Clevedon Jobcentre set for December move to Castlewood
PUBLISHED: 13:00 11 October 2017
Clevedon’s Jobcentre Plus will move in December, the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) has revealed.
The DWP revealed the Old Street centre will move to North Somerset Council’s Castlewood building as part of sweeping national changes.
The Times reported in February that a move was likely to be completed in March, but it has now been revealed the merger will take place on December 8.
The DWP says the changes are being made to coincide with the fact more claimants are accessing support online instead of using its buildings, with around 80 per cent of Jobseeker’s Allowance claimed now made via the internet.
Damian Hinds, minister 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.
“The changes DWP is making to its estate across the country will offer a more efficient service, and deliver good value to the taxpayer.”
The move has been met with concern by town councillors, who are worried about what will happen to the empty building and the increased traffic around the already busy Castlewood.
Councillor David Shopland said: “It is yet another nail in the coffin for the viability of the Triangle area.
“I do worry as to what is going to happen to the building. Is it going to be yet another block of flats with no parking?
“Castlewood is already chock-a-block with traffic.
“We are putting the job centre in the same situation as the police in that we are moving it away from people by taking it outside the centre.”
In total, more than 80 job centres will close across the country over the next seven months. Some smaller centres will merge with larger ones while others, including Clevedon, will relocate to local government buildings.
It is estimated this will save the DWP more than £140million over the next decade.
But the department admits the cuts are likely to lead to hundreds of job losses nationally.
Claimants at Clevedon Jobcentre Plus will be helped by their work coaches during the merger.