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Proposed Cumnock DWP Office Closure

Published date : 27 Jan 2017

MP and MSP Join Forces on Proposed Cumnock DWP Office Closure

Corri Wilson MP and Jeane Freeman MSP have spoken out about the Department of Work and Pensions’ proposed plans to close their Child Maintenance Group call centre in Cumnock.

The 80 staff based at the Killoch House office in the town were told yesterday (Thursday) about plans to close the site and transfer existing staff to other offices in Ayr and Kilmarnock by the end of the year. This is part of the UK Government’s decision to slash the Department for Work and Pensions estate across Scotland, which has included the closure of eight job centres in Glasgow announced late last year and a further nine Job Centre Plus offices, five other ‘Back of House’ call centres and a centre for Health and Disability Assessments across the country also announced yesterday.

Speaking after the announcement, Ms Wilson, MP for Ayr, Carrick & Cumnock, said:

“This announcement is extremely worrying for Cumnock and the staff currently working in Killoch House. While there has been some discussion regarding possible relocation to other sites, people are understandably concerned about their futures, the possibility of redundancies, and the knock-on impact on local businesses.

“It is utterly disgraceful that the UK Government are planning to now scrap even more of the DWP estate in Scotland, on the back of recent HMRC cuts in Scotland, which we were told wouldn’t happen if Scotland rejected independence in 2014.

“The destruction of civil service jobs and buildings across Scotland must be immediately halted, and my colleagues at Westminster and I are demanding an urgent meeting with DWP Ministers to get answers on these disproportionate cuts.”

Jeane Freeman, MSP for Carrick, Cumnock & Doon Valley, added:

“I was angered to hear of the plans to close the DWP facility at Killoch House in Cumnock. This is another high-handed announcement from the DWP, with no prior notice or consultation. My concern is for the 80 people who work there who may have to transfer to Ayr, Kilmarnock or lose their jobs. We need to have jobs throughout Carrick, Cumnock and Doon Valley to enable our communities to thrive.

“Elsewhere in Scotland, public-facing Job Centres are also being closed; this is an ideology driven attack by the UK Conservative Government on the services that those most in need of help and support rely on. We need the DWP to justify closing this service, and to engage in proper consultation with staff and the local community. If it is about saving money, then perhaps they can explain where the savings will come from.

“I will work closely with Corri Wilson MP and the Scottish Government to fight these closures and resist this latest round of cuts in our community.”

ENDS

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