Universal Credit claimants promised ‘no reduction’ in DWP service despite Jobcentre closur | Personal Finance | Finance

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The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) is set to close 20 Jobcentre sites, sparking concern from benefit claimants. However, the Government has confirmed that it will “not reduce levels of service” for benefit claimants, including those on Universal Credit. Those on the DWP payment and other benefits sometimes have to attend work coach meetings at Jobcentres which are compulsory for their claim.

The DWP has reiterated that the Jobcentres being shut down were only meant to be open on a “temporary basis” due to the pandemic.

On the closures, the Viscount Younger of Leckie said: “The Department has always been clear the additional Jobcentres were opened on a temporary basis to help us adapt our services and support in response to the pandemic, as set out in my previous statement ‘DWP – Expanding Our Services’ on 23 March 2021.

“The decommissioning of these additional temporary sites, where they are no longer required, will not reduce our levels of service or access to face-to-face appointments going forward.

“Most customers will return to being served by their established Jobcentre and there will be no reduction in the number of Work Coaches serving customers as a result of these changes.”

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Here is a full list of the affected sites:

  • Aylesbury – 66 High Street, Aylesbury HP20 1SE
  • Bath – Pinesgate, Lower Bristol Road, Bath BA2 3DP
  • Blyth – Bridge House, Percy Street, Blyth NE24 2AQ
  • Burnley – 7 Market Square, Charter Walk Shopping Centre, St James Street, Burnley BB11 1AX
  • Dundee – 140 West Marketgait, Dundee DD1 1NJ
  • Gateshead – 76 Upper Blue Mall, Metro Centre, Gateshead NE11 9YG
  • Halifax – Broad Street Plaza, Halifax HX1 1UB
  • Inverness – 39 Glendoe Terrace, Inverness IV3 8DL
  • Ipswich – St Vincent House, 1 Cutler Street, Ipswich IP1 1 UQ
  • Kettering – 45 High Street, Kettering NN16 8SU
  • Leeds – HEM House, Kirkstall Road, Burley, Leeds LS4 2BT
  • Lincoln – Witham Wharf, Brayford Wharf East, Lincoln LN5 7AT
  • London Hackney – 3 Haberdasher Street, London N1 6ED
  • London Kentish Town – Hermes Studios, 1 – 7 Hermes Street, London N1 9JD
  • London Sutton Carew – Sutton Carew House, Wallington, Sutton, SM6 0DX
  • London Tooting – 71 Tooting High Street, London SW17 0SU
  • Stevenage – Abel Smith House, Gunnels Wood Road, Stevenage SG1 2ST
  • Sunderland – Tavistock Place, Sunderland SR1 1PB
  • Swindon – 9 – 20 Canal Walk, Swindon SN1 1LD
  • Wigan – Mesnes House, Mesnes Street, Wigan WN1 1QJ.


However, the closures of temporary Jobcentres have sparked anger among the country’s unions.

Eamon O’Hearn, GMB’s National Officer, voiced his outrage over the decision to close the sites which he believes “will undoubtedly impact” services for Universal Credit claimants and other benefits.

He explained: “The proposal to close DWP sites will not only cost jobs but will undermine Government rhetoric about growing the labour force.

“Closures will undoubtedly impact on services and represent a screeching U-turn on the original programme to extend the reach of DWP into communities.

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“GMB members, who work as security at these sites, will have their jobs and futures put at risk.

“This plan makes no sense when the Government is touting warm words on growth and employment.”

Earlier this month, 205 civil service jobs were made redundant when the DWP closed one of its offices in Clydebank.

According to the Government, the majority of people in these roles are getting redeployed elsewhere.

Across the country, a total of 668 positions in 25 DWP back-of-house sites have been cut, as well as the shutting down of Jobcentres.

A DWP spokesperson said: “We no longer need the temporary space we acquired during the pandemic to accommodate social distancing.

“To continue providing our essential employment support and other services in a way that is cost efficient for the taxpayer, we are phasing out these temporarily leased sites and staff and all customer services will return to the nearby established jobcentre.

“The closing of these temporary sites will not reduce our levels of service, or access to face-to-face appointments. Customers will return to being served by their established Jobcentre and there will be no reduction in the number of Work Coaches serving customers as a result.”

Author: Dhanraj7978

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