The Archbishop of Glasgow has expressed his concern at a proposal to close half of the city’s job centres and urged the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) to reconsider.
Officials have said that the decision was made in order to save money. The DWP says the move, which will see the closure of eight job centres, will also provide more efficient use of DWP premises.
However, Archbishop Philip Tartaglia raised his concerns at the proposed closures, pointing out Glasgow’s high unemployment numbers.
“I am very concerned by the Department of Work and Pensions’ proposals to close half of Glasgow’s job centres,” he said. “Sadly, Glasgow has one of the highest rates of unemployment in Scotland, and suffers high levels of deprivation as a result. Closing offices in some of the most deprived areas of the city, risks reducing access to support for those who need it most.
“Tens of thousands of people will potentially have to travel further at additional cost to attend their appointments, while risking severe sanctions if they are even a few minutes late. I hope this proposal will be reconsidered in a way which respects the dignity of claimants and meets their needs.”
DWP officials say Castlemilk and Langside centres will move to Newlands job centre; Parkhead, Easterhouse and Bridgeton will move to Shettleston job centre; Anniesland will move to Partick job centre; Maryhill will move to Springburn job centre and Cambuslang will move to Rutherglen job centre.
Glasgow currently has a total of 16 job centres but the move will reduce the number to eight.
Picture: General view of a Job Centre Plus in Glasgow. (Danny Lawson/PA).