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Civil Service Jobs

Volume 686: debated on Thursday 17 December 2020

We want to make the administration of government much less Whitehall-centric and more reflective of the country as a whole. The Government are committed to an ambition to relocate 22,000 civil service roles out of the capital and into the regions and nations of the UK by the end of this decade. Our Places for Growth programme envisages a series of hub locations, with additional aligned offices within travelling distance of those hubs, and we hope this will deliver on our levelling-up ambitions.

Does my hon. Friend agree with me that the west midlands is the perfect place to welcome a Government Department, and will she pay tribute to the Mayor of the West Midlands, Andy Street, who has been working with Cabinet Office Minister Lord Agnew to make sure that we can take advantage of the economic investment and employment opportunities that relocation would bring to the west midlands?

I thank my hon. Friend for his question. He has a fantastic record of championing employment and investment in his region from his time with the Greater Birmingham Chambers of Commerce and with the launch this month of his business forum. It is great to see him working hand in glove with the West Midlands Mayor, Andy Street, and I am very confident that, when we are ready to make the announcements on Places for Growth, the west midlands will benefit from this very exciting agenda.

Does my hon. Friend agree with me that for Government to be able to make the best decisions for local communities, civil servants and Government Departments should be based across the whole country, including in Blackpool, as this will allow the Government to truly represent the diverse nature of many of the communities across our United Kingdom? In that vein, will my hon. Friend meet me to discuss the different opportunities that relocating Government Departments can bring to Blackpool?

I thank my hon. Friend for his question. He is a fantastic champion of Blackpool, and it has been great to see icons of civic pride, such as the Tower ballroom, secure culture funds thanks to his efforts. I wholeheartedly agree with him that the Government must be better connected to the communities we serve, and that really is the thrust of the Places for Growth programme. I am happy to meet him if he wishes to set out how his town can help in that agenda.