Haverhill Jobcentre to relocate
Haverhill’s Jobcentreplus is to close and be relocated in the town centre thanks to an offer made by St Edmundsbury Borough Council.
The decision to close the High Street centre was made as part of the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) review of its entire property estate.
Any risk that the service may have been lost to Haverhill was removed thanks to an offer made by St Edmundsbury Council to provide space in Haverhill House in Lower Downs Slade.
A council spokesman said: “The principle of sharing offices has long been established at all of West Suffolk council’s offices and we regularly talk to our partners including the Department of Work and Pensions who already share with us in Mildenhall.
“When it became apparent that they were undertaking a review of their sites, we spoke with them about a possible relocation to Haverhill House.
“This has protected the provision of a job centre in Haverhill, but will also offer potential advantages to residents who will be able to come in, look for and apply for jobs, and access services offered by St Edmundsbury and its other partners including Citizens’ Advice.”
A spokeswoman for the DWP confirmed that the Jobcentre will move to Haverhill House sometime up to March 2018 and that all nine staff will retain their jobs.
She added: “It is moving to a partner organisation at Haverhill House.
“It will be a full lift and drop of all services, so there will be no job losses so it’s just a case of looking at providing accommodation under one roof, more of a one-stop shop.
“It provides value for money for the taxpayer and it’s all part of the mass review that we’ve done as leases are coming to an end.
“It should really improve it because a lot of our customers are on housing benefit and other benefits so it should provide them with easy access under one roof to other services that are relevant.”
As part of its property estate review, the DWP plan to merge 68 smaller jobcentres into larger or under-used ones nearby, move four jobcentres to new sites where it has secured better new premises and co-locate around an additional 40 jobcentres with local authorities or other community services to provide joined-up services for the local community with all services in one place.
Haverhill House is home to services provided not only St Edmundsbury Council but also Suffolk County Council, Citizens Advice Bureaux, 3 Counties Transport and other voluntary sector organisations.