I have to be honest, as far as online Government services go the Land Registry, in my experience at least, is pretty bloody good. You can visit the site, search the land registry and download the information you need on a property for little more than a fiver if I recall correctly. Last time I moved it was a God send frankly as it meant I could check that the my crap conveyance solicitor actually did what I paid them to do.
The reason I bring this up is because most Land Registry enquiries these days are carried out over the phone anyway, or online. Being able to go into a local office is not something that happens that often. This has led to the closure of some offices, for example the announcement of the closure of the Harrow office.
Clearly whenever something closes there may be redundancies or relocations, and usually the argument made by organisations like the Unions are done so on the basis of people losing their jobs being bad for those people (which is true but also a reality of life). However, what you don't often see, or should I say this is the first time I've seen it, is opposition to the closure on the basis that there won't be enough non-white ethnic minorities working in the organisation anymore.
This however is the argument that has been put forward by the failed Labour leadership wannabe, John McDonnell in a motion in Parliament. The motion states,
That this House expresses concern at the decision by the board of the Land Registry to close the Harrow office in 2010, despite a diversity impact assessment that identified there would be a disproportionate impact on black and minority ethnic members of staff; notes that 22 per cent. of the entire department's black and minority ethnic staff work in this office; further notes that if this closure goes ahead the diversity of the department will be severely reduced; and therefore calls for urgent discussions between the recognised trade unions, management and Ministers on this matter and a reconsideration of this decision.I am sort of lost for words and to be honest confused. I've heard of the old fashioned producer interests argument being used when redundancies loom, but never have I heard that an office shouldn't be closed because the mixture of skin colour in the department as a whole will be reduced.
In fact, it's actually quite patronising and insulting to all the employees in the Land Registry as well as those who might lose their jobs, isn't it? Essentially it's saying that the value of an employee is founded upon what colour their skin is rather than their actual ability.
It's all seems very weird and nonsensical to me.