MPs anger at plans to move 150 Doncaster civil service jobs to Sheffield

A decision to move more than 150 civil servant jobs away from Doncaster to neighbouring Sheffield has been met with anger from borough MPs.

By George Torr, Local Democracy Reporter
Monday, 16th May 2022, 6:00 pm

Staff met with MP Dame Rosie Winterton about plans to transfer Department for Work & Pensions (DWP) roles across South Yorkshire.

Public and Commercial Services Union (PCS) members handed in a petition to the Doncaster Central MP following a visit she made to the department’s Wood Street office.

Staff have been told, if they cannot make the move in June 2023, they are at risk of being made redundant.

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PCS members gather outside the DWP building in Wood Street, Doncaster after the government announced redundencies in the sector. Branch secretary Mathew Meehan presents a petition opposing the changes to Doncaster Central MP Dame Rosie Winterton. Credit: PCS/Mark Harvey.

Dame Rosie said there was a ‘strong case’ to keep the jobs in Doncaster and urged the government to overturn the ‘rash decision’.

She added that both herself and Doncaster North MP Ed Miliband have written to ministers urging them not to move staff due to the harm it will do to the town centre economy and the environmental damage with car use to Sheffield.

“Whilst I’ve heard in recent weeks from many of those affected by the DWP’s decision, it was good to meet face-to-face with the staff at Crossgate House who are being asked to move over 22 miles away to a new place of work,” Dame Rosie said.

“There is huge concern amongst the staff I spoke with, who had been caught off-guard by this sudden Government announcement.

“The move will be damaging to Doncaster’s town centre’s economy, and I have heard reports already that businesses are concerned about the reduction of footfall this will cause.

“There is a strong case for keeping these jobs based in Doncaster. Myself and Ed Miliband MP have written to the Minister on this issue and we will continue to call on the Government to reverse this rash decision.”

PCS general secretary Mark Serwotka added: “ We’re calling on the government to reverse its decision to transfer these jobs. It’s not right to expect people to move their workplace 22 miles away, without any thought about how they will get there, or how they can afford it.

“The extra cost and travel time will have a significant impact on our members’ lives.

“Civil servants kept the country running during the pandemic, yet this is how they’re being treated by the government. First they clapped us, now they’re scrapping us.”