Another "devastating blow" for Mowden Hall staff as hundreds of jobs at risk

Darlington and Stockton Times: JOBS RISK: Mowden Hall, Darlington JOBS RISK: Mowden Hall, Darlington

HUNDREDS of civil servant jobs could be moved out of Darlington following a Department of Education review, The Northern Echo can confirm.

Staff were told this morning the Department of Education’s (DoE) site at Mowden Hall would be vacated, and alternative accommodation found in the North-East for the DoE’s 400 staff there, with a site expected t be found in either Newcastle or Darlington.

The move is being made as part of a wider review which could see DoE sites across the country reduced from 12 to six. Mowden staff, who deal with education policy, are being relocated because the building is in a poor state of repair and would require significant investment if staff were to remain there.

A decision is expected by March next year.

A Department for Education spokesperson said: “The Department for Education has conducted a review into how it can best deliver the Government’s priorities quickly and well, while minimising costs to the taxpayer. “We will target our staff time and money on only our top priorities, cutting red tape and concentrating on the work that adds the most value. We are reducing our head count and merging offices to reduce the cost of our buildings.

“The Department for Education is committed to retaining an office in the North-East, where we have over 400 skilled and experienced staff. “Our current office (Mowden Hall in Darlington) requires significant investment and we have today explained to our staff that we are actively considering alternative accommodation options in the North-East. We will continue this conversation with our staff and anticipate further decisions will be made by Easter 2013.”

Comments (15)

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12:08pm Tue 13 Nov 12

onlinereader says...

The Dept of Education has been in Darlington for many many years, it doesn't make sense to move it to Newcastle where the rates would be higher. It would make sense to move it to Morton Park area next to the other Civil Service Building there and around the corner from Student Loans.
The Dept of Education has been in Darlington for many many years, it doesn't make sense to move it to Newcastle where the rates would be higher. It would make sense to move it to Morton Park area next to the other Civil Service Building there and around the corner from Student Loans. onlinereader
  • Score: 13

12:32pm Tue 13 Nov 12

Hunty1 says...

I suppose the building is old and needs costly repairs which in turn could cost more than moving, also I bet there will be a developer chomping at the bit to buy the land and build some super new homes..
Whatever the reasons it will be a blow for Darlington and all the people it will affect.
I suppose the building is old and needs costly repairs which in turn could cost more than moving, also I bet there will be a developer chomping at the bit to buy the land and build some super new homes.. Whatever the reasons it will be a blow for Darlington and all the people it will affect. Hunty1
  • Score: 3

12:55pm Tue 13 Nov 12

freelance says...

HEADLINE -
'1000 jobs CUT'
EXTRACT FROM REPORT -
'UP TO 1000 jobs at RISK'
ANOTHER EXTRACT -
'UP TO ONE THIRD of workforce'
......... It would be helpful for clarification re the above to have ....
who are the employers, how many departments and how many employees and exactly which departments are affected ...... .....
HEADLINE - '1000 jobs CUT' EXTRACT FROM REPORT - 'UP TO 1000 jobs at RISK' ANOTHER EXTRACT - 'UP TO ONE THIRD of workforce' ......... It would be helpful for clarification re the above to have .... who are the employers, how many departments and how many employees and exactly which departments are affected ...... ..... freelance
  • Score: 5

1:05pm Tue 13 Nov 12

Boomer79 says...

1) department for education dont employ 1000 staff in mowden hall darlington!

2) teachers pensions are not affected due to being contacted to capita employee benefits!!!

Very poor story published without checking facts and scare mongering staff and local people! Should expect better from a local paper!!!
1) department for education dont employ 1000 staff in mowden hall darlington! 2) teachers pensions are not affected due to being contacted to capita employee benefits!!! Very poor story published without checking facts and scare mongering staff and local people! Should expect better from a local paper!!! Boomer79
  • Score: 17

2:07pm Tue 13 Nov 12

Lauren Pyrah says...

Story has now been amended - apologies for the initial inaccuracies; we were acting on information received in good faith.
Story has now been amended - apologies for the initial inaccuracies; we were acting on information received in good faith. Lauren Pyrah
  • Score: -5

2:54pm Tue 13 Nov 12

jewitt says...

My mate told me there is about 400 DFE staff at Mowden. DFE are reviewing their operations nationwide and losing 1000 people nationwide incl some at Darlo through severance. The choice is between Newcastle and Darlington. The problem may be catering up to 400 staff in Darlington as there is no site big enough. As well as DFE staff there other smaller organisations like business and water who work there.
My mate told me there is about 400 DFE staff at Mowden. DFE are reviewing their operations nationwide and losing 1000 people nationwide incl some at Darlo through severance. The choice is between Newcastle and Darlington. The problem may be catering up to 400 staff in Darlington as there is no site big enough. As well as DFE staff there other smaller organisations like business and water who work there. jewitt
  • Score: 0

2:56pm Tue 13 Nov 12

jewitt says...

