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University of Birmingham's Institute of Local Government Studies director Michael Lyons will lead research to exami...
University of Birmingham's Institute of Local Government Studies director Michael Lyons will lead research to examine the scope for relocating civil service and other public staff from London and the South East to the regions.

Sir Michael will evaluate whether relocation of these key services will

improve cost effectiveness and achieve a better regional balance of

government activity.

In his Budget statement today chancellor Gordon Brown said:

'I turn now to policies that will benefit our regions. Past civil service relocation reviews have included the Fleming Review and, more recently, the Hardman Review, which led to over 10,000 civil service jobs transferred out of London. The deputy

prime minister and I now propose that we examine not only the civil service

but non-departmental bodies and other public services with the aim of

achieving best value for money.

'Successful relocation out of London by private companies, and our analysis,

Suggests public sector jobs transferred to our regions could exceed 20,000 -

To the benefit of the whole country.

'So today we are asking departments to submit updated workforce development

Plans and asking Sir Michael Lyons to advise with a view to decisions on relocation by the next spending review.'


Sir Michael is Director of the Institute of Local Government Studies

and Professor of Public Policy at the University of Birmingham. He leads

the department as part of the wider School of Public Policy on a part-time

basis and has a series of other public and private responsibilities. Most

notably he is the non-executive chairman of the English Cities Fund - a £100m

fund established by Legal and General, English Partnerships

and AMEC Developments plc to promote institutional investment in urban

regeneration. He is chairman of West Midlands Music Radio and a non

executive director of three companies: Wragge and Co, the prominent Birmingham

based solicitors; Park man plc, a rapidly growing company specialising in

consultancy and outsourcing and Carlton Television (Central Region).

Sir Michael was knighted in January 2000 for services to local government

after serving as the chief executive of three local authorities -

Birmingham City Council (1994-2001); Nottinghamshire CC

(1990-1994) and Wolverhampton BC (1985-1990).

Sir Michael is a member of the Treasury's Public Services Productivity Panel

and works closely with SOLACE, KPMG and LAGAN Technologies Ltd. He also

chairs the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra.

Recent activities include membership of the Independent Fire Service Review

which produced its report (The Bain Report) in December 2002. Together with

Ian Byatt he was responsible for the publication of 'The Future Role of

Inspectorates' published in the autumn of 2001 and has been actively

involved in the dissemination of the results from the ESRC programme

'Cities: competition and cohesiveness' for which he has chaired the Advisory

Board. He was lead advisor for the House of Commons select committee's

Review of the Local Government Act 2000 and pre-legislative scrutiny of the

Local Government Bill 2002.

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