Trip to Westminster to save Darlington education jobs

A NORTH-EAST MP said yesterday (Sunday) she plans to "throw the kitchen sink" at the campaign to keep hundreds of jobs in Darlington.

Jenny Chapman and Darlington Borough Council leader, Bill Dixon are travelling to Westminster today (Monday) to discuss ways of preventing 400 civil service jobs being moved from Mowden Hall to Newcastle.

They will be joined by the council's Conservative leader, Heather Scott in a meeting with the permanent secretary for the Department for Education (DfE), Chris Wormald.

Mowden Hall is set to close next March due to its poor state of repair but a campaign has been launched to keep the posts in Darlington.

The delegation will discuss possible alternative sites within the town at their meeting with Mr Wormald.

Ms Chapman said: “I think this is the first priority for Darlington right now, we must do everything we possibly can to keep these jobs in the town and the meeting with the permanent secretary is the first step in our effort to persuade the department of the need for them to stay in Darlington.

“I think despite the suspicion over whether the decision has been made or not, we need to throw the kitchen sink at this issue; I don’t want to lose those jobs thinking there is something more we could have done.”

Ms Chapman believes that Darlington has “a very strong case” for keeping the positions in the town and possible alternative sites were discussed at a meeting at the town hall last week.

These include Lingfield Point and Northgate House.

Coun Dixon said he was looking forward to the meeting and described the discussions about using alternative offices within Darlington as being “very productive”.

“Hopefully by the end of the meeting it will be a lot clearer as to what we must do next, what the department is looking for and, importantly, what they are not looking for so that we don’t waste time going down cul-de-sacs.

“I am confident that the department mean what they say about not having made a decision yet.

“I think we have an overwhelming case to keep the jobs in Darlington, I think it is all to play for.”

An online petition launched by The Northern Echo to ‘Save Darlington Jobs’ has attracted hundreds of signatures.

Sign it at www.northernecho.co.uk/jobspetition

Comments (5)

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9:26am Mon 26 Nov 12

BMD says...

Why can’t the employees commute or is Newcastle in the outer Hebrides?

Jenny is going to throw the kitchen sink into the effort, better off throwing in the towel!

Bill is looking forward to the Westminster meeting or is it the free day out on the tax-payer he is looking forward too?
Why can’t the employees commute or is Newcastle in the outer Hebrides? Jenny is going to throw the kitchen sink into the effort, better off throwing in the towel! Bill is looking forward to the Westminster meeting or is it the free day out on the tax-payer he is looking forward too? BMD
  • Score: -3

9:36am Mon 26 Nov 12

miketually says...

Because some people choose to live and work close to each other, so that they don't spend their lives commuting?

My dad commuted to Newcastle every day for years. When they moved his office to Darlington, he said it was suddenly like working part-time.

I wonder if there's any research that shows employees with longer commutes are less productive?
Because some people choose to live and work close to each other, so that they don't spend their lives commuting? My dad commuted to Newcastle every day for years. When they moved his office to Darlington, he said it was suddenly like working part-time. I wonder if there's any research that shows employees with longer commutes are less productive? miketually
  • Score: 2

12:40pm Mon 26 Nov 12

BMD says...

If people choose to live and work close together, the current employees have an option to move to Newcastle.

I have commuted for 23 years to all corners of the UK and abroad. I would suggest that commuters are more productive as there is less family life to distract work.
If people choose to live and work close together, the current employees have an option to move to Newcastle. I have commuted for 23 years to all corners of the UK and abroad. I would suggest that commuters are more productive as there is less family life to distract work. BMD
  • Score: -1

7:40pm Mon 26 Nov 12

miketually says...

Not sure how family life relates to commuting...

All the longer distance commuters arrived late and then legged it as soon as they could today, while I arrived and left as normal.
Not sure how family life relates to commuting... All the longer distance commuters arrived late and then legged it as soon as they could today, while I arrived and left as normal. miketually
  • Score: 0

9:07pm Mon 26 Nov 12

ajtib3 says...

BMD wrote:
Why can’t the employees commute or is Newcastle in the outer Hebrides?

Jenny is going to throw the kitchen sink into the effort, better off throwing in the towel!

Bill is looking forward to the Westminster meeting or is it the free day out on the tax-payer he is looking forward too?
You seem to be forgetting about the economic benefit of having an office of 400 workers in Darlington.

This can relate to the money spent by staff and their families who live locally or the business/office itself in terms of procurement (usually local).

The usual multiplier for this type of worker is about 1.5 - ie an office of 400 people can generate up to 600 other jobs in the local economy.

There is also the potential for a departmental link - if a town has a civil service department it can potentially prove useful in attracting any future dispersion of staff from other sites or from London.

So the fight is worth it for Darlington.
[quote][p][bold]BMD[/bold] wrote: Why can’t the employees commute or is Newcastle in the outer Hebrides? Jenny is going to throw the kitchen sink into the effort, better off throwing in the towel! Bill is looking forward to the Westminster meeting or is it the free day out on the tax-payer he is looking forward too?[/p][/quote]You seem to be forgetting about the economic benefit of having an office of 400 workers in Darlington. This can relate to the money spent by staff and their families who live locally or the business/office itself in terms of procurement (usually local). The usual multiplier for this type of worker is about 1.5 - ie an office of 400 people can generate up to 600 other jobs in the local economy. There is also the potential for a departmental link - if a town has a civil service department it can potentially prove useful in attracting any future dispersion of staff from other sites or from London. So the fight is worth it for Darlington. ajtib3
  • Score: 1

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