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PCS says Welsh Government wants to close four offices

Four of the Welsh Assembly Government’s regional offices could be closed to cut costs, according to the Western Mail.

The newspaper said a document seen by the PCS union suggested offices in Carmarthen, Llandrindod Wells, Newtown and Caernarfon could be closed.

Around 400 staff are employed at the offices, although First Minister Carwyn Jones has said he wants to avoid compulsory redundancies,

The Welsh Government told the newspaper: “We remain committed to providing a dispersed presence across Wales, but we are currently reviewing our location needs.”

There are 92 staff employed at Caernarfon in the departments of Business Enterprise Technology & Science (BETS), Health Social Services & Children (HSS&C), and Sustainable Futures (SF).

There are 83 staff working in the Newtown office in BETS, People Places and Corporate Services (PPCS), Department for Education & Skills (DFES) and Local Government & Communities (LG&C).

Llandrindod Wells has 117 staff working for BETS, LG&C, SF and PPCS.

About 100 further staff are employed at Carmarthen in HSS&C, BETS and SF.

PCS Wales Secretary Peter Harris aid: “I welcome the Welsh Government’s commitment to continue to provide a dispersed presence across Wales. The opening of offices in Merthyr, Aberystwyth and Llandudno Junction were supported by the unions and helped devolve work from Cardiff. The movement of staff to these locations has been underpinned by the principles of no unwelcome compulsory redundancies or enforced transfers.

“Further estate rationalisation should proceed in the same way. We are not opposing any change and indeed a number of small offices have already been merged or closed.

“It is also crucial that ministers consider carefully the economic impact of closing Welsh Government offices such as those in Carmarthen, Caernarfon, Newtown and Llandrindod Wells. Public sector jobs are important to these areas and it would be difficult to envisage the Welsh Government not retaining a significant presence in Powys.”

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