219-year era ends as mapmakers’ jobs sold off


219-year era ends as mapmakers’ jobs sold off

Prospect has expressed sadness and anger after the jobs of Britain’s mapmakers were outsourced after two centuries of excellence.

Ordnance Survey’s decision to hand its print and warehouse functions to private companies will place 38 staff at risk of redundancy and will be the first time the organisation has not printed its own maps since 1791.

Prospect negotiator Ben Middleton said: “The proposed savings are tiny in relation to overall annual turnover. These cuts will save around £6m over five years at an organisation with a turnover of more than £110m a year – worth about 1 per cent.

“It may seem a small number of jobs at risk compared to what is happening everywhere else. But our members fear this is the thin end of the wedge for the dismantling and dispersal of one of the country’s oldest government departments, whose reliable and iconic products are extremely popular with the public.”

Prospect represents more than 600 cartographers, surveyors, printers, IT and other specialists at Ordnance Survey. Branch secretary Don Campbell said: “This is a very sad day, marking the end of an era. Our job as a union now is to make sure that those affected end up where they want to be, whether through an acceptable redundancy package, relocation or finding a new job within OS.”