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Latest news | Update on Job Centre closures following Ministerial meeting

Latest news

Update on Job Centre closures following Ministerial meeting

SNP MPs have today outlined their demands over the planned “callous closures” of eight job centres across Glasgow, following a meeting with the Minister of State for the Department of Work and Pensions.

The meeting with Damian Hinds MP, organised by SNP MP Stewart McDonald, also pressed the Minister on the department's data gathering methods after it was revealed that the DWP had relied on Google Maps for determining journey times for claimants.

The demands come as the DWP identified eight job centres for closure without carrying out sufficient research into the impact the closures will have on hard pressed families, those from under-privileged backgrounds and people with disabilities across the city.

The group of Glasgow SNP MPs have outlined their three demands to Damian Hinds and said these must be met. The asks include reviewing the DWP’s consultation to include all eight of the job centres rather than just three, the need for a Equality Impact Assessment and thirdly to ensure that the DWP notifies all affected claimants of the public consultation on the closures online, which they have previously refused.

SNP MP Stewart McDonald, whose constituency includes two of the identified job centres due for closure, commented:

“The meeting today with the Minister was one of outlining our deep concerns and objections to the planned closures to job centres across many of our constituencies and that will hit many hard-pressed families.

“The DWP have so far avoided any public attention towards the consultation so it was a small yet significant victory that the government will now put the public consultation online and extend until the end of January 2017. The Minister must now ensure that the claimants affected by the callous closures are notified so that they can have their say.

“Our demands on behalf of our constituents across the city are holding this government to account and to ensure that before any of these cuts go ahead due process has been adhered to.

“We pressed the Minister to ensure that those affected must have a say, their concerns must be heard, and for many, their challenges and difficulties, including any disabilities, must be examined. Currently, the DWP’s approach and research has been nothing short of indifferent, shabby and simply shameful."

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