WREXHAM’S MP is continuing the fight to keep hundreds of tax office jobs in the town and will raise the matter with the Chancellor of the Exchequer this week.

Ian Lucas is due to meet Philip Hammond on Wednesday when he will discuss plans to close the HM Revenue and Customs office on Wrexham Technology Park, forcing a workforce of about 270 to either relocate to Liverpool or Telford or lose their jobs.

Mr Lucas has also written to Sir Jonathan Thompson, First Permanent Secretary and Chief Executive of HMRC, to ask him to rethink his decision, copying in the Chancellor and Prime Minister.

In his letter to Sir Jonathan, Mr Lucas says closing the office in Wrexham is ‘entirely unjustifiable’.

He points out how it is impractical and unfair to expect staff to travel to Liverpool, where one of 13 new HMRC ‘hubs’ will be based, or Telford, where a smaller specialist site is being kept open. Mr Lucas feels there is still a strong case for some HMRC presence in Wrexham, especially has he has been told that HMRC is currently looking at taking on additional office space in Liverpool.

“If this is correct, it seems to me that there is no logical reason why Wrexham should not continue to be used as a centre as an alternative to taking on additional premises in Liverpool,” Mr Lucas writes.

The Wrexham office has been threatened with closure since 2015, when HMRC announced plans to centralise operations into 13 hubs in the UK’s biggest cities. Mr Lucas and the unions have campaigned to keep it open but earlier this month it was confirmed that the Wrexham centre would close at the end of September next year.

The Chancellor agreed to meet North Wales MPs at 11 Downing Street this week following a question by Mr Lucas in the Commons about a lack of investment by the UK Government in the region. The suspended Wylfa nuclear project and North Wales Growth Deal will be on the agenda, and Mr Lucas intends to raise the HMRC situation.

Mr Lucas described the government’s decision to close the offices in Wrexham as one of the worst he has seen in 18 years as an MP. A supporter of the Labour Towns movement, he feels the government should do more to invest in towns rather than focusing all their efforts on cities.

In his letter to Sir Jonathan, Mr Lucas asks for a face-to-face meeting and adds: “I plead with you to reconsider the decision concerning HMRC in North Wales. I cannot see how it can be justified.”