The last day of business for the Alexandria job centre will be Thursday, August 9, the UK Department of Work and Pensions (DWP) has confirmed.

Local politicians have slammed the closure of the Bank Street centre, claiming it will have a “hugely detrimental impact” on the town.

However, DWP say the move reflects a tendency for more people to now access benefits online, and will “deliver good value to the tax payer”.

The community had fought to save the branch following the announcement last year.

The Alexandria centre’s services are set to merge with those administered at the Dumbarton branch as part of “changes to the estate across the country”, say DWP.

MP Martin Docherty-Hughes has claimed this shift will make it “more difficult” for jobseekers to access support, dubbing it “reckless”.

He said: “Job centres play a key role in communities – helping to support some of society’s most vulnerable people through difficult times.“Yet the Tory UK government has decided to press ahead with its irresponsible programme of job centre closures with scant regard for the consequences.“This will have a hugely detrimental impact on Alexandria and beyond - making it more difficult for vulnerable job-seekers and benefit claimants to access the support they need.“It’s a short-sighted and reckless move by the Tories, especially considering the full roll-out of the UK’s disastrous Universal Credit policy is just around the corner.

“As ever it’s the poorest in our communities that suffer the most as a result of Westminster austerity.”

Leven councillor Jim Bollan branded the move as a “Tory attack on the unemployed”.

He added: “This further attack on the unemployed by the Tories will bring more hardship to claimants in and around the Alexandria area who are on extremely low state benefits already but will now have to pay additional travel costs which they can ill afford.”

“The numbers of claimants being sanctioned by this brutal Tory regime will also rise as some will struggle to keep appointments or be on time, resulting in vicious sanctions being inflicted.”

In response, a DWP spokesman said: “The changes we are making to our estate across the country will offer a more efficient service and deliver good value for the taxpayer - saving over £135 million a year, for the next 10 years. Some smaller jobcentres are merging with larger ones, and others will be co-located within local government premises.“These changes reflect the fact that more people access their benefits online, resulting in many of our buildings being underused. Claimants will be informed in advance of the closure and jobcentre work coaches will provide help and assistance to them during the merger.”