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Statement in reponse to BIS Closure

Councillor Julie Dore, Leader of Sheffield City Council, said: “It is extremely disappointing, but probably not surprising that this Government have pressed ahead with moving 247 jobs from Sheffield to London.

They have refused to listen to the case put forward by the staff affected, trade unions, councils across the city region, the Local Enterprise Partnership, wider business community and even MPs from all parties.

The secretary of state wouldn’t even meet me to discuss this when he was in Sheffield last week despite requests dating back to January.

“This is a bad decision and the government have completely failed to explain the reasoning behind it.

This isn’t about saving money, because moving the jobs to London costs more and flies in the face of the government’s Northern Powerhouse rhetoric when they are moving the department responsible for building the Northern Powerhouse from the north to London.

“We have made an overwhelming case to retain the jobs in Sheffield based on the fact it saves money for the government, is important for our local economy and helps to retain talent in Sheffield.

The evidence is overwhelming but it seems like the government’s mind was made up from day one and they wouldn’t give anything else a hearing.”

“Our first thoughts must go to the people who are most affected by this, most will not be able to relocate to London, we will do everything we can locally to put in place support for local people to find new employment in the city as quickly as possible.”