I am demanding the government back down on their plans to close the Camberwell Green Jobcentre.
If government plans to close the Camberwell Green Jobcentre are approved local unemployed people will have to go instead to a Jobcentre in Peckham, Brixton or Kennington Park. There are currently 730 people in Camberwell Green claiming Jobseeker's Allowance.
The Jobcentre closure plans come at a time of rising unemployment in the area. In the last month the number of people in Camberwell and Peckham on Jobseeker's Allowance has risen by 12.1% to 5,604.
Last month research revealed more than 40 unemployed people in Camberwell and Peckham were chasing every job vacancy. And at 11.6% Camberwell and Peckham has a higher proportion of people without qualifications than the UK and London averages, making it harder for them to find work.
When more people in Camberwell and Peckham are unemployed and it is harder to find work, it is especially important that Jobseekers have access to the services they need locally.
The Camberwell Green Jobcentre is within easy walking distance for unemployed people in Camberwell. It will take Camberwell Jobseekers longer to get to the Brixton, Peckham or Kennington Park Jobcentres and it will cost them more money to travel there.
I strongly protested the proposed closure of the Camberwell Green Jobcentre in 2008 and I am angry that once again this vital local service is under threat.
I have written to the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, Iain Duncan Smith MP, to demand he steps in to halt the closure.
The government say they want to get people off benefits but they are making it harder for people to get back into work. I hope as many people as possible will give their views to the consultation and oppose plans to close the Camberwell Green Jobcentre.
To respond to the consultation write to Gregg Harrison, District Manager, District Office, 3rd Floor, Jobcentre Plus, South London District, 206-210 Kennington Park Road, London, SE11 4DE or Business Manager, Paula Heffernan Paula.Heffernan@jobcentreplus.gsi.gov.uk