Move UK Government civil servants out of London and the south-east
Last updated: 03:15pm 8 December 2019
Conservative Party Manifesto 2017, p.34
Starting with the UK Government’s arm’s-length bodies, we will start moving significant numbers of UK Government civil servants and other public servants out of London and the south-east to cities around the UK.
According to the Office for National Statistics (ONS), in 2017 the government employed 419,399 civil servants. The region with the highest proportion is London, which accounted for 18.6% of the total. The lowest was the East Midlands (excluding Northern Ireland and overseas) with 4.6% of civil service employees. In line with plans to boost regional and devolved development, this policy promised to move significant numbers of civil servants out of London to cities around the UK.
In July 2018, the Government Estate Strategy was published, setting out plans to relocate thousands of civil servants in new buildings across the country throughout 2020. The document reaffirms commitment to this policy objective, aiming to move 1,000 posts out of London by 2022, with more to follow.
The government has laid out plans to move “thousands” of civil servants out of London. However, according to the latest ONS estimates, in June 2019 the proportion of civil servants in London reached 20%, with smaller shifts in all other regions excluding the East of England. The plan to reduce the proportion based in London has not yet begun to bear fruit. As a result, this policy is ‘in progress’.
- Public sector personnel statistics – Office for National Statistics
- Location of the civil service – Institute for Government
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