Plans to close Alexandria Jobcentre are “completely unacceptable” and could lead to even more sanctions being imposed on unemployed and disabled people in the Vale of Leven, local MSP Jackie Baillie said.
Writing to Damian Hinds MP, the Tory Employment Minister, Jackie Baillie branded the decision ‘counter-productive’ and called on the Tories to think again.
Under the plans announced today, the Alexandria Jobcentre would be closed and staff would be transferred to Dumbarton Jobcentre by March 2018 at the latest. There was no consultation with staff before the announcement.
Jackie also slammed the Minister for claiming that the two sites were ‘just 3 miles’ apart when the actual distance is nearer four miles. This is a key point because the Department of Work and Pensions have only agreed to full public consultation on closures where travel is over 3 miles.
“This is a reckless decision from the Tories which will make it even harder for unemployed people in the Vale of Leven to find a job.
“Public transport between Alexandria and Dumbarton is often unreliable, with cancelled buses and late-running trains skipping stations, and this could result in even more sanctions being handed out if people arrive late for appointments. This proposal would hit some of the most vulnerable families in the Vale at a time when one in four people are already living in poverty.
“It is also completely unacceptable that staff at the Alexandria site were not consulted on the closure before the announcement. The Tories must think again on these cuts