Two city canteens to close with joblosses a possibilty

CATERER Serco is withdrawing canteen services from the Social Security Agency’s (SSA) Lisahally centre and the Foyle Jobs and Benefits Office (JBO).

Benefits Minister Nelson McCausland explained: “The canteen services in the Department are outsourced to external providers. One of the providers, Serco, has advised the DFP that it plans to withdraw its catering services from eight offices in the Social Security Agency from June 30, 2013.

“The eight offices are: Armagh Jobs & Benefits Office (JBO); Coleraine JBO; Enniskillen JBO; Falls Road JBO; Foyle JBO; Holywood Road JBO; Newry JBO; and Lisahally Processing Centre. There are no plans for the closure of any other canteen in the next three years.”

He said staff affected are Serco employees and “there may be some redundancies among these staff.”

He added: “The reason for the canteen closures is that Serco has advised the Department of Finance and Personnel that it is not economically viable for them to continue to provide the catering services for the eight Social Security Agency offices listed.

“The contract with the provider included the provision for termination in the event of the catering services not being viable. Of the eight Social Security Agency canteens that will be closing, two are in Belfast.”