Jobcentre Closures

Part of Committees – in the House of Commons at 9:34 pm on 5th February 2018.

Alert me about debates like this

Photo of Alison Thewliss Alison Thewliss Shadow SNP Spokesperson (Cities), Shadow SNP Spokesperson (Treasury) 9:34 pm, 5th February 2018

I do not want to detain the House too long, but I want to pick up on a couple of points.

My local jobcentre in Bridgeton closed on Friday. That jobcentre was well used and, as my hon. Friend David Linden pointed out, it was round the corner from the Bridgeton citizens advice bureau. I spoke to the manager of Bridgeton citizens advice bureau, Frank Mosson, a week last Friday, after my surgery had finished. It was after 2 o’clock on Friday afternoon, and that was the first opportunity he had that day, since arriving at about half-past 8 in the morning, to go and get some lunch, but the soup had finished in the shop and there was nothing left for lunch. He had been sitting there all day working through case after case—complex cases—caused by the UK Government.

People rely on the citizens advice bureau in Bridgeton and other ones around the city to get the advice that they very much need and depend on. The jobcentre is being moved away from that local hub and the local support network. The credit union, the library and the housing association are nearby. All those things are right where people need them, but it is being moved out of the community and people are being sent nearly 3 miles away, on two bus journeys, or a 50-minute walk on a good day, if they are healthy and it is not tipping down outside.