Five years after the Josephine Avenue Jobcentre was closed down, the Department for Work and Pensions has announced plans to shut the large Brixton Jobcentre Plus on 422 Brixton Road.
Closing the busy Brixton Jobcentre is part of a series of cuts described as “reckless” by the Public and Commercial Services (PCS) union.
Users will now be expected to use services in Stockwell and Kennington Park, with other nearby Jobcentre closures including Clapham Common Wandsworth and Lewisham.
The PCS union has warned than more than one in ten Jobcentres in England, Wales and Scotland has now been earmarked to close, with their general secretary Mark Serwotka telling the Daily Mirror:
Jobcentres provide a lifeline for unemployed people, and forcing them to travel further is not only unfair, it undermines support to get them back to work.
We are opposed to these closures and will vigorously fight any attempt to force DWP workers out of their jobs.
Shadow work and pensions secretary Debbie Abrahams was scathing, calling the closures “reckless at best and perverse at worst”.
Putting young people at risk?
Apart from the obvious inconvenience of expecting people to travel further to use Jobcentre services, closing the Brixton office may potentially put young men at risk.
The problems of inner city ‘postcode wars’ are well documented, where young people can face intimidation and violence when they leave their home area. This is likely to increase if they are now forced to travel out of Brixton to use Jobcentre services.
It’s also been locally rumoured that their are plans to eventually convert the Jobcentre into a hotel, although we couldn’t find anything on Lambeth’s planning database yet.
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