Civil Service Considering Regional Hubs

The island’s civil servants could be decentralised as part of the post pandemic rethinking of how and where people work.

Chief Minister Howard Quayle was answering questions during today’s Keys sitting when he suggested that civil servants could operate from hubs around the island.

He had been asked by Onchan MHK Julie Edge about the importance of public facing counters being open to ensure services are there for people who need to access them.

Mr Quayle said: ‘It is incredibly important that while we ensure people can work from home that where we need to deal face to face with the public, that situation is allowed. I know I’ve had conversations with the Chief Secretary about setting up hubs, maybe in Ramsey where officers, if they live in the north instead of coming into work in the office in Douglas they could maybe work from a hub and they could take it in turns to go and do some forward facing work with the public. 

‘I’m giving Ramsey as an example, I see no reasons why it couldn’t happen in the south and in the west of the island too and those areas that I hope will be developed as we come out of this Covid world and move into our new normal where we can do more in the community.’

In response to other questions, the Chief Minister said that while people should work from home where they can and want to, some workers and employers are now pushing back against the idea as they want a return to the office.

Mr Quayle said: ‘Post Covid, it is a new world where more people will work from home. But equally I’m now starting to see articles in the press where people are fighting against working from home, saying they’re getting more work from people done in the office. So there are still different views there and I think it’s important that we give free reign to our managers to get the very best for the public.’

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