Today, I met with Department of Work and Pension (DWP) management to discuss the proposed closure of Port Glasgow jobcentre.
In January, the Minister for Employment, Damien Hinds MP announced proposal to relocate the Jobcentre at 6 Scarlow Street, Port Glasgow, PA14 5EY to Greenock, 99 Dalrymple Street, Greenock, PA15 1QL.
I recently led an Urgent Question, in the House of Commons, to ask the UK Government to set out their proposals and why Port Glasgow jobcentre is to close. Alongside this, I raised a number of written parliamentary questions on the subject.
The plans to cut the number of jobcentres across Scotland, including in Inverclyde, will have a profound impact on many individuals and households.
The lack of consultation on the proposed closures is worrying and I have a number of concerns, for example, the increased distance individuals will have to travel to attend a jobcentre and also whether the one to one interaction between staff and service user will continue.
Having met with the PCS Union, last week, I know they are frustrated with the lack of information disseminating from the UK Government. Also, they have real concerns regarding what happens to all the staff in the Port Glasgow office, as no voluntary redundancy will be offered.
I had a productive meeting with DWP management where I highlighted my concerns and urged them to fully support all staff affected, while also providing the necessary welfare support to customers.