THE Tory Minister who wants to close Alexandria Jobcentre is facing calls from MSP Jackie Baillie to visit the Vale of Leven- and make the journey to Dumbarton on public transport.
Ms Baillie warned Tory Minister Damian Hinds that unreliable and overpriced public transport connections between Dumbarton and Alexandria would lead to an increase in sanctions and force added costs on unemployed and disabled people in the Vale of Leven.
The Reporter told earlier this month how the UK Government announced controversial plans to close the Jobcentre in Bank Street, transferring service users and staff to Dumbarton Jobcentre.
However, they have so far refused to confirm whether there will be a public consultation on the plans and how many people will be affected.
Speaking in a debate against the Jobcentre closure at the Scottish Parliament, Jackie Baillie said: “The Tories used to tell unemployed people to get on their bike to find a job. In Alexandria they might not have a choice because the public transport links to Dumbarton are so unreliable. I have received dozens of complaints from local people about trains missing out stations between Dumbarton and the Vale of Leven in recent months and buses are often cancelled without notice.
“The Tory Minister should take this opportunity to join me on a train or a bus from Alexandria to get a real understanding of the impact of this closure on local people. It is one thing looking at Google Maps and another to stand waiting for a bus or train which never turns up. This will have very real consequences for unemployed and disabled people in Alexandria who miss appointments or arrive late through no fault of their own. Sanctions will increase and local families will suffer.”