THE relocation to civil servants’ jobs to provincial towns is extremely welcome for many reasons.

Firstly, it will bring great benefits to the local economies of places like Darlington and Stoke, and it will give hope to young people that there is a career path ahead of them that doesn’t force them to leave home.

One of the other main benefits is that it could change the mindset of government. For decades, decisions have been made by people who live in and around London, who use high streets in London, whose partners work in London, who go to the theatre or the football in London. It is little wonder if their decisions are made through a lens that looks only at London.

London is a fabulous and exciting city, but the country is a kaleidoscope of places with different needs and different approaches, and the regions need to be assisted and shaped by people who have intimate knowledge of them – not by distant people who only visit now and again.

This relocation seems to be more than a box ticking exercise. There appear to be some real big hitters moving out, and we hope that they immerse themselves in our wonderful culture and countryside so that they see things through eyes that are not solely focussed on the metropolitan experience.