CONCERNS have been raised over the impact the closure of a Government site will have on trading in Wyre.
Coun Peter Gibson met with bosses at the Department for Work and Pensions’ Norcross site to discuss the effects he believes the closure will have on the supply chain across the borough.
The site is set to move 1,200 jobs from the Norcross site to Blackpool’s Peel Park offices on Brunel Way by the summer of 2013, while Disability Living Allowance work will transfer from the Warbreck Hill building to Birmingham.
In a report presented to Wyre’s full council, Coun Gibson, the council leader, said: “The meeting provided me with the opportunity to express members’ concerns over the potential impact the closure of the site would have upon local people and the supply chain.
“The scaling down at Norcross and relocation of services to Peel Park is as a result of DWP efficiency savings but again senior representatives reiterated there would be no direct DWP job losses.
“Telereal Trillium own the Norcross site and they are currently assessing what alternatives and development could be accommodated on the site.
“Members can be assured any draft proposals will be shared with members and the local community before formal submission.”
Duncan Griffiths, spokesman for the Public and Commercial Services (PCS) Union at the Norcross site, said: “It’s very positive if the council leader has been meeting with employers to try and obtain the guarantees there will be no job losses in the DWP or with contractors working for us.”
Speaking after the meeting Coun Gibson told The Gazette: “The DWP has said no jobs will be lost but workers will move and some contractors on the site will go.
“That is something I regret because I don’t want to lose any jobs.”
A DWP spokesman said the buildings have become too expensive to run.
He added: “All staff affected by closure of offices will be offered jobs elsewhere in the organisation.
“This is about buildings, not people – we simply can’t afford to carry on paying for buildings which aren’t fully used.
“In tough financial times, we have to operate as efficiently as possible.
“Frontline Jobcentre Plus services aren’t impacted and benefit payments won’t be affected.”