Goldilocks and the three Jobcentres
I have in my head a picture of Damian Hinds, the DWP Employment Minister, stumbling into the Bridgeton Jobcentre, like Goldilocks. “This office is too big” he frowns.
Then he heads to Castlemilk. “This office is too small” he whines, before heading off to Mayhill.
“Oh this is too big as well” as he stamps around the office.
“Ah who cares? shut them all” and he flounces back to Westminster. “And shut another five while you’re at it.” He shouts.
Unfortunately, there is more chance of Goldilocks being spotted in either Bridgeton, Castlemilk or Maryhill than Damian Hinds, as he also admitted, while he visits two or three Jobcentres a month he hasn’t been to a single one in Glasgow.
This week at Westminster Mr Hinds, the UK Government Minister in charge of this shambles of a proposal had the opportunity to state the case for the closures.
He didn’t because he couldn’t. He failed to address any of the concerns with acceptable answers. All he had to offer was that the offices are either too big or too small.
It can’t be both. How that leads to the conclusion that half of them need to be shut is unfathomable.
It is becoming clearer by the day that the UK Government’s plan to axe half of Glasgow’s Jobcentres is unravelling.
Four of the five parties at Holyrood called for it to be scrapped this week and only tribal politics appears to be stopping the Tories from voicing outright opposition.
The arguments against have piled up and landed on the DWP desks in the shape of hundreds of consultation responses and thousands of names on petitions.
Travel problems, unfair additional costs, removal of services, digital exclusion, childcare difficulties, higher deprivation and greater need have all been highlighted from everyone form those who use the service, groups who work closely with them to the Church of Scotland and the Archbishop of Glasgow.
Mr Hinds did reveal the true reason why this sorry exercise is taking place.IT is all about reducing costs.
Damian hinds said because 20 year leases are coming to end and there was an “opportunity” to review the DWP estate and save the tax payer money be cutting unused floor space.
There it is the Tories have spotted an “opportunity” not to improve services or find new premises but to cut and save money and once again it’s the poorest communities that the axe falls on.
And a mum in in Maryhill or Castlemilk has to fork out the price of a day’s shopping to get to Springburn or Newlands then so be it.
While the Tories at Holyrood are being timid at least one at Westminster sees it for what it is.
Anna Soubray, a Nottingham MP said after hearing form people about the Glasgow situation is was a “desktop exercise” which made little or no sense. It was not logical she told Goldilocks, I mean Mr Hinds.