EK staff in HMRC plea
Staff at East Kilbride’s two tax offices fear for the future of the town and the impact on their families if HMRC move to a regional centre in Glasgow.
Stay in EK campaigners are fighting to have a decision to close Plaza Tower and Centre 1 reversed.
We fear for our families and the future of East Kilbride if HMRC leave the town.
Those are the views of staff members at the town’s Centre 1 and Plaza Tower tax offices.
In letters sent to the News, two employees and one former member of staff whose sons still work in the tax offices have outlined their concerns surrounding HMRC’s proposed move to a regional centre in Glasgow.
Around 2700 jobs are affected and campaigners state that 2000 jobs will be indirectly affected if and when the taxman up sticks – leading to a devastating impact on the East Kilbride and wider South Lanarkshire economies.
The News has joined forces with the Stay in EK campaign group in a bid to get the UK Government to reverse this decision and ensure HMRC remains right here in East Kilbride which is celebrating its 70th anniversary as a new town.
There are plans to close Plaza Tower by 2021 and Centre 1 by 2025.
In a statement issued to the News yesterday morning, HMRC say they will retain a presence in East Kilbride “until 2027-28.”
However, Public and Commercial Services Union (PCS) East Kilbride branch organiser Scott Clark says staff have not been told of any extension beyond 2025.
The letters from staff – who we are not naming or identifying – draw attention to the stresses they are facing as HMRC plan for a new future in Glasgow. We hear from: ●The employee who enjoys working for HMRC in East Kilbride as she is close to her parents who need her help.
●The former employee who built his
at the tax offices in East Kilbride, moved here and built their lives here.
“The impact this move will have on the likes of single parents and family life is not something this government seems to recognise.
“The letters these staff members have sent to you shows how important this issue is. This is not something they will have done lightly but they feel the need to speak out about what’s happening.”
A spokesperson for HMRC said: “As part of our transformation plans to create a tax authority fit for the future, we are reducing HMRC’s estate from 140 offices spread across the UK to 13 regional centres, including centres in Edinburgh and Glasgow.
“The changes mean we can give customers the modern services they expect as we move firmly into the digital age – allowing us to deliver better public services at a lower cost to the taxpayer; and bring HMRC employees together into modern offices – enabling greater collaboration and flexible working.
“We will do everything we can to support our employees in relocating to the regional centres including retaining a presence in East Kilbride until 2027/8.”
But Mr Clark replied: “As far as we’re concerned, the plans have been to close Queensway House by 2025.
“We have been given no indication that there will be an extension to that.
“Dr Lisa Cameron, the MP for East Kilbride, asked the treasury about an extension of the lease at Centre 1 and has not had a reply.
“What they have said certainly doesn’t echo what HMRC have told staff. If HMRC are planning on staying in East Kilbride until 2027-28, they should be telling us.”
He added: “We want to work with HMRC on finding a solution which will be for the benefit of everyone.”
●The Stay in EK petition can also be signed online. Visit https://www. ipetitions.com/petition/stayinek and give your support.
Joining the fight The East Kilbride News will keep up the pesssure
Future in doubt HRMC propose to leave the town