Government Buildings

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jdbythesea
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Postby jdbythesea » Mon 05 Aug, 2013 9:54 pm

Firstly, I've heard some rumours that the Lawnswood site used by DWP is to close and that the the staff will relocate to the Kremlin (or Quarry House as it is also known). The student flats at Bodington Hall may also be affected. Anyone else heard anything? Secondly, can any SL members recall the old DSS offices at Athlone Grove, Armley and also the office at Tranquility, Cross Gates. Back in the 60s they were both Ministry of Pensions and National Insurance operations.I've never come across any photos of either of them.    
Chrism
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Postby Chrism » Tue 06 Aug, 2013 12:59 pm

Is Athlone House the old DHSS building or was it where the new houses are. I remember it but left Armley in 74 and my grey matter is fading slowly. I never used it BTW
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tyke bhoy
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Postby tyke bhoy » Tue 06 Aug, 2013 1:42 pm

jdbythesea wrote: Firstly, I've heard some rumours that the Lawnswood site used by DWP is to close and that the the staff will relocate to the Kremlin (or Quarry House as it is also known). The student flats at Bodington Hall may also be affected. Anyone else heard anything?      Boddington accommodation is closed and already has outline planning permission for a small number of houses. Being an affluent location not the shoebox with postage stamp garden type. Most of the students were moved to Central Village land and buidlings once owned by Leeds Met but also very handy for most of the university. The observant will have noticed a crane on site too to build another 400+ rooms in a 21? story tower available in September 2014.It also looks like the DWP buildings will go the same way http://barryanderson.yourcllr.com/2013/ ... xhibition/
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Brunel
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Postby Brunel » Tue 06 Aug, 2013 2:18 pm

Not forgetting the huge Park & Ride scheme to be constructed at Boddington, for N.G.T.
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jim
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Postby jim » Tue 06 Aug, 2013 2:26 pm

The DSS office building on Athlone Grove, Armley is still there, but in other use. (LS12 1SY)
jonleeds
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Postby jonleeds » Tue 06 Aug, 2013 5:30 pm

I wonder what will happen to the nuclear bunker on the site of the Lawnswood Government Buildings? Apparently its already owned by some London based property management company but its in an advanced state of decay and apparently flooded inside.The whole complex at Lawnswood seems to consist of portacabin type structures which have been 'converted' into more permanent buildings over the years. I think there are various government departments there not just the DWP. Seems like another example of the council trying to make cash by selling off council owned land just like whats happening with the West Park Centre.
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shutthatdoor
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Postby shutthatdoor » Tue 06 Aug, 2013 5:55 pm

When I was a youngster Athlone House in Armley was known as the local "Labour Exchange" or what we would call a Job-Centre now. So I guess it qualified as a government owned building.The MOD used to have some offices at Lawnswood. I worked for a while in the early nineties shifting office furniture for a private company with a contract with MOD. Most of our work was on the now demolished RAF procurement base off St Georges roundabout in Harrogate. There were no state secrets, just loads of pasty looking civil servants who could have done with a bit more sunshine.    
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jdbythesea
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Postby jdbythesea » Tue 06 Aug, 2013 6:42 pm

shutthatdoor wrote: When I was a youngster Athlone House in Armley was known as the local "Labour Exchange" or what we would call a Job-Centre now. So I guess it qualified as a government owned building.The MOD used to have some offices at Lawnswood. I worked for a while in the early nineties shifting office furniture for a private company with a contract with MOD. Most of our work was on the now demolished RAF procurement base off St Georges roundabout in Harrogate. There were no state secrets, just loads of pasty looking civil servants who could have done with a bit more sunshine.     Thanks Shutthatdoor. I remember Athlone Grove too but only as a DSS office not an employment exchange - that was next to The Pavilion at Stanningley (later moving up to Pudsey). I'd forgotten about the MOD being at Lawnswood though: and you're right about the civil servants!Anyone recall the Cross Gates DSS office?

