The government recently announced plans to move Land Registry out of the civil service and to incorporate us as a GovCo, effectively a company where all of the shares are owned by the government. This raises the possibility that this is merely a half way house and Land Registry is being prepared for privatisation.
A similar move in the Forensic Science Service several years ago led to the organisation being run down to the extent it was closed and forensic analysis and testing fully privatised, with experts warning about the increased likelihood of miscarriages of justice.
The recent comments by the new head of the Shareholder Executive that the government does not make a good shareholder, and that trading funds such as Land Registry should be sold off to raise money for the governments deficit reduction program also point to the same conclusion.
Delegates at the PCS Land Registry group conference last week debated and unanimously carried a motion proposing that we now start a significant campaign to retain Land Registry as part of the civil service with lobbying of politicians, briefings for members and ballot for a sustained programme of industrial action.
The main focus of the current round of national industrial action is pay. However, privatisation is also one of the main strands of the national campaign and its PCS policy to oppose all privatisation of civil service functions. It’s therefore vital that all PCS members get behind the current industrial action. PCS members across the whole of the wider BIS group which members of Land Registry are part of are asked to take action by staying away from work on 31 May.
For further details see our leaflets:
PCS national executive committee member