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FOI investigation shows regional jobs pledge is a 'sham'

The Liverpool Daily Post has told how a Government pledge to relocate thousands of civil service jobs to Merseyside has fallen flat, after an investigation appeared to show that no jobs had been moved to the area in the past three years.

A review three years ago lookedat moving 20,000 Whitehall posts out of London by 2010, to save money and boost regional economies.

Liverpool and Wirral were earmarked as prime destinations, with around ten per cent of the jobs expected to switch to the area.

But the Daily Post has now labelled this a “sham”.

Daily Post assistant news editor David Higgerson put in Freedom of Information requests to every Government department, and discovered that none of them could confirm a single job that had transferred to Merseyside.

Cheshire fared only slightly better, with just 52 jobs.

The Home Office told the paper it had moved 370 jobs to the North West, but was unable to identify where in the region they had gone to.

Three departments, Culture, the DFT and the Chancellor’s Department, failed to respond to the request.

Daily Post editor Jane Wolstenholme said: “These figures will no doubt be very embarrassing for the Government.

“If they are going to come close to moving the predicted 2,000 jobs to Merseyside by 2010 they have got some major catching up to do.

“It is another demonstration of how effective the Freedom of Information Act can be as a tool for the regional press.

“It is disappointing that three Government departments failed to respond, but this story would have been much harder to get at without the legislation.”

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