Civil service talks over Fylde job fears

PCS  Branch Chairman Duncan Griffiths outside the Norcross Civil service building

PCS Branch Chairman Duncan Griffiths outside the Norcross Civil service building

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Civil service leaders are to meet with the new MP for Fleetwood on Friday amid further fears about jobs losses on the Fylde.

Members of the Public and Commercial Services Union (PCS) are due to hold talks with Cat Smith.

It is the latest meeting in an ongoing dialogue between the union and the area’s MPs.

The PCS estimates around 3,000 civil service jobs have been lost on the Fylde over the past few years during which time the Moorland Road site in St Annes has closed, and the majority of jobs from DWP at Norcross have been transferred to other sites.

The most recent losses are the transfer of seven jobs from Tomlinson House at Norcross to Salford.

Branch Secretary of the DWP Fylde Central Benefits and Services Branch, Duncan Griffiths, said: “We will meet with Cat Smith on Friday when one of the items that we will want to discuss is the potential impact of further devolution on the jobs on the Fylde.

“At present there are benefits administered by the DWP from the Fylde and Preston that have no Scottish equivalents in terms of administration.

“Certain benefits for people in Scotland were announced to be devolved to Scotland. These are two of the ones announced.

“If or when this happens there could be significant jobs lost on the Fylde and Preston area.

“There have been additional jobs undertaking Personal Independence Payment (PIP) and Disability Living Allowance (DLA) reassessment work.

“These jobs have been of a short term or temporary nature; set against a backdrop of reductions to the potential numbers of jobs to be allocated to the Fylde area.

“On June 29 it was announced the full roll out of PIP reassessment work would commence on July 13 2015, the staffing ramifications of which we will want to discuss with Ms Smith.

“We will also discuss job security for the members remaining at DWP Norcross, who have been privatised to Steria.”