sense.

“It will cost more, reduce expertise, and further concentrate decision-making in London. I’ll keep pressing the Government to meet to consider how they can save money. It’s the right decision for our city, for the quality of decision-making and for public finances.”