Job Centre services to go local after closure

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Jobseekers in Bletchley will not be forced to travel into Central Milton Keynes for appointments after the job centre closes.

The Department for Work and Pensions launched a four-week consultation to close the centre on June 12 with services centralised in the city centre.

Labour candidate for Milton Keynes South, Andrew Pakes, said he was concerned the closure would be bad news for the 725 people registered as unemployed in the constituency. There are also 295 people aged 25 or older who have been unemployed for more than two years.

However, MP Iain Stewart, who told the Citizen he had the same concerns, met with senior management from the JobCentre Plus centre on Queensway on Friday and now feels assured vulnerable people in the area will still be supported.

He said: “I understand that Jobcentre Plus will instead be taking services to residents in their own community by working from local facilities to support more vulnerable residents.

“By working within the local community, Jobcentre Plus hopes to provide an enhanced service with more resources available to support customers within their local area.

“I was also reassured to learn that Milton Keynes JobCentre Plus is working closely with the Children’s Centres in Bletchley to support and inform customers with young children about the full range of services and support on offer.”