COUNCILLORS have hit out after a bid to move benefit assessment meetings for disabled people from Glasgow to Greenock was blocked.

A meeting of Inverclyde Council’s Health and Social Care Committee heard how Department for Work and Pensions officials refused to use their office in Duff Street to carry out Personal Independent Payment (PIP) assessments.

The idea had been suggested as a way to save people with mobility problems making the journey to the city centre around 25 miles away.

Members of the committee queued up to slam the snub.

Labour’s Jim Clocherty said: “Everything we do as a council is about trying to do the best for the people of Inverclyde.

“What this seems to do is make it as hard as possible to get the payments they are entitled to.

“It’s a crazy bureaucratic system which is designed to make sure that people do not get what they should as easily as possible.”

SNP councillor Jim MacLeod also slammed the PIP assessment system.

He said: “People who are disabled are already under a great deal of stress, which is only exacerbated by having to undergo these assessments and having to travel to Glasgow.”

Back in 2013, PIP replaced the old Disability Living Allowance (DLA) benefit.

Since the roll-out, the requirement for people to travel to Glasgow for assessments has caused difficulty for many claimants.

The DWP says it cannot move the meetings to Greenock as they are tied into a contract with Independent Assessment Services, who carry out the assessments.

They added that although the staff working in Duff Street carry out work capability assessments for Employment Support Allowance, they are not permitted to carry out PIP checks as they ‘require a different set of skills for each assessment’.