Fewer Falkirk district civil servants compared to five years ago

Fewer people are working for the civil service in Falkirk than five years ago, despite large rises elsewhere across the UK.

By Tommy Lumby
Saturday, 5th September 2020, 7:30 am
Updated Saturday, 5th September 2020, 5:55 pm
Chancellor Rishi Sunak pledged to relocate 22,000 civil servants from London by 2030 (Pic: Julian Simmonds/POOL/AFP via Getty Images)
Chancellor Rishi Sunak pledged to relocate 22,000 civil servants from London by 2030 (Pic: Julian Simmonds/POOL/AFP via Getty Images)

The UK Government has pledged to move more of its bureaucrats away from London to help “level up” the country and bring those who help run it closer to the communities they serve.

But new data shows the workforce has grown more rapidly in the capital than anywhere else across the UK, with the Institute for Government saying influential senior officials have historically been the most difficult to move further afield.

Cabinet Office figures show there were around 1810 civil servants in Falkirk at the end of March – a decrease of 60, or 3.2 per cent, from five years ago.

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That is despite the civil service swelling by 3.9 per cent across the UK to 456,400 workers.

Across Scotland, the workforce grew by 4.7 per cent.

London saw a growth rate of 16 per cent, with its civil servant headcount now making up around a fifth of the UK total.

The figures include civil servants working for government departments, agencies, and non-departmental public bodies in both the UK and Scottish Government, where they help to develop and implement policies.

In March, the Chancellor Rishi Sunak pledged to relocate 22,000 civil servants from London by 2030.

Cabinet Office Minister Michael Gove recently said moving government decision-making from the capital would help “reflect the full diversity of our United Kingdom”.

The Institute for Government says there are some signs dominance is beginning to shift, with the biggest growth in civil service employment seen in the South West of England in the last year.

A Cabinet Office spokesman said: "Decision makers should be close to the people they serve and we want to see opportunity fairly distributed across the country.

"These statistics show there are now more civil servants than last year in Scotland, Wales, the Midlands, the South West, the North West and Yorkshire and Humberside.

"But we are not complacent and will continue our work to make sure the civil service represents the whole of the UK, which is why we’ve committed to relocating civil service roles out of central London."