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‘Callous’ Tory government slammed as petition to save Hornchurch job centre is started

PUBLISHED: 14:33 24 February 2017 | UPDATED: 14:33 24 February 2017

Hornchurch job centre in North Street. Picture: Google Maps.

Hornchurch job centre in North Street. Picture: Google Maps.

Archant

The proposal to close Hornchurch job centre is another example of “putting profit before people”, according to Rainham’s MP.

MP for Dagenham and Rainham, Jon Cruddas.MP for Dagenham and Rainham, Jon Cruddas.

The MP for Dagenham and Rainham Jon Cruddas has lambasted the government for showing a “complete disregard” for the affect a closure would have on residents.

The job centre in North Street, Hornchurch, is set to close and merge with Romford as part of government plans to save £180m.

Mr Cruddas has said he was “outraged” when the proposals were announced last month and sought to discuss the plans with the Minister for Employment and the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP).

“There has been a complete disregard of the impact this will have on residents in real terms,” Mr Cruddas said.

“Theoretically a journey from site to site could be very quick, but in reality residents are looking at waiting times for public transport, with busses often delayed and c2c running every 20 minutes.”

He believes the move would adversely affect many people in Havering, especially those in south of the borough.

The MP’s team have looked into travel times and they say a journey which already took 20-30 minutes, could now rise upwards of 50 minutes.

Mr Cruddas has raised concerns to the government about the vulnerability of service users and the general economic situation in the area.

However, a response from the minister’s office was said to focus on achieving the “maximum commercial advantage”.

A DWP spokesman has claimed the government “expect no job losses” in Havering and the move would employ “under-used” buildings more efficiently.

The Rainham MP added: “It just seems like more and more services are leaving the constituency, and are becoming harder to access for the most vulnerable.

“This is another example of a callous Tory government putting profit before people, and providing little in the way of hope for struggling communities across the country.”

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