Jobcentre closures in London rile PCS union

Several Jobcentres in the capital still face closure despite a government promise to keep them open to meet increasing demand.

The Public and Commercial Services (PCS) union has questioned the government’s plans to go ahead with closing London’s Feltham, Orpington and Brixton Hill Jobcentres despite pledging in November last year to hire 6,000 extra staff to deal with the increasing numbers of unemployed.

January’s Labour Market Statistics showed unemployment rose to 1.92 million. Unions want the government to stop closing any further Jobcentres and instead re-open centres to meet demand.

PCS general secretary Mark Serwotka said: “It is ludicrous that the department is still closing Jobcentres, despite the government’s promise. I have written to James Purnell, the secretary of state for work and pensions, asking for an urgent meeting to ensure that there are enough Jobcentres and staff to support those who find themselves out of work.

“The government needs to get ahead of the game by putting more staff into Jobcentres and by re-opening offices to ensure the growing numbers of unemployed get the help and support they need,” he added.

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