Wales politics

ONS staff should stay in Newport HQ, says Bean review

Sir Charles Bean Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Sir Charlie Bean's final report is due to be published in time for the Budget, in March 2016

A review of economic statistics has recommended staff should stay in the Newport headquarters of the Office for National Statistics (ONS).

The ONS is the UK's main source of economic data, and two thirds of its staff are based in the city.

The interim report, by Ex-Bank of England deputy governor Sir Charlie Bean, said Newport should become an economic statistics "hot spot".

Sir Charlie said the ONS should "build up" its "long-term" capability there.

However, he said the move from London to Newport, in the late 2000s, resulted in a "significant" loss of statistical expertise.

There have been fears the review would lead to hundreds of jobs leaving south Wales.

Sir Charlie's report said the ONS should increase its London presence, but that the "home of economic statistics should remain and be strengthened in Newport", which he said would "contribute to the ongoing development of south Wales" as a "hub of data expertise".

Gez Kirby, from the PCS union, welcomed "Charlie Bean's recognition of statistical expertise in Newport" and said the union was "pleased he proposes to grow that expertise base".

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