Press Releases

HISTORIC PRESS RELEASE : Lyons Review interim report: More than 20,000 public sector jobs could be relocated from London and the south east [September 2003]

The press release issued by HM Treasury on 9 September 2003.

The interim report of the Independent Review of Public Sector Relocation published today by Sir Michael Lyons said that it should be possible to relocate 20,000 or more public sector jobs out of London and the South East.

Potential benefits of public sector relocation include:

cost savings to Departments through improved recruitment and retention and lower labour and accommodation costs;
better service delivery to customers: and improved quality of life to employees due to lower house prices and commute times which are often half those of staff based in central London.

Sir Michael has also recommended that government departments should consult the Treasury on proposals to renew or take on new property leases in London and the South East. This is a practical common sense step intended to prevent actions taken now from influencing the final outcomes of Sir Michael’s review. The Chancellor has accepted this recommendation.

Sir Michael Lyons said:

“I am conscious I have set departments a demanding task in developing relocation proposals. I hope they will think hard both about the costs of operating in London and the South East, and the broader benefits of relocation discussed in my interim report. I have already seen some exciting proposals and am sure that others can come up with creative and robust proposals in response to my Review.”

Welcoming Sir Michael’s interim report, Chancellor Gordon Brown said:

“I am grateful to Sir Michael for his interim report into the scope for relocating public service activities away from London and the South East. I will study his report with particular interest and the final report due later this year. I am convinced that further decentralisation of public sector activities can lead to improved service delivery as well as provide a good deal for the taxpayer. Following Sir Michael’s review, I would expect relocation will more and more be employed for the efficient and effective management of the public sector.”

The Deputy Prime Minister, John Prescott, also commented:

“I will carefully study Sir Michael’s interim report and look forward to seeing the final report in November. Sir Michael’s review provides a good opportunity for departments to consider the regional balance of their activities across the United Kingdom while, at the same time, continuing to improve the quality and effectiveness of services to the public.”