One in three London civil servants should be relocated outside the M25 to boost productivity

Mark Sands
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A distant view of London may be all that civil servants can hope for. (Source: Getty)

One in three civil servants should be relocated outside London to boost productivity in public services, according to new report from think tank Policy Exchange, which comes as HMRC signs a lease for new offices in Croydon.

According to Policy Exchange, roughly 25,000 civil servants could leave the capital in a bid to deliver more localised thinking on service delivery.

In a report published today, the think tank said the devolution of powers to local authorities has not gone far enough, and could be “turbo-charged” by the redistribution of civil servants across the country.

Report author Damian Hind said: “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and caring services will only be achieved by changing the mind-set of policymakers in Westminster, breaking down the outdated Sir Humphrey model of government and putting local places firmly in control.”

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There are an estimated 80,000 civil servants in London, representing more than 70 per cent of the nation's total.

Among other ways to improve local services, it also calls for public sector organisations such as schools and prisons to set their own budgets and own delivery models, while local authorities should also be given full autonomy over public sector pay so they can alter national terms and conditions.

It comes as HMRC signs a 25-year lease for new offices in East Croydon. The tax office is relocating 2,500 staff from across the South East to the new site.

The Croydon site will be the first HMRC's new 13 regional offices when it launches in Summer next year.