Options limited over Lisahally jobs -McLaughlin

Sinn Féin Foyle MLA Maeve McLaughlin comments following asking for clarity on the future of thirty staff currently employed in the Lisahally Processing Unit.
She said
 
We were  contacted last week by staff from the office out at Lisahally who were told that up to 30 jobs could be lost as a result of moving records to a central location.
I asked for  clarity from the  Social Development Minister Mervyn Storey on the future of Social Security Agency staff at Lisahally.
 
I impressed on the Minister the need that all options should be explored to offset these potential job losses. And that he needed to look within his department to see if other duties can be carried out at Lisahally to secure these jobs.
 
The minister has now replied to a written question I submitted to say officials are looking across both the Social Security Agency and the wider Northern Ireland Civil Service as to what opportunities are available for the staff impacted by this decision and the potential to relocate work, opportunities are extremely limited in the current financial environment.
 
Question

To ask the Minister for Social Development what steps can be taken to support the thirty staff currently employed in the Lisahally Processing Unit; and whether other duties from the Civil Service can be utilised to ensure jobs are retained
.

I am extremely disappointed by the decision by the Department for Work and Pensions to close the Remote Storage Unit in Lisahally. This is part of their wider strategy to move all remote storage across Great Britain to a central unit in Manchester. Whilst my officials are looking across both the Social Security Agency and the wider Northern Ireland Civil Service as to what opportunities are available for the staff impacted by this decision and the potential to relocate work, opportunities are extremely limited in the current financial environment. Officials are also in discussion with the Department for Work and Pensions on the timing of the closure of the Unit. The Social Security Agency will continue to work closely with the Agency Trade Union Side with regard to the impact of this decision for staff.