MP backs plan to move King’s Lynn job centre to council offices

Election Count at Lynnsport King's Lynn
Henry Bellingham
Election Count at Lynnsport King's Lynn Henry Bellingham
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Lynn’s Job Centre is set to be closed, with its operations being transferred to West Norfolk Council’s offices, under plans outlined by the government.

The Lovell House site, in St Nicholas Street, is one of more than 50 across England, Wales and Scotland where services are being co-located with other public bodies.

Officials say all the staff who currently work there will be transferred to the Chapel Street premises when the switchover takes place.

But leaders of the PCS union, which represents job centre workers, have signalled their intention to oppose the measures.

They claim the plans will lead to the closure of around 10 per cent of all job centres and thousands of staff being made redundant.

Concerns have also been raised that the measures could make it more difficult for people to access the employment support they need.

However, North West Norfolk MP Sir Henry Bellingham has given his backing to the plan.

He said: “The Borough Council has a truly outstanding reputation for service delivery, and furthermore, they work very closely with other agencies like Jobcentre Plus.

“I do believe that it makes sense for the Jobcentre to be moved to King’s Court, so that they can work even more closely together.”

The plans, which were announced in a Parliamentary statement on Thursday, also include a plan to recruit 2,500 new work coaches across the country, which the government says will improve support for people who are seeking employment.

Sir Henry added: “I have always taken the view that work coaches are an essential part of carrying on the successful drive to reduce unemployment still further.”

Lynn’s other JobCentre Plus premises, in County Court Road, are not affected by the plans and will remain open.

A list of sites used by the service, which was published as part of the announcement, said the building is currently used as a centre for health and disability assessments.