Ribble Valley MP Nigel Evans has welcomed an announcement today (Friday) that Clitheroe Jobcentre will remain open.
A decision to potentially close Clitheroe Jobcentre had sparked anger amongst local residents and politicians. Consultations had been undertaken to assess whether it was feasible to move the services provided at Clitheroe Jobcentre to its Blackburn office.
However, a Department for Work and Pensions spokesman said today: “We ran a consultation to ask local people what they thought and after listening to their views we have decided to continue to deliver Jobcentre services from Clitheroe.
“We’ll continue to hold discussions with other organisations in the area on how we can best provide local services in the future to ensure we help as many people as possible into work.”
Speaking from the Ribble Valley Mr Evans said: “I think that this is an excellent decision and am happy that this important local services will continue to run for the benefit of the area.
“It seemed to me to be a ridiculous suggestion that those who rely on Clitheroe Jobcentre from outlying villages in the Ribble Valley were to be expected to travel into Blackburn to access support and services, over 20 miles away.
“I spoke on this subject in the House of Commons on Monday to receive assurances from Esther McVey, the Minister of State for Employment, that rural services will not be reduced from the most vulnerable, and I am glad that the Department has listened to these concerns and that the right decision has been made.
“Many members of the public had raised their concerns with me over the closure of Clitheroe Jobcentre and participated in the consultation process, which goes to show what a vital service Clitheroe Jobcentre provides already and will continue to provide for the Ribble Valley.”