Priority must be to find a local permanent, accessible location says Hywel Williams.
Capita have confirmed they will re-open their PIP assessment centre in Bangor, having secured a three month lease at the Storiel Arts Centre, whilst they look for a permanent site.
The news follows pressure from Plaid Cymru Arfon MP Hywel Williams and Dwyfor Meirionnydd MP Liz Saville Roberts, who raised the issue with both the Prime Minister and the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions earlier this week.
Both MPs have now called on the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions to instruct her Department to find a suitable and permanent local site to meet the needs of severely disabled and vulnerable claimants living in Gwynedd.
Following the closure of the Bangor centre, Capita were advising claimants to travel to Rhyl or Aberystwyth to attend their assessment.
Hywel Williams MP said,
‘I cautiously welcome the news that Capita have now found an alternative site in Bangor to carry out assessments for Personal Independence Payments (PIP).’
‘From my understanding, they have secured a temporary lease at the Storiel Arts Centre, whilst they look for a permanent base in the city.’
‘At Prime Minister’s Questions on Wednesday i raised concerns about the closure, and urged the Prime Minister to instruct the DWP to find a suitable local site to meet the needs of severely disabled and vulnerable claimants living in north-west Wales.’
‘Whilst I welcome this announcement, efforts must now be made to find a permanent site in the area, one which is as local and as convenient as possible and which meets the specific needs of claimants.’
‘I will be keeping a close eye on the situation over the coming weeks and months, ensuring sufficient progress is made to secure a suitable and permanent local base to meet the needs of severely disabled and vulnerable claimants.’