Land Registry closure proposals 'immoral' says FDA

23 October 2009

For immediate release

The announcement by the Land Registry that it intends to close five offices and outsource work as part of their five-year accelerated transformation programme has been condemned as nothing short of "immoral" by the FDA - the union for senior managers and professionals in public service.

Ro Marsh, the national officer responsible for FDA members in Land Registry, said:

"FDA members within Land Registry are telling us that they are shell-shocked and that this is the saddest day in the history of the Land Registry. It will be a day which will be remembered by all Land Registry employees whether they are affected directly by the proposals or not. There appears to be a general feeling of depression across all grades in the Land Registry caused by this announcement.

"While the 2009 budget announcements had prepared us for today's proposals, they feel more like a political decision rather than a considered rationalisation. The Land Registry have stated that these proposals will allow them to respond faster and more efficiently to future fluctuations in the market, but how can this be the case with fewer staff and less capacity?

"The FDA believes that the intention to make experienced staff redundant and to take staff numbers below the level that management believe may ultimately be needed, is no way to treat loyal and highly professional employees and may be regarded as immoral. The FDA is not convinced that the assumption on numbers is well thought through".

Notes for editors

1. The FDA is the trade union and professional body representing 18,000 of the UK's senior civil and public servants. Our members include policy advisors, senior managers, tax inspectors, economists, statisticians, accountants, special advisers, government lawyers, diplomats, crown prosecutors and NHS managers.

2. Members in HMRC are represented by the Association of Revenue and Customs (ARC), a section of the FDA.

3. The FDA (formerly the First Division Association) should be referred to simply as "The FDA" and can be described as "the senior public servants' union".

4. For further information contact:

Ro Marsh, FDA National Officer, tel: 020 7401 5555.

Kay Hender, Communications Assistant, tel: 020 7401 5589.