Posted: 24 February, 2016 at 10:01 am

MPs demand answers over closure of BIS office in Sheffield

MPs from across South Yorkshire today (24 February) demanded that Government ministers explain how moving hundreds of jobs from Sheffield to London will save money.

Kevin Barron MP led a Westminster Hall debate and said that nearly 250 jobs are at risk, after the Department for Business, In

novation and Skills announced it will close its Sheffield office by January 2018.

The Governme

nt says the move is intended to reduce costs and create a smaller, simpler department – but failed to provide any business case for why it chose to close Sheffield.

Kevin Barron, MP for Rother Valley said: “This whole closure process smacks of hypocrisy whilst the Government continues to talk about building a northern powerhouse.

“The Financial Times recently said that 20% of civil service jobs had been lost in the regions since 2010 as opposed to only 9% in

London, with infrastructure spending in the north standing at £539 a head and London’s at £3,386.

“I would urge the Government to publish the facts so we can properly review the decision. Workers have a right to see any evidence that moving jobs to the capital will save cash.

“Not only will this closure be devastating for South Yorkshire, it will lead to a huge loss of expertise for the department. The staff in Sheffield work closely with external organisations such as employers and education providers, visiting th

em to explain policies about funding, deregulation, further and higher education, and government

strategy on rail, as well as listening to their issues to better inform policy.”

Wentworth & Dearne MP John Healey said: “This is just a case of central government crudely cutting numbers, numbers of jobs, offices and budgets.

“At a

time when Ministers need a better understanding of economies outside London and when we need more support for new jobs and businesses outside London, this move will prove short-term and counterproductive. The Government must rethink.”