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Mullan Raises Concern over future of Coleraine Jobs & Benefits Office

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Gerry Mullan MLA
Gerry Mullan MLA

Independent Candidate in the forthcoming elections Gerry Mullan has voiced his utter dismay at the decision to downgrade the Jobs and Benefits office in Coleraine. He said:
“Coleraine is one of the most deprived areas across the North, with extremely high levels of reliance on benefits and I am deeply concerned at these proposals to downgrade the Coleraine Jobs and Benefits Office and the impact it will have on existing staff and service users.”
Hitting out at the reasons for such a move by the Social Services Department Mr Mullan went on to say:
“In my view, it is inconceivable that the office in Coleraine has been overlooked for the delivery of Universal Credit services when they have the capacity to undertake such an operation with excellent facilities, adequate car parking and just recently having had over two million pounds spent on ‘trunking’ to enable the building to be used for associated IT services. To reduce this office to a mere sign posting service with staff being forced to travel to Ballymena or risk losing their jobs has to be a totally retrograde step and a waste of rate payer’s money.”
In conclusion Mr Mullan stated:
“It’s important to remember that these proposals are part of the wider welfare cuts agenda that will disproportionately hit people in Coleraine and the wider East Derry area. Proposals that were brought in as part of a dodgy deal made by Sinn Fein and the DUP with the Tory Government. I will be seeking a meeting with the Permanent Secretary of the Department of Communities to further discuss this issue at the earliest opportunity and to highlight the concerns raised by staff and service users.”

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