John Healey has written to the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions following the announcement that 285 jobs at the Department would be moved from the Dearne.

It was revealed last week that Discovery House in Wath would be closed with jobs being transferred to John Rideal House in Barnsley.

It’s a decision Mr Healey says came ‘out of the blue’ with no reasons given for the change. The MP wants Ministers to confirm that no jobs will be cut in the move.

In his letter to Therese Coffey John said:

“DWP employs 285 people at Discovery House, on a business park in Manvers. The working lives of all 285 staff will be affected by this decision which has come out of the blue. There are several points that I write to raise.

“First, I understand that the jobs at Discovery House will be consolidated at John Rideal House in the centre of Barnsley, and I would be grateful for your confirmation that all 285 posts are being transferred and none are being cut.

“Second, Barnsley may look close to Manvers from your desk in Whitehall or on Google maps but transport links are poor and many workers will have difficulty travelling daily to Barnsley town centre. In the midst of the current rising costs of living crisis this could impose longer journeys and extra strain on household finances, so I would be grateful to know what if any assistance will be provided with petrol and transport costs in this forced workplace relocation.

“Third, the closure of this site risks leaving a large, empty building in the middle of the Manvers business park, and I would be grateful for details on plans for reletting the DWP space in Discovery House.

“Finally, the closure has been announced but no reasons have been given, so I would be grateful for an explanation of this decision, including details of the process undertaken within DWP in weighing up the pros and cons.”