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Newport passport office to stay

Wednesday May 25th 2011

The Government has announced it will retain the Newport Passport Office, but with operations scaled down.

Although the initial plans to close the centre have been reversed, Welsh First Minister Carwyn Jones said the decision to downsize it is still "extremely disappointing".

While it will continue to function as a customer support centre, the Newport office will no longer process postal and online passport applications. More than 100 jobs are expected to go as a result.

Home Office Minister Damian Green said the decision to keep the facility open following the consultation would safeguard the remaining 150 jobs.

First Minister Mr Jones, 44, said: "This is extremely disappointing news.

"Whilst we note the intention to retain a small customer service facility at Newport and the possible transfer of some posts, this decision by the UK Government now leaves Wales as the only region of the UK without a fully fledged passport office.

"The Newport Passport Office is also a significant employer in Newport, and the loss of these valuable jobs will have a huge impact on the city and the local economy."

Copyright © Press Association 2011

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