The UK Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) is reportedly planning to close 50% of the job centre sites in Glasgow. This is a deeply concerning move which will have severe ramifications for job-seekers and social security claimants across the city, not least in Provan, where many people use Job Centre Plus services at Easterhouse and Parkhead. Last week in Parliament, my colleague Bob Doris, (SNP MSP for Glasgow Maryhill and Springburn), led a debate which highlighted the vital role that these job centres play in helping people into work, as well as providing people with support and skills to help them through application and interview processes. Closing job centres in our local communities will have a deeply negative impact on the people who use the service – from discouraging people from attending meetings due to increased travel distance and cost, to making the service less visible for those seeking work.
This issue has united all the political parties in Glasgow that represent the city– except the Tories who continue to defend Westminster's position. We're determined to fight Glasgow's corner and have all signed a letter to the Secretary of State for Scotland that my colleague Stewart McDonald (SNP MSP for Glasgow South) co-ordinated, asking David Mundell to speak up for Scotland for once, and scrap the plans. Stewart has also created a petition on 38 Degrees.
I've also written to the Glasgow Tory Regional MSPs, Annie Wells and Adam Tomkins, urging them to use their influence with their colleagues in Westminster to remedy this situation.
I'd like to assure constituents that my colleagues and I will fight this proposal every step of the way. Please sign the petition at https://you.38degrees.org.uk/petitions/save-glasgow-s-job-centres
Eight of Glasgow's 16 job centres are slated for closure.
Easterhouse, Parkhead, Langside, Anniesland and Cambuslang are considered by the DWP to be within reasonable travelling distances of the replacement Jobcentres.