CamdenNewJournal

The independent London newspaper

Job centre closure plan a ‘false economy’

31 March, 2017

Green Party councillor Caroline Russell: ‘Making people travel further, especially those with caring responsibilities or a disability, will make it harder for residents to get into or back into employment’

A PLAN to close one of the borough’s three job centres is a “false economy”, Islington’s opposition councillor has warned.

Highgate Job Centre, in Elthorne Road, would go under government plans to close 74 job centres across the country.

The contracts covering many of the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) offices expire in a year’s time, and the government says it is “an opportunity to review what offices are needed in the future, taking account of the welfare reforms that will be delivered over the coming years”.

Job seekers in Archway will have to travel either to Finsbury Park or Barns­bury.

The results of a consultation on the closures are currently being analysed by the DWP.

Green Party councillor Caroline Russell said: “It’s really worrying that the Highgate job centre in Archway is closing.

“I understand the govern­ment are imposing this closure without consulting with disability claimants, staff or users.

“Making people travel further, especially those with caring responsibilities or a disability, will make it harder for residents to get into or back into employment.

“Can the government guarantee cutting capacity won’t mean less support? If there is less support to get people into work, this is a false economy.”

The Public and Commercial Services Union held a lobby meeting in parlia­ment against the plans on Tuesday. In Archway, the DWP has proposed a work coach “in a commun­ity location, such as a lib­rary, on a part time basis to provide job search advice to claimants and members of the public.”

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