Furness MP continues to fight for Phoenix House

Simon Fell, the Member of Parliament for Barrow and Furness, is leading the campaign to retain what he calls a ‘vital and very specialist’ team of more than forty civil servants who work with a niche range of industrial injuries and disablement benefits.

Yesterday, Mr Fell met with a Minister for the Department for Work and Pensions for the fourth time, to retaining these talented people and their considerable knowledge, after it was announced last year by the DWP that they would be closing the Phoenix House office in September 2023. The decision was taken as part of a wider review of the department’s estate.

The meeting was secured after the MP presented a parliamentary petition in the autumn which garnered several hundred signatures, and after the MP has raised the possibility of the closure in the House of Commons on numerous occasions.

Meeting with Mims Davies MP, the Under Secretary of State for the DWP, Mr Fell discussed the campaign with the Minister, and pressed the urgent need for people who suffer with industrial injury or disablement are not left experiencing a worse service than they do at the moment.

Commenting, Simon said:

“It was great to sit down with DWP Minister Mims Davies yesterday for the fourth time to raise this issue. Front of mind for me is that those who require help because they are suffering industrial disablement or asbestos related diseases continue to get the level of support they need.”

Mr Fell said that he is continuing to press the case with officials who he plans to meet with again in a matter of weeks.

Commenting further, Simon said:

“I’m glad that the Department is now working direct with asbestos groups to meet the challenges they are putting forward. This is an important step that I’ve long argued for. I’ve agreed to meet with DWP officials in a few weeks to take the campaign forward, and will be speaking to staff and the unions to discuss their thoughts too.”

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