HC Deb 16 September 2004 vol 424 cc178-80WS
The Secretary of State for Work and Pensions (Alan Johnson)

On 29 June, following on from the announcements in the Budget, my predecessor gave an update to the House on the progress of the DWP efficiency programme which will reduce my Department's workforce by 30,000 by 2008.

The June statement highlighted that Jobcentre Plus was reviewing the scope to increase the efficiency of its benefits processing by reducing the number of sites in which this work is carried out. He also announced that, as part of their programme to modernise benefit processing and contact centre operations, Jobcentre Plus will take on six pensions centres.

I can today announce that: Subject to further detailed planning benefit processing will be centralised in 81 sites by 2008. I would like to make it clear that 37 sites will cease to be viable and will close altogether as a direct consequence of centralisation. Not all jobs will go with many transferring elsewhere. In those sites not named for closure there is continued Jobcentre Plus activity and their future will be determined in the normal way as part of the rollout of the Jobcentre Plus network. As part of the Jobcentre Plus roll-out strategy Jobcentre Plus Direct (which provides an initial telephone contact service for customers) will deliver services through 23 contact centres by 2006. This will involve moving work from a number of existing locations within the Jobcentre Plus network and will result in the closure of three sites where contact centre work is currently undertaken; Provan, Banbury and Milton Keynes. In line with the Lyons Review, which recommended relocating some public sector activities away from London and the South East, Employer Services Direct will close two of its 11 Employer Direct sites, in Portsmouth and Bromley, by Summer 2005. Work will be moved to other sites.

Staff in all affected sites are being briefed by their managers today. We continue to consult with the trade unions. We have already outlined to them our policy proposals for handling these changes.

The changes I am announcing today are the latest component of our continuing modernisation programme that will lead to more efficient and effective services for our customers.

Benefits centralisation sites
Region Processing sites Site closures
East of Engalnd Basildon, Great Oaks House

Bury St. Edmunds, St.

Andrews House

Luton, Cheviot House

Norwich, Baltic House

Peterborough, Clifton House

Watford, Exchange House

Braintree, Panfield Lane

Southend, Victoria House

Stevenage, Brickdale

House SSO

East Midlands Chesterfield Jobcentre

Derby, Becket Street

Leicester, Wellington Street

Lincoln, Orchard House SSO

Mansfield SSO

Nottingham Pension Centre

Wellingborough SSO

Worksop, Crown House
North East Newcastle, Cobalt House

Stockton Pension Centre

Sunderland, Wearview House

Bishop Auckland SSO
North West Liverpool, Belle Vale

Birkenhead, Horden House

Blackpool, Marton Mere

Bolton, Elizabeth House

Burnley, Brun House

Carlisle, Rufus House

Chester, Chantry Chorlton

Huyton, Edendale House

Hyde, Beech House

Oldham, Phoenix House

Preston, Barry House

St. Helens, Gregson House

Bury, Humphrey House


Kirkby, Webster House


Rochdale, Newgate


Salford, Aldine House


Salfrod, Baskerville

House SSO

Scotland Bathgate SSO

Clydebank SSO

Coatbridge SSO

Glasgow (site tbc)

Greenock Jobcentre Plus

Coatbridge Jobcentre

Hamilton SSO

Kircaldy SSO

Perth SSO

Inverness SSO

Kilmarnock SSO

Springburn SSO

South East Broadstairs




Hastings Child Support

Agency Centre

Milton Keynes

Newport (IoW)

Ramsgate Totton SSO

Ashford, Kent House


Chatham, Brook House


Sittingbourne Jobcentre

Tunbridge Wells SSO

South West Bournemouth, Cotlands Road

Bristol East, Lodge House

Chippenham, St. Pauls

Gloucester, Cedar House


St. Austell, Carlyon House

Bath, somerset Hall


Bristol, St. Catherine's

House SSO

Cheltenham SSO

Trowbridge SSO

Weston Super Mare,

Carlton House

Wales Caerphilly, Crown Buildings

Llanellie, Crown Buildings

Myrthyr Tydfil. Block 3


Newport, Sovereign House

Swansea, Oldway House

Wrexham Pension Centre

Aberystwyth SSO

Barry SSO

Cardiff, Eastgate House

Carmarthen, John Street


Neath, Percival House


Rhyl SSO Wrexham




Cannock SSO


Hanley SSO

Perry Barr SSO

Ravenshurst SSO

Wolverhampton Pension

Centre Worcester

Dudley SSO

Longton Jobcentre

Northfield SSO

Shrewsbury, Whitehall


Walsall, Glebe Street SSO

Washwood Heath SSO

West Bromwich SSO

Yorkshire &


Barnsley SSO

Bradford East SSO

Doncaster SSO

Halifax, Crossfield House

Hull, Oriel House

Leeds, Eastgate House

Sheffield, Hartshead Square

York SSO

London Balham

Belfast Benefit Centre

Glasgow Benefit Centre



Makerfield Benefit Centre


SSO—Social Security Office.
DMO—District Management Office.