MOTOROLA Solutions has begun moving around 250 jobs out of Basingstoke, with the borough council accused of playing “monopoly”.
Employees are being moved from the Jays Close site, which is the American communication giant’s European, Middle East and Africa headquarters, to offices in central London.
Cllr Paul Harvey, leader of the Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council Labour group, said: “It’s very disappointing that we see Motorola, a key employer in Basingstoke for a number of years, a valued local business, choosing to leave the town.”
Around 1,200 jobs have been moved from Basingstoke in the last four years, with energy provider SSE and technology firm Huawei moving to Reading, and pharmaceutical giant Shire relocating to London.
Motorola Solutions, which has been in Basingstoke since 1982, announced in February that it would be ending its association with the town.
Cllr Harvey said the borough council needed to improve its inward investment strategy.
He said: “I’ve been calling for a long time now for a far more energetic and focussed inward investment strategy.
“Businesses need to see a council that actually cares about the economy, it’s not some property game, it’s not
a game of monopoly, we’re talking about livelihoods and jobs and that means a council that takes job creation seriously and does what local businesses need to make inward investment good.”
Borough council leader Cllr Clive Sanders said “international businesses have to take these decisions” for “specific business reasons” and the council had no control over them.
He added: “As part of the town’s growing reputation for innovation and enterprise, we continue to work to attract technology companies and we are keen to support this sector of our economy.
“Our borough is a great place to do business and this is reflected by the high levels of employment and business start-ups, and by the many businesses which are thriving, expanding and creating more jobs locally.”
Cllr Sanders said the borough council was looking ‘at interesting opportunities’ for the future.
In a statement, a spokesperson for Motorola Solutions confirmed it had started the process of moving Basingstoke staff to London.
He added that “parts of the Viables facility will remain operational for some time as staff will continue to work on projects at the facility, while others will transfer to our new London headquarters or other facilities within the UK”.
Motorola hopes the full move will be completed in 2018.