Portsmouth council vows to fight for Lynx House

THE city council will fight to save 920 jobs that could be lost if Portsmouth's last remaining tax office is closed.

By Fiona Callingham
Wednesday, 16th October 2019, 7:00 am
Updated Wednesday, 16th October 2019, 11:15 am

Councillors unanimously agreed to write to chiefs at Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs (HMRC) and the treasury requesting they reconsider plans to shut Lynx House, in Cosham, by 2026.

If Lynx House is closed the nearest HMRC office will be in Croydon.

Local Public and Commercial Services (PCS) representative, Patrick Smyth, spoke to councillors at a full council meeting yesterday (October 15). He said: 'The nearest tax office to remain open is Croydon and to the west, Bristol.

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Stephen Morgan MP and Anneliese Dodds, shadow treasury minister, pictured outside Lynx House in Cosham in 2018. Picture: Sarah Standing (180724-5641)

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Council could fight to save Portsmouth's last tax office from closure

'The travel is completely out of the question for people. For most people that will be a two and a half hour journey.'

Lib Dem Councillor Jason Fazackarley brought the motion to council. 'It should be the duty of this council to protect the interest and wellbeing of residents,' he said.

'Those affected will be the workforce, local businesses, the families of workforce who are out of a job and the city as we lose rent income.'

Independent Cllr John Ferrett agreed. He said: 'For residents who have tax issues need resolve but aren't computer literate.

'That's something that's becoming obsolete. Potentially alienate huge numbers of people who would rely on face to face meetings. When these jobs go they don't come back.'

Council leader, Cllr Gerald Vernon-Jackson, added: 'Something like 900 jobs really important to a local economy. This daft regionalisation that's so crudely imposed by the government doesn't do us good at all.'