Plea over Jobcentre phones by Neath MP Peter Hain

NEATH MP Peter Hain has labelled a decision to remove telephones from the town’s Jobcentre as “utterly astonishing”.

Mr Hain was reacting to notices which have appeared at the Windsor Road Jobcentre Plus notifying users that the phones to contact the benefits offices are due to removed in March.

In response, a spokesman from the Department of Work and Pensions (DWP), said the move is to “bring Jobcentres into the 21st century”.

He confirmed the removal of Jobpoints and Customer Access Phones (CAPs), which will support the delivering of a “modern, digital service that maximises claimants’ use of online channels, encourage self-service and provide an assisted telephony service for those who need it most”.

In a letter to Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, Iain Duncan Smith, Mr Hain said: “When many constituents tell me they are often advised by Jobcentre staff to use the phones to call helplines as their query or problem cannot be dealt with in house, it is utterly astonishing that this decision has been taken.

“I strongly urge you to revise this decision.”