MP Nigel Evans says he will go to the top at the Department of Work and Pensions – to Secretary of State for Work and Pensions Iain Duncan Smith – to make sure that Ribble Valley people do not lose out due to the proposed closure of Clitheroe Jobcentre.
“I understand the need for change to save money, but vulnerable people on disability and unemployment benefit must not be left without local essential services,” said Mr Evans.
“It is of vital importance that at the very least alternative arrangements are in place before the Jobcentre office in Wellgate is closed down as proposed.”
Ribble Valley Citizens Advice Bureau manager Katy Marshall is concerned about support for local people.
“The 152 people on sickness benefit who have work focussed interviews go to Clitheroe Jobcentre at the moment. What will they do?,” she asked
“Blackburn Jobcentre is 11 miles away, which costs £6 return by bus. This will not be paid back but will come out of people’s pockets.
“And another 178 people claim unemployment benefit at present which starts with a claim interview. This will cost more than 10% of a jobseeker’s weekly income if they have to go to Blackburn Jobcentre.
“Ribble Valley people on benefit will need internet access and the possibility to have personal interviews, or people and their families will suffer and this will have an impact on the whole of our community one way or another.
“Concern still needs to be voiced by as many people as possible about the proposed closure to make the DWP know that we object to the removal of services, by writing to S.C. Johnson at Blackburn Jobcentre, Post Handling Site B, Wolverhampton, WV99 1RT, or by email to firstname.lastname@example.org before October 7th.”