Patrick Grady, SNP MP for Glasgow North and Bob Doris, SNP MSP for Maryhill & Springburn, have condemned reported DWP plans to close Maryhill Job Centre along with seven others across the city.
The proposals - part of the “People and Locations” programme announced in the autumn statement last year - would mean eight of the 16 Job Centre offices across Glasgow would close, impacting some 68,000 people in receipt of Jobseeker’s Allowance, Employment Support Allowance and Universal Credit. The DWP is facing a 20% cut in its estate, but Glasgow is facing disproportionate cuts with 50% of the city’s Job Centres slated for closure.
Patrick Grady MP, raised the issue at Prime Minister's Questions today (7th December 2016), asking how closing Maryhill Job Centre, in one of the most deprived parts of Glasgow, will help any of his constituents who want to find a job, and why this government continues to target the poorest & most vulnerable in our society.
Commenting, Patrick Grady said:
"These plans have come almost out of nowhere and will be a shock both to the staff working in the job centres and the many job seekers who use the service.
"Half of Glasgow's job centres, in some of the most deprived areas of the city - including Maryhill - are slated for closure. Maryhill jobseekers now face the prospect of travelling at least an extra half hour to reach the Springburn centre - meaning extra costs and an increased risk of sanctions if they are delayed.
"At Prime Minister's Questions today I asked how this in any way was supposed to help people who are looking for work find a job. We urgently need more information on the timetable for these plans and what consultation there will be before a final decision is made.
Bob Doris MSP said:
"This is a totally unacceptable announcement and it's very disappointing that the Scottish Government and local elected representatives were not consulted or notified in advance.
"Job Centres are supposed to help people find jobs and training opportunities. Maryhill Job Centre is a vital community asset and losing the facility could have a wider impact on the local area.
"I'll be working with SNP MSPs, MPs and Councillors to oppose this decision in Maryhill and across the city."