District council silent on Spalding Jobcentre Plus move

JOBCENTRE MOVE: Employment Minister Damian Hinds.  Photo supplied.
JOBCENTRE MOVE: Employment Minister Damian Hinds. Photo supplied.
0
Have your say

Plans to move Spalding’s Jobcentre Plus office into the same building as South Holland District Council are yet to be finalised.

A district council spokesman said the idea of its office in Priory Road, Spalding, becoming a “Community Hub” is “being evaluated”.

But there was no confirmation yet of an agreement between the council and the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) to relocate the Jobcentre Plus base in Spalding to Priory Road.

The spokesman said: “South Holland District Council is developing a business case which will contain a range of options for the future of the council offices.

“A ‘Community Hub’ concept is being evaluated as part of the potential refurbishment for the offices in Priory Road.

“No formal arrangements with any new prospective partners have been finalised at this stage and therefore it is not possible to release full details.

The way the world works has changed rapidly in the last 20 years and the welfare state needs to keep pace

Employment Minister Damian Hinds MP

“However, we will do so in due course.”

Two weeks ago, the Spalding Guardian reported how the district council had set aside £2.7 million for redevelopments to boost its office’s income stream and offset its running costs.

Deputy council leader Nick Worth said the aim was to use all of our assets more efficiently to save us money, but still provide the same level of service that we have always provided.”

Then our sister newspaper, the Lincolnshire Free Press, revealed on Tuesday how the DWP was looking to save around £180 million a year for the next ten years by closing more than 130 Jobcentre Plus offices.

Employment Minister Damian Hinds MP said: “As more people access their benefits through the internet, many of our buildings are underused.

“The way the world works has changed rapidly in the last 20 years and the welfare state needs to keep pace.

“Therefore, we are concentrating our resources on what we know best helps people into work.

“But we will always make sure that people have the support they need to get into work and the changes we have announced will help ensure that the way we deliver our services reflect the reality of today’s welfare system.”

£2.7m shake-up that could see more cinema screens at Spalding’s South Holland Centre