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Jobcentre Plus

Jim McGonigle, District Manager

East & South East Scotland Lyndean House, 199 Commercial Street, Edinburgh, EH6 60P

Telephone 0131 5558004 Textphone 0845 601 6045

Fax 0131 5558005

Kezia Dugdale MSP The Scottish Parliament Edinburgh

EH991SP

Dear Ms Dugdale

Department for

Work and Pensions

17 August 2011

Thank you for your letter of 3 August 2011, in response to m~ letter of 20 July regarding the proposal to close 22 offices nationally and in particular the Edinburgh City office, South St Andrews Street.

I note that you consider the argument for closure to be unconvincing.

District Manager for Jobcentre Plus in East and only respond with regard to the Edinburgh City following may help to explain matters.

As

South East Scotland I can office and I hope that the

Firstly, Jobcentre Plus has been reviewing its estates for a number of years with a view to reducing costs to the tax payer and the Government's welfare reform and transformation programme has enabled us to consider rationalising our estate further in areas where we operate multiple sites.

In Edinburgh we currently have 4 offices but Edinburgh City does not provide the full range of services available in the other locations. Due to the layout of the building (e.g. it covers 5 floors), Edinburgh City has never had its own permanent customer caseload and instead operated as a base for employer

events and as a National Insurance Number (NINO) interviewing administration site.

and

Historically, the majority of the public who visited the site did so to make general enquiries and/or to use the job points. Latterly we have utilised the site for pre-arranged adviser appointments and fortnightly job search review interviews for specific customer groups but in looking forward I feel that these services can be carried out more efficiently elsewhere within Edinburgh.

For Leith and High Riggs Jobcentres, outline plans have been drawn up to revise our operational areas and in High Riggs these include converting back of office space to front-end use. These plans have been prepared to help us

in the final decision making process and will be used to test our assumption

the transfer of work and staff

that Leith and High Riggs can accommodate from Edinburgh City.

Part of the Department tor Work and Pensions

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The staff and the TU side are well aware of the proposals and if a decision is made to go ahead with the closure then they will be consulted about the plans.

Jobcentre Plus places great importance on' the health and safety of both its staff and customers therefore if a decision is made to close Edinburgh City existing risk assessments at Leith and High Riggs will be fully reviewed to take account of any reconfiguration of premises as well as revised staff and customer numbers. Equality impact assessments will also be completed once decisions on the work and staff to be transferred is finalised. The local TU side will be involved in the process.

Please be assured that no staff will be made redundant as a result of any closure and existing staff at Edinburgh City will be transferred to other Jobcentres under our normal transfer rules.

, hope that this is helpful but if you

require any further information please

contact my Communication Manager, Anne McCool on 0131 555 8070 who will be happy to assist. I would be happy to meet with you to discuss the

matter

in more detail and if you wish to attend

Ms McCool know so that suitable arrangements can be made.

a meeting

please let

Yours sincerely

#;ffl

J McGonigle District Manager