Huntingdon Jobcentre set to make move to new premises with council
- Credit: Archant
Huntingdon’s Jobcentre is on the move - it is set to transfer to Huntingdonshire District Council’s offices on May 11.
The move is part of an initiative by the Department of Work and Pensions which will see scores of Jobcentres across the country merging with larger branches or co-locating with local government premises in a bid to save £140 million a year for 10 years.
Huntingdon’s Jobcentre, in Hartford Road, was scheduled to close on February 2 before transferring its work to Pathfinder House but the change has now been put back to May.
A DWP spokesman said: “It is co-locating with the district council. It is going to move in to Pathfinder House in St Mary’s Street.”
Councillor Stephen Cawley, executive councillor for transformation and customers at the district council, said: “Work at our Pathfinder House headquarters is due to begin on February 2 in preparation for the Department for Work and Pensions to move in during May 2018.
“This move will create a single customer service hub, with our customer service team working alongside the DWP and Rural Cambs Citizens Advice, who already work from Pathfinder House.”
Cllr Cawley said: “This is a fantastic opportunity for Huntingdonshire District Council to continue to build on the service we offer to our customers by becoming a ‘one stop shop’, making it more efficient and convenient for them.”
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The shake-up of the service, announced last July, involved the closure of some Jobcentres and mergers with bigger centres or moves in to council premises.
The DWP spokesman said that the Huntingdon move meant customers would now be able to carry out a range of transactions over benefits and employment under the same roof.
He said that the change also reflected the fact that eight out of 10 claims for Jobseeker’s Allowance and 99 per cent of applications for Universal Credit were now made online.
This meant that DWP buildings were now being used much less, with around 20 per cent being underused, and there had also been significant reductions in the number of people out of work.
The DWP said that where staff needed to move offices, the majority were within a short distance of the present location.