Anxious wait for 232 staff at Peterborough’s closure-threatened tax offices

Peterborough MP Stewart Jackson.

Peterborough MP Stewart Jackson.

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More than 230 staff at Peterborough’s two tax centres are facing an uncertain future after plans were announced to close both offices.

The UK’s tax authority has announced that Peterborough’s Inland Revenue offices at Churchgate, in New Road, will be closed in 2021 while its centre in Clifton House, Broadway, will be shut by 2018.

Together the centres employ a total of 232 full-time staff.

A spokeswoman for HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) said that 94 people are employed at Clifton House and they will move to New Road until that centre is closed in 2021.

Peterborough MP Stewart Jackson described the size of the potential job losses as “quite a blow to the city’s economy.”

He said: “It’s disappointing news that good quality white collar jobs will be lost in our area even if I understand the Government’s rationale in seeking to reduce costs and make the HMRC more efficient and customer focused.

This is a quite a blow to the city’s economy.

Stewart Jackson MP

Mr Jackson added: “At least we will have a few years for relocation and voluntary redundancies and hopefully all staff at Clifton House who want to remain with HMRC will find new jobs in good time.”

The HMRC spokeswoman said: “The problem is that HMRC does not want to lose anyone.

“Everyone will be spoken to individually about what is happening and about the options.”

The closures in Peterborough are among 137 office closures planned across the UK.

HMRC intends to replace the local offices with 13 regional centres.

The closures will be completed by 2027, according to HMRC, but the new centres will be open in the next five years.

Lin Homer, HMRC’s chief executive, said: “We are committed to modern, regional centres serving every region and nation in the UK, with skilled and varied jobs and development opportunities, while also ensuring jobs are spread throughout the UK and not concentrated in the capital.

She added: “HMRC has too many expensive, isolated and out-dated offices.

“This makes it difficult for us to collaborate, modernise our ways of working, and make the changes we need to transform our service to customers and clamp down further on the minority who try to cheat the system.”

Related:

Peterborough Inland Revenue office to shut