National Audit Office to look into closure of Government office in Sheffield

St Paul's Place
St Paul's Place

The National Audit Office is to look into a Government programme that includes the closure of an office in Sheffield and the relocation of jobs to London.

Auditor general Amyas Morse has told a trade union there will be a 'value for money' study into a Business Department programme which includes the closure of an office in St Paul's Place, Sheffield, where around 200 people work.

The study will include the planning, analysis and oversight of the programme, he told the Public and Commercial Services union.

A union spokesman said: "This is a very welcome development that we hope will shed some light on the plans, which we still think should be scrapped.

"Ministers and senior officials have utterly failed to make the case for Sheffield to close and for these jobs to move out of a northern powerhouse city and back to central London."

Sheffield MP and shadow civil service minister Louise Haigh said: "It is hugely welcome that ministers involved in this farcical decision will finally be held to account by the chief auditor for their fantasy claims that moving jobs to London from a cheaper base in Sheffield will save money.

"The truth is that the decision to slash northern powerhouse jobs and move them to London was based on the London-centric prejudice of ministers and senior civil servants, and that this prejudice will cost the taxpayer money as well as silence the voice of cities like Sheffield in the corridors of power."