Gove plans to move large chunks of the government out of London

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Quady
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#41
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#41
(Original post by Gundabad(good))
I can tell that you want to undermine the importance of London. Let's get one thing straight: Coastal villages represent little importance in the grand scheme of things.
I was quite happy to be flown down to London to get my midweek accommodation paid for and receive a London living allowance. No issue with London. I just gave examples of non London based civil servants and asked if you thought they should be London based roles.

So do you want all civil servants in London or not?
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Oshmit
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#42
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#42
(Original post by Gundabad(good))
I can tell that you want to undermine the importance of London. Let's get one thing straight: Coastal villages represent little importance in the grand scheme of things.
Sidebar - this temperament is exactly what pivoted the brexit vote towards leave . Coastal villages do need civil servants working there. Perhaps not this year. But definitely at some point in the future. If you cannot personally relate to/experience the problems and issues, then you are less likely to be able to solve them.
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Gundabad(good)
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#43
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#43
(Original post by Quady)
I was quite happy to be flown down to London to get my midweek accommodation paid for and receive a London living allowance. No issue with London. I just gave examples of non London based civil servants and asked if you thought they should be London based roles.

So do you want all civil servants in London or not?
Yes. All of the Government should be based in London.
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Quady
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#44
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(Original post by Gundabad(good))
Yes. All of the Government should be based in London.
Why do you think all diplomats should be in the UK?

You don't think the UK's 165 Embassies and High Commissions have any point?
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richard10012
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#45
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#45
But will this help other parts of the country to grow
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JOSH4598
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#46
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(Original post by barnetlad)
Having parts of government elsewhere, even if most of the time policy makers were to work from home, might help change this. In addition to the cost savings and benefits to other parts of the regions concerned.
(Original post by barnetlad)
Working from home largely would achieve this, especially as gradually over time people would not move to London for jobs. Offices for most policy positions could be smaller, no need to travel into work every day, or have a separate office (use local authority facilities).
Working from home is the best solution by far! Civil servants largely work on a computer - they can do that at home without having to travel right into the heart of cities everyday. Meetings can be done in local council offices once a week or so, if not via Zoom would be sufficient. No big offices would be needed, at the expense of the taxpayer. London allowance could be scrapped (albeit for a few public-facing staff working in London offices) saving a fortune. Civil servants likely to be more productive when they're not having to travel several hours a day. They get to spend more time with their family, as when they finish at 5pm they're already at home. Not to mention they've been working from home all throughout the lockdown anyway!! Happier staff, bigger savings. Seems a no-brainer really!
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barnetlad
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(Original post by JOSH4598)
Working from home is the best solution by far! Civil servants largely work on a computer - they can do that at home without having to travel right into the heart of cities everyday. Meetings can be done in local council offices once a week or so, if not via Zoom would be sufficient. No big offices would be needed, at the expense of the taxpayer. London allowance could be scrapped (albeit for a few public-facing staff working in London offices) saving a fortune. Civil servants likely to be more productive when they're not having to travel several hours a day. They get to spend more time with their family, as when they finish at 5pm they're already at home. Not to mention they've been working from home all throughout the lockdown anyway!! Happier staff, bigger savings. Seems a no-brainer really!
I think using council offices from time to time would bring some work-based social contact, and perhaps an understanding of the pressures faced in local government.
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JOSH4598
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#48
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(Original post by barnetlad)
I think using council offices from time to time would bring some work-based social contact, and perhaps an understanding of the pressures faced in local government.
Precisely - also government departments could pay a fee to local councils to use their facilities. Still significantly cheaper for the Civil Service compared with their own offices and councils generate some much-needed revenue.
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Gundabad(good)
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#49
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(Original post by Quady)
Why do you think all diplomats should be in the UK?

You don't think the UK's 165 Embassies and High Commissions have any point?
British embassies get a free pass.
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Quady
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(Original post by Gundabad(good))
British embassies get a free pass.
But Border Force shouldn't have staff at Manchester Airport or Dover?
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Quady
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(Original post by JOSH4598)
Precisely - also government departments could pay a fee to local councils to use their facilities. Still significantly cheaper for the Civil Service compared with their own offices and councils generate some much-needed revenue.
How is it cheaper for councils to provide office space....?
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Gundabad(good)
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#52
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(Original post by Quady)
But Border Force shouldn't have staff at Manchester Airport or Dover?
Border Force also get free pass. And police. And teachers. And doctors. And the army.
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Quady
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#53
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(Original post by Gundabad(good))
Border Force also get free pass. And police. And teachers. And doctors. And the army.
Police, Doctors, Teachers and the Army aren't Civil Servants.

Diplomats and Border Force are though.