Mowden is definitely toast from what I am told....but could be Newcastle or alternative NE site
Mowden is definitely toast from what I am told....but could be Newcastle or alternative NE site jewitt
  • Score: 2

6:18pm Tue 13 Nov 12

Savant_NE says...

Newcastle is so conjested now , it's hardly a practical move to that part of the region or cost effective.
Surely , a purpose built building could be built in the all the empty industrial land on the outskirts of Darlington as part of a forward thinking Town development .Localised employment is critical to the survival of this towns economy.
Newcastle is so conjested now , it's hardly a practical move to that part of the region or cost effective. Surely , a purpose built building could be built in the all the empty industrial land on the outskirts of Darlington as part of a forward thinking Town development .Localised employment is critical to the survival of this towns economy. Savant_NE
  • Score: 4

6:23pm Tue 13 Nov 12

marilyn49 says...

Prime location for residential development.
Prime location for residential development. marilyn49
  • Score: 1

6:32pm Tue 13 Nov 12

BobbyB176 says...

Read the quote from DFE properly "it's Department for Education (DFE) not DoE as you keep quoting. Poor journalism.
Read the quote from DFE properly "it's Department for Education (DFE) not DoE as you keep quoting. Poor journalism. BobbyB176
  • Score: 3

8:16am Wed 14 Nov 12

jewitt says...

This would be an absolute disaster for not just civil servants but the local Darlington economy. Nvere mind this NE malarkey DARLINGTON and County Durham needs jobs. Unbelievable that London offices gets off scot free again with no questions asked.
This would be an absolute disaster for not just civil servants but the local Darlington economy. Nvere mind this NE malarkey DARLINGTON and County Durham needs jobs. Unbelievable that London offices gets off scot free again with no questions asked. jewitt
  • Score: 2

3:09pm Wed 14 Nov 12

Spy Boy says...

I think most people who have written have seen behind the plot. I reckon that the jobs should be kept in Darlington. Newcastle, like most big cities, is just a sprawl with congested roads poor parking. Why add to this ? It just won't work. In a greener world we should be keeping work as close to people as possible. Maybe the building is past it's sell by date, but so are so many built back in the 60s. Build a new one, but make it local. There are old factory sites available. Is that monstrosity of an office block on Gladstone Street empty ? Is this of any use ?

No doubt the land that the current building is in a lucrative development area. Who owns it, by the way ? Not Darlington Council is it ? If it is we start to see a plan emerging. DBC selling off all their land for development so that they can build some other useless junction, or council building.
I think most people who have written have seen behind the plot. I reckon that the jobs should be kept in Darlington. Newcastle, like most big cities, is just a sprawl with congested roads poor parking. Why add to this ? It just won't work. In a greener world we should be keeping work as close to people as possible. Maybe the building is past it's sell by date, but so are so many built back in the 60s. Build a new one, but make it local. There are old factory sites available. Is that monstrosity of an office block on Gladstone Street empty ? Is this of any use ? No doubt the land that the current building is in a lucrative development area. Who owns it, by the way ? Not Darlington Council is it ? If it is we start to see a plan emerging. DBC selling off all their land for development so that they can build some other useless junction, or council building. Spy Boy
  • Score: 0

11:21pm Thu 15 Nov 12

spragger says...

Do we need the jobs?

Give the taxpayer a break
Do we need the jobs? Give the taxpayer a break spragger
  • Score: -1

12:30am Fri 16 Nov 12

Joy to the World says...

All we need is anther 400 cars on the A1 spending a possible 3 hour journey every day driving to Longbenton Newcastle!!
I say Longbenton Newcastle as it's the most lightly as the tories have already pledged to reuse existing government buildings, however the department will need to pay rent - which will probably cost more than maintenance at mowden hall which is currently owned by the DfE. All this is for a tories quick win which will cost the taxpayer a lot more in the long run... as well as devastating that side of Darlington and for jobs for those that can't make the journey.
also for every job lost contractors would need to take up the slack costing taxpayers even more...
All we need is anther 400 cars on the A1 spending a possible 3 hour journey every day driving to Longbenton Newcastle!! I say Longbenton Newcastle as it's the most lightly as the tories have already pledged to reuse existing government buildings, however the department will need to pay rent - which will probably cost more than maintenance at mowden hall which is currently owned by the DfE. All this is for a tories quick win which will cost the taxpayer a lot more in the long run... as well as devastating that side of Darlington and for jobs for those that can't make the journey. also for every job lost contractors would need to take up the slack costing taxpayers even more... Joy to the World
  • Score: 0

5:56pm Fri 16 Nov 12

spragger says...

Let them offer their services on the market
I'm sure they will all pick up good paying jobs.

We do not need all these administrators on the back of the taxpayer
Let them offer their services on the market I'm sure they will all pick up good paying jobs. We do not need all these administrators on the back of the taxpayer spragger
  • Score: -1

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