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Helston Job Centre to shut on Fridays
1:00pm Wednesday 14th August 2013 in News
The decision to close Helston Jobcentre on Fridays has been described as a “disappointment.”
MP Andrew George spoke of his concern in a letter to the town council, after he had made enquiries to Jobcentre Plus district manager Michelle Maslen.
Mr George wrote: “Just as it is for the town council, it is also a disappointment for me to receive a reply like this, especially after we had all campaigned so hard before to reverse the previous attempt to reduce opening hours at Helston Jobcentre.”
The centre was reduced to just two days a week in 2008, but after a campaign led by Mr George and the town’s mayor at the time Niall Devenish it was returned to full opening hours of Mondays to Friday. Now Ms Maslen has decided to shut the centre on Fridays, saying that due to staffing levels it was not possible for it to remain open while maintaining standards of health and safety for staff and customers.
In a letter to Mr George she wrote: “I must stress that no customers of Helston Jobcentre have been asked to attend a different Jobcentre to access our services, nor have we reduced the range of services available through Helston Jobcentre Monday to Thursday.
“Approximately 65 Jobseekers Allowance claimants were impacted by the change. We have made arrangements for them to attend on a different day without breaking the continuity of service or of benefit receipt.”
She offered to work with Mr George and the town council to set up a Friday Work Club, at which people can share their experiences of looking for work and help each other hunting for jobs.
The Department for Work and Pensions offers grants of up to £10,000 towards start up costs, such as IT equipment, stationary and office equipment, although it will not cover rent.
This is due to be discussed by town councillors at their meeting tomorrow, Thursday.
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