Customs jobs at risk

MORE than 200 jobs at HM Revenue and Customs are at risk in Suffolk and north Essex.Offices are due to be vacated early in 2009 with 234 members of staff facing uncertainty about the future of their jobs.

MORE than 200 jobs at HM Revenue and Customs are at risk in Suffolk and north Essex.

Offices are due to be vacated early in 2009 with 234 members of staff facing uncertainty about the future of their jobs.

In Suffolk two offices are closing in Bury St Edmunds and Sudbury with a total of 82 jobs under threat, while in Essex, offices in Colchester, Clacton-on-Sea and Witham will be vacated with 152 people at risk.

The local Public and Commercial Services (PCS) union representative, Rex Tyrrell, condemned the move, warning of a lower level of service but added there were no new job losses as the closures were part of an ongoing process started in 2006.

He said: “In 2006 a reduction in the nationwide workforce by 25,000 in a period to go up to 2011 was announced. And as a simplistic logic if the department had fewer staff they need fewer offices.”

He added much of the face to face service will be lost in places like Bury St Edmunds and Sudbury.

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A spokesman for HM Revenue and Customs said the aim was to relocate as many staff as possible into new jobs in neighbouring offices and that the closures may not mean job losses.