Fresh call for U-turn on plans to take Sheffield jobs to London

Fresh calls have been made for the Government to reverse plans to axe business department jobs in Sheffield and move the work to London.

Monday, 29th August 2016, 5:00 am
Trade unions protest march through Sheffield at plans to axe 250 jobs and move the work to London

Sheffield Chamber of Commerce has written to new Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy minister Greg Clark calling for the plan to be reversed.

It comes after a partial U-turn on the axing of almost 250 jobs in Sheffield was announced with those involved in higher and further education roles in the business department’s Sheffield office being told they would be offered new posts in the city.

Chris Burn

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It had previously been announced the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills was shutting its Sheffield office and moving the work to London in a cost-cutting move.

But the ‘departmental reshuffle’ is due to save around 100 Sheffield jobs.

The Public and Commercial Services Union says 87 other workers are taking redundancy, with around 70 still at risk.

Sheffield Chamber of Commerce president Jillian Thomas told Mr Clark the policy of moving jobs to London should now be reversed – while bringing further Government jobs to Sheffield should be seriously considered as part of the Northern Powerhouse strategy.

Chris Burn

She said: “We would call the conclusion to move the BIS department from Sheffield to London is stopped immediately, and the decision reversed.

“We fail to understand the logic of such a policy in centralising the teams in this way. In the debate in the House of Commons, Paul Blomfield MP eloquently spoke, clearly identifying that this had not been, nor was there a case for this to go ahead on a cost-saving basis.

“This policy is not logical and is symbolically contradictory, in the face of support for the Northern Powerhouse and devolution. I would like to echo Mr Blomfield’s call to create a new department – notably with ‘Industrial Strategy’ in its title and for this department to be located in Sheffield.”