July 19, 2024


Equality opinion

Hundreds more government jobs moving to York – but city leader says relocating London jobs isn’t enough for the North

HUNDREDS of Whitehall jobs are set to move to York in the next five years.

A Cabinet Office spokesperson confirmed that 200 roles from the department are set to move to the city.

It is not yet known where the jobs will be based. The spokesman said the jobs will be an addition to 400 Cabinet Office jobs already in the city.

They said: “As part of our drive to relocate roles from London to the rest of the UK, 200 roles will be moved to and created in York over the next five years.

“Decision makers should be close to the people they serve and we want to see opportunity, jobs and investment fairly distributed across the country.”

The spokesman added that the jobs are separate to the roles based at Imphal Barracks in Fulford.

City of York Council leader Keith Aspden said he welcomed the news, but said: “Whilst this is excellent news, job relocations alone don’t constitute a northern strategy that would bring together policy and meaningful investment for the region.

“I look forward to seeing the promises made to our city, region and the north, to level up, being delivered.”

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He added: “As we await details, including future announcements of civil service jobs, we continue to liaise with Government officials and work with regional and national partners to secure the opportunity to create more higher paid and skilled jobs in the city.

“York is rightly recognised as one of the best places to live and visit in the UK and is renowned for its diverse culture and rich heritage.

“The quality of the York Central site is amongst the best in the north of England, with excellent transport links connecting us to the rest of the UK.”

The 200 Cabinet Office jobs are unlikely to be based at the York Central site, however, as work has only just begun on clearing vegetation at the teardrop site. The development is not set to be complete for 15 years.

On Monday Government announced plans to move more than 1,000 civil service jobs to Scotland and establish a second Cabinet Office headquarters in Glasgow.

As part of the announcement, Cabinet Office permanent secretary Alex Chisholm said: “With the Cabinet Office establishing our second headquarters outside of London, we are opening up opportunities for our existing staff to develop their careers, while also drawing on a new and diverse talent pool.

“This is why it’s great news that the Cabinet Office will now be operating out of Glasgow as our second headquarters, as well as in York and other locations across the UK.”

In January 2020 plans to move the House of Lords to York were suggested, with former Conservative Party chair James Cleverly MP confirming the move was being considered.

But the plans were axed in August by the Restoration and Renewal Sponsor Body, the organisation looking at the project of repairs to the House of Lords..

After decades of negotiations, work began on the York Central development in January.

Initial clearance works includes creating a site compound and temporary road, clearing vegetation from the land and removing three disused buildings.