COMMONS

Minister questioned on Jobcentre Plus closures in Scotland

08 February 2017

The Scottish Affairs Committee holds a one off session on planned closures to Jobcentre Plus offices in Scotland where Damian Hinds, Minister of State for Employment, is among those giving evidence.

Witnesses

Wednesday 8 February 2017, Committee Room 8, Palace of Westminster

At 2.15pm

At 3.00pm

  • Frank Mosson, Manager, Glasgow-Bridgeton Citizens Advice Bureau
  • Reverend Dr Martin Johnstone, Minister and Secretary of the Church and Society Council, Church of Scotland
  • Carla McCormack, Policy and Parliamentary Officer, The Poverty Alliance

At 3.45pm

  • Damian Hinds MP, Minister of State for Employment, Department for Work and Pensions
  • Karen Gosden, Director, People and Locations Programme, Department for Work and Pensions
  • Susan Park, Director of Work Services, Department for Work and Pensions

Purpose of the session

The session has been called to clarify DWP plans to close up to 8 Jobcentre Plus offices in Glasgow, and the news that this will be extended to the rest of Scotland and the UK.

The Committee will ask the Minister to clarify his plans and set out how he reached the decision. Will he be consulting those affected, both job seekers and staff? How will job seekers be supported in the future?

Other witnesses providing an insight into the situation in Glasgow include Stewart Malcolm McDonald MP, Citizens Advice Bureau, Church of Scotland and the PCS Union.

Chair's comment

Committee Chair, Pete Wishart commented:

"The Scottish Affairs Committee planned this session to investigate the impact of up to eight Job Centre Plus offices closing in the city. Now that these plans seem to have been extended to the rest of Scotland and the UK the issue has become even more pressing. Parliament has been told that this would not result in any redundancies in Glasgow. That promise has not been extended to the wider closures. We will be seeking assurances that Jobcentre Plus staff in Glasgow and Scotland will be treated fairly.

We will be speaking to Damian Hinds, the Minister for Employment, on Wednesday and will want to know what consultation he has carried out with job seekers or staff to help him understand the consequences of this move? When will the full details be revealed? If closures in Glasgow are replicated throughout the country, many rural areas will have no access to face-to-face support at all. The Minister must demonstrate that the support will be there or reconsider his plans."

Further information

Image: iStockphoto

Video: Parliamentary copyright

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