Striking to save their jobs

The new Land Registry offices on Lytham Road, Warton.
The new Land Registry offices on Lytham Road, Warton.
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Striking civil servants will walk out again today in a dispute over job security.

More than 150 workers at the Land Registry, in Warton, are staging a 48-hour strike, which began yesterday, alongside colleagues across the country.

It comes as the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills considers responses to its consultation into the future of the services, which could potentially see it privatised.

The strike has been organised by the Public and Commercial Services Union (PCS).

Sue Ghani, PCS Fylde branch secretary, said: “The first day went really well and we had a reasonably good turnout.

“There is a lot of support and there have been a lot of people popping by.”

Members of the Fire Brigades Union, which is also involved in an ongoing pensions dispute with the Government, were among those to join the picket line at the Lytham Road site.

The Department for Business, Innovation and Skills is officially still considering responses to its consultation, with options being to move it from the civil service to a Government owned company, into a joint venture with a private company, or maintain its current status.

The union believes the majority of respondents, including professionals and lawyers in the property industry, are opposed to any change of status.

The PCS also claims despite repeated requests, Land Registry bosses have refused to rule out compulsory redundancies and office closures.

Ms Ghani added: “For the Fylde coast, job losses would be a disaster. Land Registry is a large employer in the area and a threat to the jobs of approximately 250 people would be devastating to the local economy.

“Your home is the one single most valuable asset you have; it needs to be dealt with by impartial staff all of whom have a wealth of experience.

“The public really need to know what a massive threat this is to the integrity of the information held on the land and homes they own.

“We’ll be out on the line again today and it’s been really gratifying to see the support we’ve had.”

A spokesperson for the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills said: “All options, including the status quo, are still under consideration.

“We will publish the Government response to the public consultation shortly.”