Thirty jobs have been put at risk after plans to close Lynn’s tax office were confirmed by Revenue and Customs (HMRC) bosses today, Thursday, October 16.
Workers at the County Court Road site were informed of the decision at a meeting this morning and the office will close in December of next year.
Union leaders described the news as “devastating” and condemned the move to end the customs service’s association with Lynn, which goes back centuries.
Harvey Crane, secretary of the PCS union’s Anglian branch said: “There is no real economic or business justification for these changes. We are campaigning to keep all local offices, like King’s Lynn, open.”
But an HMRC spokesman insisted they have no choice but to close the office, which is one of 14 across the country that are now set to shut.
She said: “In line with our Spending Review settlements, HMRC is continuing to reduce in size, to become more highly-skilled and to operate from fewer locations. We are also changing the way we work to better meet the rising expectations of our customers and help them ensure they get things right.
“The announcements are absolutely no reflection on the contribution and commitment of the people who are affected, but are a result of our need to become more efficient and to live within our financial constraints.
Fears were first raised for the future of the office in November last year, when all of the staff then working there were offered voluntary redundancy.
Union officials warned at the time that loss of staff then could be used to justify a future closure and HMRC has now confirmed staff were told then that the office was likely to shut in the future.
Mr Crane said the union was concerned at the loss of local knowledge and local access to tax services in Lynn.
He added that they would be meeting North West Norfolk MP Henry Bellingham to discuss the issue over the next few days.
A total of 453 staff are affected by the closure programme. HMRC says they will be supported to find other jobs within the organisation or in other parts of the civil service.