Croydon Jobcentre and many others set to close

Job Centre, Dingwall Road. Pic: Stephen Richards

A Croydon Jobcentre Plus is set to close, according to the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP),, along with more than 10 others throughout the UK in a bid to save £180 million a year.

Service provided by the Jobcentre situated on Dingwall Road will be transferred to new offices at the Croydon Council HQ, Bernard Weatherill House.

Jobcentres on Cherry Orchard Road and in Thornton Heath and Purley will stay open. However, the Dingwall Road closure plan means Jobcentre benefits claimants may have to travel further to receive assistance.

Croydon Central MP Gavin Barwell backed the move. He said: “It’s a good idea to co-locate at the Council’s HQ and release the site on Dingwall Rd for redevelopment.”

The closure plan is part of the DWP’s strategy of merging smaller facilities into larger offices, with an expected 750 jobs to be cut across the country.

According to the DWP, the unemployment rate is at an 11-year low of just 4.8%, which is down by more than 900,000 since 2010.

In a statement the DWP said that eight out of 10 claims for Jobseeker’s Allowance and 99.6% of applicants for Universal Credit submit their claims online.

Across the country one fifth of the 1.5 million square metres space used by the DWP is said to be under-utilised and could be vacated.

The statement continued: “Some smaller job centres will be merged with larger ones, and others will be co-located with local government premises.

“The DWP will be better able to offer a more efficient service while delivering good value for the taxpayer, saving around £180 million a year for the next 10 years.”
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. That’s why we are recruiting 2,500 more work coaches to help those who need it most.”

The plans have emerged as a 20-year contract with property firm Telereal Trillium is coming to an end in March 2018, covering most of the DWP’s 900 sites.

The Public and Commercial Services Union has pledged to oppose the closure plans. A spokesperson said: “The proposals put thousands of jobs at risk and would mean unemployed people having to travel further to get help getting back to work.

“At least 18 of the threatened jobcentres are outside a commitment previously given by ministers that no site would close if it would take 20 minutes or more to reach the next nearest by public transport.”

Below is the government’s comprehensive list of all the jobcentres affected in our area. In most cases, divesting will result in the services of the Jobcentre being relocated to a nearby office. Click here to see whether your local jobcentre will be affected.

Sylvester Road (Back of House)

Tower Hamlets:
Cityside, Settles Street (Divest)

Catford (Divest)

Dingwall Road (Divest)
Croydon Council Offices (Co-location)

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