Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Jobs Go as 'Quango State' Is 'Curtailed' Huge Losses Could Be Felt in North East

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Jobs Go as 'Quango State' Is 'Curtailed' Huge Losses Could Be Felt in North East

Article excerpt

Byline: William Green

HUNDREDS of jobs are set to go in the region after the Government unveiled a "bonfire of the quangos" yesterday. Simon Elliott, regional secretary of the PCS union, warned the proposals to axe or cut back hundreds of quangos - officially known as non-departmental public bodies - could see huge job losses in the North East.

Cabinet Minister Francis Maude also yesterday admitted jobs would be lost as a result of his plan to scrap 192 quangos, with a further 118 bodies merged and another 171 "substantially" reformed.

The grim news comes just days before massive spending cuts are expected to hit the region, with the Government unveiling its Comprehensive Spending Review next week.

Mr Maude confirmed that regional development agency One North East -- which has more than 300 staff based mainly in its Newcastle head office - will be scrapped alongside the Audit Commission with 37 staff at its office in Gateshead. A further six are based in organisations they are auditing in Newcastle.

Other bodies will have to become "more efficient", including the Homes and Communities Agency (HCA) that has 110 workers based in Gateshead. Natural England has around 150 staff at its office in Newcastle.

A shadow has also been cast over the National Policing Improvement Agency's (NPIA) forensics centre at Harperley Hall, Crook, in County Durham. Some 60 people work at the site, which was only formally opened last year.

The Government is currently considering what NPIA functions should be delivered nationally and by whom as part of a "rationalised policing landscape".

The future of the Student Loans Company, which has an office in Darlington, is also under consideration as well as the Remploy organisation that helps disabled people into work. …

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