Gordon has said it would be completely wrong of the Government to close the Veterans UK base at Norcross – a move that could impact on hundreds of local jobs.
The Government have announced their intention to shut 91 MOD sites but it has been met by strong opposition from Gordon and the PCS Union. He met with PCS campaigners in Parliament to discuss the potential impact and said it was more about meeting cut targets rather than supporting veterans.
Gordon, who also chairs the All Party Parliamentary Group for Veterans said: “This is a real problem because the figures show that the Government’s plans could result in 376 job losses at Tomlinson House. These are good quality jobs in Blackpool and across the Fylde which we cannot afford to lose. The Government have done no assessment on what impact the closure and job losses of this scale will have on local areas like ours.
“Their intention to shut Veterans UK at Tomlinson House is more driven by an arbitrary cuts target rather than what is best to help our veterans. The staff at Norcross provide specialist support for thousands of ex-service personnel on a wide range of welfare related issues and that’s why it would be completely wrong to close it.”
Gordon added: “I have also raised my concerns with our Shadow Defence Secretary Nia Griffith, who raised it in a Commons debate on the Armed Forces Covenant in which I spoke.”
Speaking in the debate, she said: “I am concerned that one of the sites that has been earmarked for closure is the Defence Business Services in Blackpool, which houses Veterans UK. All we are told in the Government’s publication is that the site will be replaced by a “Government Hub” in the North West. If that ends up being beyond a reasonable commuting distance – for example Manchester – we risk losing experienced staff who have an expertise in supporting our veterans.”
At the back end of last year Gordon held an Armed Forces Roundtable, which looked at the welfare of veterans and the types of support available for ex-service personnel.