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York MP supports PCS workers


12:01am 29th May 2012

Hugh Bayley, MP for York Central, will today (Tuesday, 29 May 2012) meet representatives from the Public and Commercial Services Union (PCS) whose members could lose their jobs, if the decision to transfer the 65 members of staff, who work at Athena House in York, to Leeds goes ahead.  

As a result of Government Policy not to renew tenancies when the existing leases are due for renewal, the Crown Prosecution Service under Keir Starmer QC, the Director of Public Prosecutions, is proposing to close its joint office with North Yorkshire Police at Athena House.

Athena House was set up to enable the police and prosecutors to work side by side preparing cases, and by speeding up the administration process by reducing delays and cutting court costs.

Mr Bayley thinks that any savings achieved by the closure of Athena House would soon be outweighed by higher costs for judges, witnesses, prison officers, lawyers and court staff  if there are delays.  

Following representations from the MP, the Attorney General has confirmed that a formal consultation will take place before any decisions are reached. 

Mr Bayley is pressing the Attorney General to consult with the Court Services and with North Yorkshire Police before any decisions are reached. 

Mr Bayley has agreed to meet Alex Leach, the Branch Chair of the PCS and other union representatives to discuss their concerns and to establish how he can help. 

He has also asked to meet with representatives from the CPS and North Yorkshire Police in the next  few days.

Hugh Bayley says:

“I am pleased to have the opportunity to meet Alex Leach and members of the Public and Commercial Services Union to discuss their concerns and to establish how I can help. The staff at Athena House have real concerns about their jobs if the body moves to Leeds. For many people commuting to Leeds every day is not an option and some could be forced to leave.

“I have asked to meet representatives from the CPS and North Yorkshire Police to discuss some of the issues which Alex and his colleagues have discussed with me today.  Moving the CPS office to Leeds could result in higher costs to the police and the court services and it could result in highly skilled employees being forced to give up their jobs.”    

Alex Leach says:

“This office closure is nothing more than a symptom of the Condem’s cuts agenda that is played out across the country. Yet again it is our members that are being expected to bear the brunt of an economic crisis not of their making whilst the real culprits go scot free. If the Government was serious about closing the deficit it would work on reducing the £120 billion pounds in tax owed by large corporations and rich individuals that is avoided, evaded or simply not collected.”

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