Closure of Hornchurch jobcentre confirmed
PUBLISHED: 16:37 05 July 2017 | UPDATED: 17:01 05 July 2017
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Proposals to close the Hornchurch jobcentre will go ahead, the government has announced.
List of centres that will be closed
Brixton, Cityside, Clapham, Dagenham, Dalston, East Ham, Edgware, Eltham, Finchley, Hammersmith, Highgate, Hornchurch, Kilburn, Lewisham, Leytonstone, London Concept House, Neasden, Plaistow, Southall and Westminster.
Wembley processing/contact centre and two National Insurance Number Office hub offices in Cityside and Camden will also close.
The North Street office is among a third of sites across the capital due to close - some as early as next year.
Today’s announcement from the Department of Work and Pensions (DWP) confirms that proposals, made in January, to merge some smaller offices with larger ones to provide a “more efficient service” will go ahead.
Staff and claimants at the Hornchurch jobcentre will be relocated to the Romford site.
Damian Hinds, minster for employment, said: “We will always make sure that people have the support they need to get into and progress within work.
“These changes reflect the fact that more people access their benefits online resulting in many of our buildings being underused.
“We’re merging some offices and locating other jobcentres with local authorities to make sure that the welfare state and our employment support works for those who need it and those who pay for it.”
But the move has been criticised by the Public and Commercial Services union, which has said that many of the sites that will close by 2023 are in areas of high unemployment and the additional cost of travelling to another town will impact claimants.
Regional secretary Sharon Leslie said: “We will continue to fight these closures and defend jobs and services.
“This decision is an attack on the most disadvantaged in London.
“Our members have vast experience in supporting claimants that typically need additional support to access employment, such as young, disabled and BAME people or those from lower income families.
“This local support will now be lost and people from these groups will be disproportionately affected.”
The DWP said its plans reflect the fact that eight out of 10 claims for Jobseeker’s Allowance and 99 per cent of applications for the Universal Credit full service are now made online.
DWP buildings are used much less, with 20pc currently under-utilised.