Plaid Cymru Assembly Member Simon Thomas has sought answers on the future of the DWP Job Centre office in Llanelli and the security of the jobs of those that work there.
Simon Thomas said that whilst staff have been left waiting until after the election to hear from the Conservative government whether they are set to lose their jobs, there are reports that the building is to be placed for sale. He called on the Welsh Government to clarify whether it had any intelligence about the future of the office.
Plaid Cymru Assembly Member Simon Thomas said:
“The Department for Work and Pensions is looking to close several offices throughout Wales. Presumably, any announcement on final decisions on such closures is now under purdah, and is not expected to be made before the general election. However, the reports that I’ve had from people working in the Llanelli office are that preparation is under way for ‘for sale’ signs to go up on that office. Clearly, staff have been alerted to this, and are concerned, and bring those concerns to me. I wanted to ask the Government whether they’d had any indication from Westminster about any final decisions around the office in Llanelli, or indeed the other offices that are affected in Wales, and whether it is a commitment, as far as she knows and she is aware, that no statement can be made until the general election, and whether she is in a position to make any statement on behalf of the Government in response to those concerns from my constituents.”
Plaid Cymru Llanelli candidate Mari Arthur said:
“Staff of the Job Centre office in Llanelli have been put in an extremely uncertain position as they wait to hear whether their jobs are safe. If a ‘For Sale’ sign is put up on the DWP office before the government informs them of any decision then it would be a cruel indication of what that decision could be.
“If the Conservative government is selling off the building whilst staff and their families wait to hear about their livelihoods then this would be a heartless move by the Conservative government.
“The Labour government needs to tell us whether they have had any correspondence from the Conservative government about the future of the office, in order to give workers any indication they have about the future of their jobs.
“Plaid Cymru has rejected the closure of Job Centres across Wales and has called for the Job Centre’s responsibilities to be devolved to Wales so that we can protect its funding. Labour’s Nia Griffith has claimed that she is concerned about the future of the Job Centre in Llanelli but in Westminster she abstained on the vote to devolve its functions. Only Plaid Cymru can be trusted to protect Llanelli and protect Wales.”