The Land Registry plans to cut 1,100 jobs and privatise 400 roles – including HR – as part of a cost-cutting programme to save £92m per year.
The move will see offices in Peterborough, Portsmouth, Croydon, Stevenage, and Tunbridge Wells close, and two offices in Plymouth will merge.
Peter Collis, chief land registrar, said: “The proposals will allow us to make far better use of our buildings and to create significant efficiency savings. The reshaped Land Registry that will emerge over the next few years will serve its customers even better than before.”
Warning that services to the public would suffer as well as the local economies hit by the office closures, the PCS union vowed to campaign against the plans.
Mark Serwotka, PCS general secretary, said: “Staff are shocked and angry about these plans. With 1,700 jobs already gone there is a real danger that services to the public will suffer as the agency is cut to the bone. Added to jobs cuts and office closures, staff have the double whammy of privatisation hanging over their heads.”
Meanwhile, PCS is urging its members to take part in a new staff survey that will help managers and union representatives understand how best to maintain and improve the working experience and wellbeing of civil servants.
The questionnaire, designed following a consultation, has been tested in a number of different departments.