'No consultation' over Glasgow job centre closures

Image source, PA

The Scottish government has said it was "completely unacceptable" that it was not consulted on plans to close half of Glasgow's job centres.

On Wednesday, the Department of Work and Pensions announced the closures as part of a review of its estate.

Scottish government Employability Minister Jamie Hepburn has written to the department to ask for clarity.

The DWP said there would be public consultation on closures resulting in travel of more than three miles.

Denise Horsfall, DWP work services director for Scotland, told BBC Radio's Good Morning Scotland programme that three of the proposed closures would result in travel increasing to up to four miles.

She said these job centres - in Maryhill, Castlemilk and Bridgton - could remain open depending on the outcome of the consultation.

Proposed closures

  • Castlemilk and Langside Jobcentres will move to Newlands Jobcentre
  • Parkhead, Easterhouse and Bridgeton Jobcentres will move to Shettleston Jobcentre
  • Anniesland Jobcentre will move to Partick Jobcentre
  • Maryhill Jobcentre will move to Springburn Jobcentre
  • Cambuslang Jobcentre will move to Rutherglen Jobcentre

Jobcentre Plus offices in Govan, Drumchapel and Laurieston will be unaffected.

Mr Hepburn said there should have been discussion with the Scottish Government, particularly as it had been working closely with the DWP to transfer new employability support powers.

"My first concern is to understand how DWP have assessed the impact of these proposed changes on their customers at a time when they are increasing the level of Jobcentre Plus-based support in favour of reducing funding for devolved employment provision," he said.

"The UK Government must also explain its plans for other Jobcentre Plus networks and whether we should expect further planned closures."

A final decision on the plans is expected to be made within six months, with a view to completion by 31 March 2018.

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