Kilburn job centre saved from axe
THE IMPENDING recession has forced a swift government U-turn over plans to axe a Camden job centre. Ministers have given a last minute reprieve to the Kilburn centre because of rising unemployment figures amid the all-consuming credit crunch. The jobcentr
THE IMPENDING recession has forced a swift government U-turn over plans to axe a Camden jobcentre.
Ministers have given a last minute reprieve to the Kilburn centre because of rising unemployment figures amid the all-consuming credit crunch.
The jobcentre plus, on Cambridge Avenue, is used by thousands of Camden residents in the west of the borough who would have had to trek to Kentish Town if the threatened closure had gone ahead.
Kilburn councillor James King, who organised a petition signed by hundreds of people, said: "We are really pleased that the government has finally seen reason.
"The proposal to close down the jobcentre in an area of high unemployment was never good especially considering Kilburn has the second highest rate of unemployment in Camden.
"I am pleased they have seen sense but I am surprised it has taken potentially the worst economic recession for decades to get them to listen to people.
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"Councillors on both sides of the Kilburn High Road [in Brent and Camden] campaigned for this and we are delighted."
The proposal to axe the centre was part of a national review of the services for the unemployed.
Although it will remain open for the foreseeable future, ministers have only delayed the decision to close centres across the country because of the economic downturn.
Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, James Purnell, postponed the threatened closures to help the rising numbers of people suffering unemployment in the current climate.
Glenda Jackson MP also supported the campaign for the centre.
She said: "We are delighted that our efforts to save Kilburn jobcentre have been so successful.
"Many thanks to all those who campaigned with us and particular thanks to the Labour government who yet again has shown it is prepared to help real people at a time of real difficulty.
"The jobcentre is a vital resource to our area and it is really wonderful it has been saved."
A Department for Work and Pensions spokesman said: "We are committed to supporting people through this global economic downturn which is why the chancellor announced an extra £1.3 billion of funding to help people get back into work."
In September this year 6.2 per cent of people on the Camden side and six per cent of people on the Brent side of the Kilburn High Road were registered unemployed.
Unemployment rose eight per cent in the borough of Camden between May and October and 4,065 people are now claiming Job Seekers' Allowance.