THE fight for Glasgow’s Jobcentres is winnable, PCS union says.

The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) is to close half of the city’s 16 offices in a shock move announced in December.

Users, staff and MPs only learned of the plan when it was made public and just three of the closures have been put out to public consultation, in accordance with DWP rules.

Campaigners and politicians are now working to save centres in some of the city’s worst-off areas as the consultation deadline looms.

Ian Pope of the PCS union, which represents Jobcentre staff, says u-turns on any of these three would not be good enough and his members will lobby for the future of all eight even after January 31.

The commitment comes despite DWP assurances that no employees will be made redundant as a result of the closures, which will come into effect in 2018.

Pope told The National: “We want to save every Jobcentre. Hopefully we can do that as a result of the pressure we have put on as a union, with the members and the campaigners and the MPs and members of the public.

“We are exposing a lot already – the use of Google maps to calculate the distances, and so on, the use of bus routes that no longer exist between offices.

“The government is not that strong. If we get enough pressure from even the Labour front bench we could do it. We need to unite right across the opposition to get this done.

“Even after the 31st, we will still fight.”

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon, herself a Glasgow MSP, is amongst 19 signatories to a letter urging Work and Pensions Secretary Damian Green to “abandon” the cuts and “protect the most disadvantaged communities” in the city.

Offices in Castlemilk, Langside and Parkhead, will be affected, as will others in Easterhouse, Bridgeton, Anniesland, Maryhill and Cambuslang.

Carol Monaghan MP, who in December revealed planning permission to turn the Anniesland site into housing had been granted nine months before the closure programme was unveiled, met users there yesterday to discuss the impact of the change.

Meanwhile, Scottish Greens co-convener Patrick Harvie, who represents Glasgow, walked from Bridgeton to Shettleston with activists and locals yesterday in protest at the disruption and extra expense to users.

He said: “Like so many Glaswegians, Green activists are astonished at the UK Government’s disgraceful proposal to cut half of the city’s Jobcentres.

“We organised a walk from one of the locations slated for closure to the nearest alternative, a trip of nearly an hour. Even for people without mobility problems this is a quite unacceptable impact, and the only other option is to spend nearly a fiver a day on bus fares.

“We are not willing to see these closures go ahead, and will work with others across the political spectrum to mount the strongest possible campaign to save them, as well as demanding an end to the brutal welfare cuts and sanctions regime the UK Government is imposing on vulnerable people.”

The DWP says the cuts are part of the “modernisation” of operations and it is working to ensure “best value” for the taxpayer.