You also said on reflection you don't want all MoJ jobs in London either.

Why do you think the 10% of the Civil Service in call centre jobs should be London based? Sodding call centres innit, could be anywhere - why London?
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JOSH4598
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#54
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(Original post by Quady)
How is it cheaper for councils to provide office space....?
Councils (especially district councils) often have several large offices within their counties with lots of meeting rooms and hotdesking. It's the same with the Civil Service, lots of meeting rooms and hotdesking in government department offices. Once, these were well-used by nowadays less so given technology replaces the need for most face-to-face meetings.

If the Civil Service use local council offices (given local council workers could do more home-base working too), you'd need fewer buildings and thus there'd be greater savings. Councils largely do not need big offices if there is more home-based working so can generate revenue by charging Civil Service a fee to use them. That fee is cheaper than if the Civil Service were to run their own offices. It's all public money, and those same council meeting rooms and desks could be used far more efficiently.
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Gundabad(good)
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#55
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(Original post by Quady)
Police, Doctors, Teachers and the Army aren't Civil Servants.

Diplomats and Border Force are though.

You also said on reflection you don't want all MoJ jobs in London either.

Why do you think the 10% of the Civil Service in call centre jobs should be London based? Sodding call centres innit, could be anywhere - why London?
Because it's London. Enough said.
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Quady
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(Original post by Gundabad(good))
Because it's London. Enough said.
True, London is renowned for its call centres. Number one industry in the area.
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Quady
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(Original post by JOSH4598)
Councils (especially district councils) often have several large offices within their counties with lots of meeting rooms and hotdesking. It's the same with the Civil Service, lots of meeting rooms and hotdesking in government department offices. Once, these were well-used by nowadays less so given technology replaces the need for most face-to-face meetings.

If the Civil Service use local council offices (given local council workers could do more home-base working too), you'd need fewer buildings and thus there'd be greater savings. Councils largely do not need big offices if there is more home-based working so can generate revenue by charging Civil Service a fee to use them. That fee is cheaper than if the Civil Service were to run their own offices. It's all public money, and those same council meeting rooms and desks could be used far more efficiently.
I dunno about councils but I'd be tad surprised if they didnt run a 7:10 desk ratio like Central government does. They have 'large' offices because they have a lot of staff, not because they are roomy. Working from home enevitibly ends up as Mondays/Fridays as the network effects mean you end up people coalescing. Like if I do Mon to Wed in the Office and my boss or staff do Thurs/Fri then I'd still never see them.

Why would the fee be cheaper than the Civil Service running its own estate? Surely all the same costs plus the overhead of an MoU between the council and department(s) using the office.

As a small aside, you're also assuming councils provide sufficient (or any) guest wi-fi. The Civil Service department would need a desk to desk relationship for IT incidents. At least thatd keep me in a job, more service providers to manage.
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JOSH4598
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#58
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(Original post by Quady)
They have 'large' offices because they have a lot of staff, not because they are roomy.
My point was based on the assumption that there could be greater home-working from both Civil Servants and local council workers. I'm aware that many council positions are still office-based when they could be done as effectively at home, especially administrative and financial roles. Once fewer workers are permanently based in the office, there will evidently be more capacity for Civil Servants to use on a hot-desking system.

Aside, quite a number of council offices are 'roomy' given that there are fewer council employees today than there were 15-20 years ago. Many of the buildings in operation were built in the 70s/80s when space was less of a premium and there were more employees to accommodate. I appreciate that some of the estate has been sold off over the years, but a surprising number of 'large' buildings are still in full operation despite less and less need for them. The number of desks etc could be increased without any noticable depletion in space.
(Original post by Quady)
Why would the fee be cheaper than the Civil Service running its own estate? Surely all the same costs plus the overhead of an MoU between the council and department(s) using the office.
To me at least, there are very obvious savings. The Civil Service could sell off much of it's central London estate if more roles are moved out of the capital, which would generate significant funds and mean the departments are no longer responsible for the huge maintenance bills that come with many of the old buildings in Whitehall. Those departments could then help fund local council offices, given they will be using them too, meaning two organisations are funding the same (council) office. Surely it's evident that the Civil Service running it's own estate is far more costly, than sharing an office with another organisation!
(Original post by Quady)
As a small aside, you're also assuming councils provide sufficient (or any) guest wi-fi.
I don't think Wi-Fi would be the deal-breaker here. Most desks come with ethernet connections anyway. I'm sure any potential savings could be invested in better IT, which all public services could do with given many of their systems are well-behind those used by the private sector.
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Gundabad(good)
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#59
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#59
(Original post by Quady)
True, London is renowned for its call centres. Number one industry in the area.
Nice.
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