The decision to close one of my constituency’s two job centres was not put out to consultation because the distance between the Greenock and Port Glasgow jobcentre is less than three miles.
By setting up the consultation criteria in the way that they have, the UK Government have manufactured the result they wanted: namely, only 30 job- centres out of the 183 affected by the changes will be subject to consultation.
The closure decision has absolutely nothing to do with providing a Government service. Rather, it is part of the UK Government’s goal of selling £4.5 billion-worth of Government land and property by 2020-21.
One issue that may have been identified had a local consultation taken place is that the only main road between Greenock and Port Glasgow is liable to flooding at certain times of the year. It may block traffic once or twice a year, but one missed appointment is all it takes to be sanctioned.
I support the calls for closures to be suspended until a wider consultation is conducted, so that we can properly assess the impact of the decision on all our constituents.