05 October 1998
Office move threatens BSE research
By FWi staff
SCIENTIFIC work on BSE could be jeopardised by plans to relocate the Governments animal health offices to central London, an MP has warned.
The Government has proposed close its animal health centre at Tolworth, Surrey. It plans to move the centres 400 scientific and clerical staff to new offices near MAFF headquarters at Westminster.
But Edward Davey, the Liberal Democrat MP for Kingston and Surbiton, today (Monday) described the move as potentially “very damaging”.
“This is a very ill-advised move which will cause great inconvenience to many people who are used to working close to home,” he told Londons Evening Standard newspaper.
Scientists at Tolworth deal with various animal welfare issues, including BSE and live exports. It is also the headquarters of the Governments Chief Veterinary Officer.
Some senior staff at Tolworth have threatened to resign if the planned move goes ahead. They are looking for other jobs after claiming that working in central London is too expensive.
The employees also claim that the move will cost taxpayers an extra £1 million in additional annual administration costs associated with the Westminster site.
And they claim that valuable time will be taken up accessing animal health files which in the future will be stored at Hayes, Middlesex.