25,000 civil servants must leave London to turbo charge devolution, think tank claims

A new report by Policy Exchange has suggested that relocating 25,000 London-based civil servants to local authorities and city regions would boost productivity and innovation in the delivery of public service.

Delivering Differently has called on the government to put an end the ‘outdated model of government’ by encouraging a more localised approach to solving problems in welfare, health, criminal justice and education.

The report follows a move between 2004-2010 where around 20,000 civil servants were relocated out of London following the government-commissioned Lyons review into civil service relocation.

A 2010 follow up recommended the long-term goal should be to reduce the number of civil servants in London by around 25,000.

Damian Hind, author of the report, said: “Our top down and centralised system of government makes it difficult for any political party to deliver the type of radical public service reforms needed to increase growth and living standards across Britain.”

“Change still seems to start with diktats from Whitehall. If we truly want to create public services that help people to live independent and fulfilling lives then we need to think differently about how we design and deliver services.”

“More decent, human and caring services will only be achieved by changing the mind-set of policymakers in Westminster, breaking down the outdated Sir Humphrey model of Government and putting local places firmly in control.”

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