The response to concerns over Job Centre closures in Glasgow has been described as "deeply disappointing" by the Scottish National Party following a meeting between elected representatives and senior Department for Work and Pensions officials.
A few days ago, staff at Glasgow's sixteen Job Centres were told that half the sites in the city were to be axed as part of a UK-wide review that aims to reduce the number of Job Centres by 20%.
MPs - who were only informed of the plans by the DWP after reports appeared in the press - requested an urgent meeting to convey their fears over the impact the plans will have on more than 74,000 recipients of JSA, ESA and UC in Glasgow.
Patrick Grady MP, who organised the meeting, said: “The response from senior Job Centre staff to our concerns was deeply disappointing and they were unable to explain why the public, the Scottish Government, elected representatives, and interested organisations had to find out about the plans from the press before being formally notified.
“We still have no idea what criteria was used to decide whether to close one Job Centre over another and it seems a local Equality Impact Assessment will only take place after the consultation period.
“The so-called public consultation has already started but little effort has been made to raise awareness, and the consultation will finish in January - leaving only a few weeks over the busy Christmas period for responses to be submitted.
“It was even revealed that staff had only used Google maps to calculate the additional travel time to the next Job Centre - which hardly inspires confidence that these proposals have been properly thought through with due consideration given to the thousands of individuals that will be affected.
“The DWP must allow a full and public consultation on all the closures planned for Glasgow and the SNP will continue to fight these morally unjust cuts tooth and nail.
The meeting at Laurieston Job Centre in the Southside of Glasgow on Friday 9th December 2016 was attended by the following SNP representatives: