Norcross site closure fears

Wyre Borough Council Cabinet member Peter Gibson
Wyre Borough Council Cabinet member Peter Gibson
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POLITICAL leaders have vowed to fight for jobs on the Fylde coast after fears were raised the Department for Works and Pensions sites will close.

This week Public and Commercial Services Union representatives held crisis talks with the leader of Wyre Council to air their fears the Norcross site closing in December 2012 or June 2013.

The meeting was one of a series as the union bids to win the support of political and non-political bodies across the Fylde coast in its bid to defend civil service jobs.

And Wyre Council leader, Peter Gibson, said he will fight to save jobs on the Fylde.

He said: “At the moment all we have is rumour rather than any direct announcement. I know union leaders are meeting with senior civil servants this week, we may find more out then. I want to know if a decision has been made when will it be implemented and what will the job losses be, that is our concern here, the public sector is the biggest employer in this area.

“We are looking for reassurances, there are rumours flying about and we want to know what the truth is and on what scale, as quickly as possible so we know what we can do help.

“When I have met with MPs I have asked them to put the pressure on in Whitehall, that is where the decision is made, but we will do what we can to save jobs.”

Following the meeting. PCSU secretary of the Fylde Central Benefits and Services Branch Duncan Griffiths, said: “We are keen to ensure that DWP Norcross does not close, which would mean more job losses and dramatically reduce the potential to bring Civil Service work to the Fylde in the future.

“We believe our message about the need to defend jobs on the Fylde, not cut them, to have fairness in our pay and conditions; not cuts to our standards of living, has resonated with the members in the area, the media and the local MPs. The meeting with the Wyre Council leadership will hopefully build upon this position.

“We are keen to ensure that DWP Norcross does not close, which would mean move job losses and dramatically reduce the potential to bring Civil Service work to the Fylde in the future.”

Earlier this month union leaders met with Fleetwood MP Eric Ollerenshaw to raise concerns.

Civil service chiefs say they are committed to the Fylde and no jobs will be lost.

They claim they are currently reviewing how the buildings can best be used to see if any efficiency savings can be made, and said discussions would take place with the trade unions and staff.