Tracy Brabin MP has today launched a campaign against the proposed closure of Batley Job Centre. She was joined at the launch by Councillors Fazila Fadia, Gwen Lowe, Shabir Pandor and local Labour campaigners.
Batley’s Job Centre Plus has been chalked for closure the by the Conservative Government as part of their plans to reduce the number of centres nationwide by 72.
The Department for Work and Pensions are currently making considerations before releasing their final proposals.
Over 900 local people are currently registered at the centre and if it closes there are fears the shift of operations to Dewsbury could hit the poorest, hardest. Having recently met with local Job Centre managers, Ms Brabin is confident local staff will do all they can to support users but this decision is out of their hands.
Ms Brabin is encouraging those opposed to closure to support the campaign by signing and sharing her petition to the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, which can be found online here.
After spending this afternoon speaking to Job Centre users, Tracy Brabin MP said:
“From the conversations I’ve had today it’s clear the people of Batley don’t want to lose our Job Centre.
“The centre provides essential services such as benefit information, support for job seekers and crucially, access to the internet so people can look for work.
“Although the DWP have given half-hearted assurances about reimbursing travel costs, when you’re watching every penny, paying for a ticket in the first place can be impossible.
“I fear that many of those who want to spend their time looking for work will end up walking the miles to Dewsbury, something that may be impossible for the sick or disabled.
“Not content with cutting money from our schools and slashing our council’s coffers, this is another example of the Tories taking from Batley and Spen.”