Up to 200 civil service jobs in Bury St Edmunds under threat, union says

The DWP offices and Jobcentre Plus, in St Andrew's Street North, Bury St Edmunds. 
Picture: Mark Westley.
The DWP offices and Jobcentre Plus, in St Andrew's Street North, Bury St Edmunds. Picture: Mark Westley.
0
Have your say

Up to 200 civil service jobs in Bury St Edmunds are under threat, according to union bosses.

The Public and Commercial Services Union says ‘backroom staff’ who work in decision-making and benefits processing at the Department of Work and Pensions offices in St Andrew’s Street North could be facing redundancy as early as March next year.

A spokesman for the DWP confirmed the future of the offices is to be considered but denied any jobs are immediately at risk.

The offices in St Andrew’s Street North also house Jobcentre Plus, which could be relocated.

The news comes as the Government revealed plans to close Department of Work and Pensions offices around the country as part of its roll out of the new Universal Credit system of benefits.

“The PCS utterly condemns the DWP for proceeding with these office closures,” said Richard Edwards, PCS regional secretary.

“We estimate that around 200 people are facing an uncertain future in Bury St Edmunds alone.

“It is clear that the DWP and ministers intend to drive through these plans, putting our members’ jobs at risk and the delivery of vital services to a vulnerable group of people.

“This is a move driven by austerity and plans to reduce expenditure on civil service buildings around the UK through digitisation.”

According to the PCS, staff at the Bury St Edmunds offices have been told the closure will take place some time between March 2018 and 2023.

A spokeswoman for the DWP said currently, around 750 jobs could be lost, nationally, under the restructuring plans.

But she added: “The back of house jobs at the Bury St Edmunds office are currently safe until 2021.

“The DWP will then look at the situation again, and also the possibility of moving the job centre to a different location.”