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Posted on 19 July 2011 at 13:15 GMT

PCS condemns closure of 20 Jobcentres

The planned closure of 20 jobcentres announced to staff this morning (19th July) by the Department for Work and Pensions is "unthinkable and irresponsible" at a time of high unemployment, says the Public and Commercial Services union.

The plans include six jobcentres in Scotland and four in London, as well as three in the north west and two in the midlands.

There are currently 2.45 million out of work, according to the latest official unemployment figures published last week. The number of people claiming out of work benefits increased by 24,500 to 1.52 million between May and June - the largest rise for more than two years.

The announcement includes terms of reference for an ongoing review of jobcentres and the department says more closures are likely. It also comes just a few weeks after plans to close 17 benefit centres and five Jobcentre Plus call centres were announced.

The union has pledged to campaign to keep these offices open, serving the public. Unlike the benefit and call centre closures, the latest proposal is subject to a six-week public consultation.

The jobcentres under threat are:

Scotland: Chapel St, Aberdeen; Edinburgh City; Gellately St, Dundee; Glasgow Shawlands; Glasgow City; and Glasgow Hillington.

London: Heathrow; Denmark Street; Station Rd, Harrow; and Camberwell.

North west: Manchester Airport; Trafford Centre; and Old Swan, Liverpool.

Midlands: Birmingham Airport; and Leicester Highfields.

Others: Bluewater, Kent; Beeches Rd, Chelmsford; Aylesbury Heron House; Horton St, Halifax; and Caradog House, Cardiff.

From a PCS press release

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