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Steve Jones
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Postby Steve Jones » Tue 06 Aug, 2013 7:22 pm

This is what my union PCS has to say about the closure of Lawnswood:DWP briefing    Department for Work & Pensions GroupTo:    047006, 047011, 047026 only, GEC (for info), Y&H and North West Regional Secretaries,Date:    30 January 2013DWP/BB/013/13RUpdate on Closures of Lawnswood Leeds and Newgate House RochdaleFollowing the announcement to close Lawnswood and Newtown House offices on 9 January 2013, and the members bulletin DWP/BB/02/13 issued later the same day, PCS has met with management to raise a number of issues linked to the site closures.BackgroundIt is management’s proposal that the staff employed at the Lawnswood site can be re-located into Quarry House in Leeds, while the staff from Newgate House can be accommodated in a variety of offices in neighbouring towns. Staff at both sites work for more than one part of DWP. At Lawnswood there is a mixture of Disability Benefits staff and HQ-based Fraud staff. At Rochdale there are Fraud, Compliance and DWP Visiting staff, as well as a number of HQ-based staff.UpdatePCS made clear in the meeting that the consultation regarding these proposed closures was inadequate. PCS has had to field many enquiries from members concerning the terms of the relocation exercise which should have been subject to consultation. Members were particularly concerned that information was unclear on any financial package available to support the move, covering travel time and excess fares. Some members were also concerned that a change of site would seriously impact on their caring responsibilities and for some the proposed new site(s) would be outside their mobility.Local ConsultationManagement accepted that they need to strengthen the local consultation arrangements in order to ensure that there is local consultation on the closure that covers all the staff who work in the building. They informed PCS that there is a single lead manager responsible for the implementation of the closure on each site. At Lawnswood this is the Disability Benefit Centre manager. At Rochdale it is the Fraud manager. Local consultation should therefore take place on each site with these managers and this consultation should encompass all of the staff on site, whichever part of DWP they work in. Where the members on site are in different PCS branches then the relevant branches should liaise to ensure that an ad hoc TUS team is put in place to ensure that all the members on the site are covered by the consultation. DWP agreed to remind local management of their requirement to consult on this issue.1:1 interviewsManagement have undertaken a series of 1:1 interviews with staff. These initial 1:1 interviews are for management to gather information only. No decisions should be made at these 1:1’s. The information gathered will then be used to inform management on the next steps, which will involve further 1:1’s. PCS believes that management were premature in commencing the 1:1’s when their managers were unable to answer obvious staff questions about the proposed transfers such as the detail of excess fares, etc.Excess FaresPCS at national level have pressed management to give a commitment to extend the excess fares allowance to 5 years from 3 years at both sites (this is within managements own guidance). Management insist that this is an issue for consultation at “site” level and can not be agreed at national level for both sites.PCS have also requested that members can be accompanied at interviews by PCS representatives where requested. Management locally should not refuse this option.Action by Branches/ Local representatives•    Ensure that an ad hoc local consultation TUS team is in place to represent all of the members on each site.•    Ensure Members are represented if requested at any 1-2-1 meetings•    The record of 1-2-1 interviews should be agreed between the line manager and the member of staff. If there are any inaccuracies or concerns they should be recorded. The records of these 1:1’s are living documents that members will have the opportunity to correct at subsequent interviews, but it is preferable to raise issues early in the process.•    If members have any travel limitations they need to highlight them including caring or mobility issues.•    If members are considering travelling outside their mobility then they need to make clear that they would expect appropriate remuneration.•    In each of the sites the site implementation lead is the manager of the major occupier, this is Fraud for Rochdale and Benefit Centre (disability) for Lawnswood. The Site implementation lead will make decisions on the terms of the proposed transfers (e.g. the length of excess fares allowance (i.e. 3 or 5 years), the availability of the Workforce Management Redeployment Package (WMRP), etc. Local representatives should push for 5 years excess fares and for the WMRP to be made available.•    Where members are unable to relocate to the proposed offices (e.g. outwith mobility) then discussions should begin on what other DWP offices may be within mobility.•    If members have reasonable adjustments to workstations they should follow them to the new site.At this stage PCS has no detail as to the timescales for the second round of 1-2-1 interviews but there has been a commitment to provide generic high level details at site level to inform consultation. Further updates will be provided.Further support is available via PCS group office in Leeds.CHARLES LAW    JIM HOLMESIndustrial Officer    Group Assistant Secretary
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jdbythesea
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Postby jdbythesea » Tue 06 Aug, 2013 9:27 pm

Very interesting - thank you Steve. I can see there are still a lot of issues that will need to be resolved. I hope that the staff get a fair deal but from my own experience I wouldn't be over-optimistic despite the land, with planning consents, being worth a tidy sum. I'll be interested to see what happens next.





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