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Centre's future looking bleak

PUBLISHED: 11:31 30 October 2008 | UPDATED: 13:23 24 August 2010

Bleak future: Kilburn Jobcentre Plus in Cambridge Avenue

Bleak future: Kilburn Jobcentre Plus in Cambridge Avenue

by Alex Wellman A winter of discontent faces jobseekers in an area blighted with high unemployment after the Government refused to send them a lifeline. Unemployed people in Kilburn are facing a bleak Christmas after Government chiefs de

by Alex Wellman

A winter of discontent faces jobseekers in an area blighted with high unemployment after the Government refused to send them a lifeline.

Unemployed people in Kilburn are facing a bleak Christmas after Government chiefs declined to reveal the fate of the Jobcentre Plus in Cambridge Avenue, Kilburn.

Despite being in an area of high unemployment, in September this year six per cent of people on the Brent side and 6.2 per cent of people on the Camden side were registered unemployed, the Department of Works and Pensions have marked the branch for closure.

The proposal was made following a seven week consultation from early March to mid April and if it goes ahead jobseekers will have to go as far afield as Willesden, Harlesden or North Kensington.

Despite the current despair over the economic climate, the DWP refused to say when a decision would be made but admitted that the recent financial problems have been considered.

Politicians have branded the silence a 'disgrace' and called for the Government to reverse their initial decision.

Cllr James King, Kilburn ward, Camden Council, said: "It is a disgrace that the threat of closure is still hanging over Kilburn's Jobcentre as unemployment rises and the economic slowdown deepens.

"Latest figures show Kilburn ward has the second highest number of jobseekers in Camden. The Government should see reason and commit to keeping our local Jobcentre open to help people find work."

Cllr Mary Arnold, Kilburn ward, Brent Council, said: "People are outraged that you could even consider closing it because unemployment is something we desperately need to tackle.

"It simply makes no sense to remove the Jobcentre as it is fundamental to the South Kilburn redevelopment programme.

"I know it's a way to encourage modern online service but this centre is not appropriate.

"You need to be face to face when you want to change people's lives and there are a lot of people in Kilburn who need and want help changing their lives."

A DWP spokeswoman said: "The consultation has ended and everything is with the Minister of State for Employment, Tony McNulty, and he will take everything into consideration before he makes a decision."

alex.wellman@archant.co.uk


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