Public and Commercial Services Union
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Anger over Land Registry job cuts and privatisation plans

The Public and Commercial Services Union (PCS) condemned Land Registry plans announced today to close five offices and outsource work. The plans which are part of the agency's accelerated transformation programme, will affect an estimated 1,400 staff who face either losing their job or being privatised.

Staff were shocked at the scale of the announcement, which will see offices in Peterborough, Portsmouth, Croydon, Stevenage, and Tunbridge Wells close. Two offices in Plymouth will merge into one with staff in the Lincolns Inn Field office, London, moving into temporary accommodation by 2011.

Approximately 1,100 jobs are threatened by the office closures with a further 400 people working in HR, facilities and 14 regional file stores across England facing privatisation. Nearly 1 in 5 people working for the Land Registry are affected by the plans out of a total workforce of approximately 5,700 in England and Wales.

Warning that services to the public would suffer as well as the local economies hit by the office closures, the union vowed to campaign against the plans.

Commenting, Mark Serwotka, PCS general secretary, said: “Staff are shocked and angry about these plans. With 1,700 jobs already gone there is a real danger that services to the public will suffer as the agency is cut to the bone. Added to jobs cuts and office closures, staff have the double whammy of privatisation hanging over their heads.

“Experience shows that privatisation isn’t the silver bullet to save costs and often provides poor value to the taxpayer with corners cut in a bid to turn a profit. The government need to recognise that putting hard working civil and public servants on the dole at a time of economic uncertainty will only prolong the recession in the communities affected.”

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