Government jobs decentralisation gets under way
The first stages in the decentralisation of Government jobs in Northern Ireland has begun, marking the beginning of the implementation of the Bain Review.
Some 95 Social Security agency jobs are being relocated from Belfast to Londonderry, with completion due by spring of next year. A smaller number of Department for Social Development posts will be relocated from Belfast to Lurgan, Newry and Portadown.
In a potentially more comprehensive step, the Agriculture and Rural Development minister Michelle Gildernew announced that the headquarters of DARD will be relocated from Belfast. A project team has been established to decide the new location in accordance with two principles: that it will be in a rural location and west of the River Bann.
Ms Gildernew said: “The project to relocate DARD's headquarters within the rural community represents an important first step towards ensuring more quality public-sector jobs are available to rural dwellers, and to put Government at the heart of the community it serves.
“I am personally committed to the relocation proposal because it provides an exciting opportunity to bring Government closer to the people, and to stimulate the rural economy with significant economic and social benefits from increased spending and access to high-quality local employment.”