Calls to save job cen­tres

Move to stop DWP clo­sures

Rutherglen Reformer - - News - Jonathan Ged­des

Lo­cal politi­cians have thrown their weight be­hind a cam­paign to save the job cen­tres in Cam­bus­lang and Castlemilk from clo­sure.

Both Mar­garet Fer­rier MP and Clare Haughey MSP are among a group who have es­tab­lished a pe­ti­tion call­ing on Min­is­ter for Em­ploy­ment Damian Hinds to halt the plans. They want him to carry out a thor­ough Equal­ity Im­pact As­sess­ment be­fore mak­ing a de­ci­sion on the fu­ture of the job cen­tres.

They say that clos­ing the cen­tres would be a “morally out­ra­geous” de­ci­sion.

Last month it was an­nounced that eight of the 16 job cen­tres op­er­at­ing across Glas­gow and the sur­round­ing area were ear­marked for clo­sure as part of the Depart­ment of Work and Pen­sions re­view of their es­tate.

Peo­ple in Cam­bus­lang will be asked to at­tend Ruther­glen Job Cen­tre in the fu­ture, while those in Castlemilk will be ex­pected to travel to the New­lands fa­cil­ity.

Mar­garet Fer­rier MP said: “The DWP have an­nounced ridicu­lous plans which will see half of the Job­cen­tres in the Glas­gow area close their doors for good.

“Peo­ple will have to travel fur­ther, and no doubt this will lead to a rise in puni­tive sanc­tions. “This can­not be al­lowed to go ahead.” The pe­ti­tion has been signed by sev­eral MPs and MSPs for the af­fected ar­eas.

It states: “This morally out­ra­geous de­ci­sion will im­pact tens of thou­sands of peo­ple in re­ceipt of job­seeker’s al­lowance, em­ploy­ment sup­port al­lowance and univer­sal credit.

“The con­se­quences will be se­verely felt by some of the most vul­ner­a­ble and dis­ad­van­taged peo­ple in our most de­prived com­mu­ni­ties who will find it more dif­fi­cult to ac­cess these vi­tal ser­vices.

“These clo­sures will re­sult in the poor­est com­mu­ni­ties not be­ing ser­viced by a Job­cen­tre and make it even harder for those seek­ing em­ploy­ment to get sup­port.

“Thou­sands of peo­ple will have to travel fur­ther at ad­di­tional cost to at­tend their ap­point­ments and run a greater risk of fall­ing foul of the UK Gov­ern­ment’s sanc­tions regime.

“This de­ci­sion will also im­pact Scot­tish work­ers who will be forced to re­lo­cate to other Job­cen­tres.

“It is es­pe­cially con­cern­ing that the UK Gov­ern­ment has brought for­ward these pro­pos­als with­out car­ry­ing out an Equal­ity Im­pact As­sess­ment and with­out con­sult­ing the Scot­tish Gov­ern­ment.”

A fi­nal de­ci­sion on the plans is ex­pected within the next six months.

Other job cen­tres af­fected by the pro­pos­als are in Park­head, Bridgeton, Easter­house, Lang­side, An­nies­land and Mary­hill.

The pe­ti­tion can be signed at www.change. org/p/damian-hinds-mp-save-glas­gow-sjob­cen­tres

This can­not be al­lowed to go ahead”

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