Ahead of the Comprehensive Spending Review on October 20, Downing Street has published the latest list of quangos which will be axed.
The total number is being cut from 901 to 648 with 192 chopped, 118 merged into 57, and 171 facing reform.
Most prominently for manufacturers, the Renewables Advisory Board has been axed; the Design Council is to become a charity instead of a public body; and the Environment Agency is to have its remit ‘stream lined’. The technology Strategy Board has escaped, on the grounds that it performs a necessary impartial service, but eight regional development agencies, as previously announced, will be cut to make way for the new Local Enterprise Partnerships.
There are 40 quangos which remain under review. Among them are Remploy, the Engineering Construction Industry Training Board, and the UK Commission for Employment and Skills – the latter coming with the promise of a simplified skills landscape.
Wednesday’s CSR announcement promises to be controversial. Last week there was speculation that the £60m ports regeneration fund will be axed which in turn could lead to the loss of up to 70,000 potential jobs and three new factories building wind turbines. The Guardian newspaper said this turn of events is ‘likely’, according to its unnamed source, but the Department of Energy and Climate Change refused to respond to the speculation.
Insolvency firm Begbies Traynor has warned that 500,000 jobs in the private sector are at risk through vulnerable companies that are dependent on public bodies for work.
Steve Radley of EEF says government must use the CSR to show which areas of British industry it now intends to back.