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Closure of the Family Records Centre: Southport Visitor, 14 March 2008

Southport Visitor, 14 March 2008

An article in the Southport local paper claimed that Southport-based staff were going on a 'costly junket' to London at public expense. The Head of Human Resources at Southport wrote to put the record straight.

Sir

John Siddle's recent exclusive on the supposed "junket" of Smedley Hydro staff to London is wide of the mark.

Since its inception, staff at the Family Records Centre in London have been an integral part of the General Register Office (GRO) family. Its closure is part of a modernisation programme to improve customer choice and reduce costs to the taxpayer. There have been no compulsory redundancies. It was quite proper to mark its passing with an event to celebrate its contribution to the community and acknowledge the work of London based colleagues. Funding for this was shared jointly by GRO and The National Archive. There was no £1,000 drinks tab and costs were significantly lower than those quoted.

GRO is well aware of its obligations as a custodian of the taxpayers' purse and will continue to discharge that duty diligently.

Yours faithfully,

Dave Harris
Head of Human Resources
General Register Office
Smedley Hydro
Southport
PR8 2HH

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