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Former government ministers warn against centralisation of regional jobs

04/07/2022

Former government ministers warn against centralisation of regional jobs

Two former government ministers have warned the new Labour administration against centralising regional jobs. Former rural affairs Minister, Elin Jones, Plaid Cymru AM for Ceredigion, said that the Welsh government has a crucial role to play as an economic driver in many parts of Wales. Former heritage Minister and Plaid Cymru AM for Arfon, Alun Ffred Jones said that the smaller, regional Welsh Government offices offer employment opportunities that could otherwise be difficult to come by in towns such as Caernarfon.

The Welsh government employs almost 6000 people across Wales. In Caernarfon the Welsh government employs nearly a hundred people, and over a hundred are employed in the offices in Carmarthen.

Former rural affairs minister and Plaid Cymru AM for Ceredigion, Elin Jones, said:

“Plaid Cymru wants a guarantee from this new Labour Welsh Government that it will reject any idea of moving staff from smaller, yet regionally important towns – such as Llandrindod Wells, Newtown, Carmarthen, and Caernarfon – into central regional locations. We are calling on the government to commit to the long term future of these smaller offices around Wales because they are so essential for the economies of those areas. Decentralisation of jobs is key, and the jobs in government buildings should be spread out from the centre, rather than centralised on a regional basis – taking jobs away from smaller towns.”

Plaid Cymru AM for Arfon and former heritage Minister, Alun Ffred Jones, said:

“We want to see is a further decentralisation of Welsh government jobs – continuing the agenda that we followed in government. We want to see the spare capacity in the larger offices, like that in Llandudno Junction, filled by moving jobs, whole departments if necessary, out of Cardiff. The aim must continue to be a significant redistribution of wealth from Cardiff into the other areas of Wales. The Welsh government set out with the specified aim of promoting and strengthening equity of job and career opportunity by relocating posts across Wales, increasing the total number of Welsh government posts outside Cardiff. The public sector is an important driver of the economy in Wales and it is only right that the Welsh government makes sure that those economic benefits are spread out to the whole of Wales. The government must give assurances that they will not be centralising regional offices and that the smaller offices are secure into the future, for the long term.”