Londonderry has among fewest civil servants in NI

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There are fewer civil servants living in Londonderry than anywhere else in Northern Ireland apart from Fermanagh and South Tyrone and North Antrim, it has been revealed.

Finance Minister Mervyn Story has published new data thatshow that just 909 members of the Northern Ireland Civil Service (NICS) were resident here at October 1, 2015.

In Fermanagh and South Tyrone there were 788 civil servants resident and in North Antrim there were just 762.

And whilst over the Glenshane in Mid Ulster there were just 962 NICS workers, in every other single constituency there were over 1,000, according to the figures.

Unsurprisingly, the constituencies that benefit most in terms of public sector employment were all located in the same place, beside one another, in the south and east of, and to the south and east of Belfast.

For example, 1,868 civil servants were listed as resident of Strangford; 1,716 were living in South Belfast; 1,707 called East Belfast home; and 1,703 were from North Down.

Mr Storey explained that the figures, which showed there are 25,802 NICS workers across Northern Ireland, do not include staff who are on career break or secondment to another organisation.

He also says that for 2,528 it was not possible to assign residence to a PCA because postcode information was either incomplete, incorrect or absent. Mr Storey was providing the details on the number of civil servants living in each constituency in response to an Assembly Question from the United Kingdom Independence Party (UKIP) MLA, David McNarry.

A proposal by Sir George Bain’s that up to 5,000 public sector jobs should be relocated out of Belfast to unemployment blackspots like Londonderry was dismissed over six years ago.

The Minister of that previous Assembly mandate, Sammy Wilson, had said that the £40m cost of implementing the proposals would have been too high and the idea was scrapped.