While it is good news that the North Lanarkshire Council have now committed to carrying out an impact assessment regarding the proposed closure of Cumbernauld HMRC, there is still some uncertainty around exactly what this assessment will involve.
Last week, Council Leader Logue stated that NLC’s impact assessment will differ from that carried out by West Lothian Council. Additionally, the correspondence we have received from NLC regarding the Tax Office talks much of preparing for the closure and would appear to suggest that there has an already been an acceptance that the closure of the Cumbernauld site is inevitable.
While it is important that the Council prepare for every eventuality, the worst case scenario is yet to materialise. We remain convinced that case for maintaining the Cumbernauld office is overwhelming and as a result it is vitally important that the Council continue to work with local representatives to fight the UK Government’s closure programme while the site remains open.
We have yet to receive confirmation that HMRC have secured an alternative site and the influential Public Accounts Committee in Parliament have already indicated that Cumbernauld “ticks all the boxes” for becoming an ‘HMRC Hub’.
That’s why Jamie Hepburn MSP and I have now contacted North Lanarkshire Council to request further details about the impact assessment and sought assurances that the Council will not accept the closure of Cumbernauld HMRC as a foregone conclusion.