At last a recognition of the new for a regional and local eco-system – a regional bodies are back
“Vince Cable is to resurrect regional government offices just six months after Eric Pickles axed them, amid concerns government policy-making could become too centralised, LGC has learned. The move means the Department for Business, Innovation & Skills (DBIS) will establish six offices – called Local BIS – to replace the eight that were axed in July. A decision on their location has not yet been made.
A DBIS spokeswoman confirmed to LGC the business secretary had decided the department “requires a policy presence outside Whitehall to ensure it can communicate effectively with local enterprise partnerships, the business community and other bodies, including local authorities”.
“The teams will be part of DBIS and will support [its] overall objectives, particularly those relating to growth and jobs and rebalancing the economy,” she said.
She added that staff would transfer to Local BIS from the regional offices as part of the government’s “internal reorganisation”, with some coming from the soon-to-be-abolished regional development agencies through Transfer of Undertakings regulations.
Julie Flanagan, a negotiator for the Prospect union, confirmed staff would include officials from other departments, including the Department for Communities & Local Government and the Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs, who would be responsible for the statutory functions of government that have to be delivered at a regional level.
She said about 300 staff would be allocated to the new offices, down from 1,500 employed under the previous arrangements”.