Following news that the Department for Work and Pensions intends to close Jobcentres in his region, Ross Greer MSP has invited the Employment Minister, Damian Hinds MP, to walk from one of those jobcentres to the next nearest centre.
The Jobcentre in Alexandria has been slated for closure in the most recent round of Jobcentre cuts. In his letter to MSPs in the region, the minister defended these closures on the basis that an alternative jobcentre was “just 3 miles away”.
Speaking about this invitation, Ross said:
“Closing these jobcentres will have a serious impact on many of my constituents, and it’s simply not good enough to brush concerns away by saying alternatives are ‘just’ a few miles away. Those distances are just from centre to centre – they don’t account for the distance already travelled to get to the current centre, which can already be some miles, or the return journey.
“Particularly for constituents with children or caring responsibilities, the time taken to travel this additional distance just isn’t feasible. And we already know many of those that most rely on these vital services do not have consistent internet access at home.
“To see what “just 3 miles” really means to my constituents, I’ve invited the minister to join me on a walk from one of the centres he’s closing to his proposed alternative. That should give him a better idea about the effect of these senseless closures than punching some addresses into Google Maps.”