North West Wales

Assembly government office opens in Llandudno Junction

The assembly government's new £20m north Wales office has been opened by First Minister Carwyn Jones.

The Llandudno Junction office for 650 staff is part of a commitment to spread civil service jobs across Wales.

Unions said numbers relocating from Cardiff Bay headquarters was "less than expected".

But Peter Harris of the Public and Commercial Services Union (PCS) said decentralising work from Cardiff was "the right thing to do".

"We've seen devolution from London to Cardiff and there now needs to be devolution from Cardiff so other parts of Wales can benefit from devolution," Mr Harris said.

He added: "The number of people transferring is not what was anticipated. We were hoping for a better response but we're talking about people's lives, children in school, and uprooting.

"Therefore I'm not surprised there's not an overwhelming urge for people to move.

"It's not about north Wales, it's about people not wanting to upset family lives."

Llandudno Junction is the third assembly government office outside Cardiff. Offices in Merthyr Tydfil opened in 2006 and Aberystwyth in 2009.

When the process of relocating posts across Wales began in 2002, only 23% of Welsh Assembly Government posts were based outside Cardiff.

By August this year 49% of posts were based outside the capital.

Around 650 staff will be accommodated at the new offices, including staff relocated from south Wales.

It will house the economic and transport departments, education and lifelong learning, and regional communication teams.

Mr Jones said: "This new office provides a direct link with the community and demonstrates how serious we are about bringing government closer to the people of Wales.

"Llandudno Junction is an ideal place for the Welsh Assembly Government to invest in the future of its operations."

The offices feature a dedicated space called Y Bont where the public can access assembly government services and talk to staff.

An open day will be held on Saturday, 25 September, where the public are invited to explore the new building.

Visitors will be able to find out more about the new building and the assembly government and they will be able to go on a tour of the office.

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