Local MP for Merthyr Tydfil and Rhymney, Gerald Jones has raised concerns about the possible impact that any closure of the Merthyr Tydfil Department of Work and Pensions office could have to the local area.
The Closure is a part of the Government’s plan to close 103 DWP offices across the country and in a letter to the minister responsible, Damian Hinds MP, the Labour MP raised issues with the Governments current plan.
If this move goes ahead, around 200 jobs could be moved out of the town to a centralised location north of Cardiff. Gerald raised concerns about the significant impact that the move would have on the quality of life for current employees based in the Merthyr Tydfil and Rhymney area, with longer commute times meaning a longer working day, travel costs and increased care costs for employees with young children or older relatives.
The move could also impact further on quality of service provided by the DWP, which has been under intense scrutiny in recent times
Gerald also raised concerns about the possible effects that the closure could have on the economy of the local area:
“This proposal will have a significant impact on the local economy a wider community, as a number of well paid jobs could be relocated elsewhere. Towns such as Merthyr Tydfil are already feeling the impact of the government’s austerity measures and these proposals will only compound this further.”
“I have met with the local PCS branch have assured them of my support to retain these jobs in Merthyr Tydfil."
Although the minister, has confirmed the future of the jobcentre in Merthyr Tydfil, Gerald is asking the Government to think again about their programme of closures of DWP offices and downsizing across the UK.
PCS, the Public Services Union have been running a major consultation about the government’s plans, and has been working hard with Gerald alongside other MPs to pressure the government to think again.
Katrine Williams is the PCS Wales Chairwomen.
“These ill thought out DWP proposals threaten services to the public, jobs opportunities in the local area and disgracefully put on the real possibilities of redundancies on the table.
“Our members who work in the Merthyr Service centre are very experienced staff with extensive knowledge of benefits and are a real asset to the department and should be valued not have their jobs threatened.
“These job threats in Merthyr are part of the government’s plans to move 1000 jobs out of the Valleys, Cwmbran and Newport which need to be stopped.”