Union chiefs have warned the fight to stop a vital public service from being privatised is “not over yet”, despite Government assurances.
The Department for Business, Innovation and Skills has announced the Land Registry will not be privatised after a consultation on a series of proposals about its future.
Civil servants at the service’s Warton office joined colleagues in strike action organised by the Public and Commercial Services Union (PCS) over the plans in May.
Sue Ghani, PCS Fylde branch secretary, said: “It’s not a surprise.
“The Government has admitted that nine out of 10 people in the consultation don’t agree [privatisation] would make the agency more efficient.
“It’s been a massive campaign and it’s not over with yet.
“They’ve intimated they will consider it again in future.
“We are very pleased but we aren’t complacent.”
The May walkout saw more than 150 staff strike at the Lytham Road site alongside workers at other Land Registry offices across the country, and Ms Ghani believes this had an effect on the Government’s decision.
She added: “It had a significant part to play. There was a lot of support across the agency. It showed the level of commitment to safeguarding the future of the Land Registry, the service and our jobs.”
Business Minister Michael Fallon, who has since moved to Defence Secretary in a Cabinet reshuffle, made the announcement to MPs on Monday evening.
He said: “Land Registry has developed an ambitious new business strategy which includes moving complex applications online and automating processes. This requires a complete change both in the way that the business is operated and managed, and in its IT architecture.
“In light of the scale and complexity of this transformation, the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills launched a consultation which proposed to introduce a new service delivery company with the governance and incentives to be able to deliver it effectively.
“Given the importance of the Land Registry to the effective operation of the UK property market, we have concluded that further consideration would be valuable.
“Therefore, at this time, no decision has been taken to change Land Registry’s model.”