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Young people launch fight to save Maryport job centre

A group of young unemployed Maryport people have launched a fight to halt possible closure of the town’s Job Centre.

They have collected 1,600 signatures on a petition and around 400 on social networking websites.

The group presented the petition to Maryport Town Council on Monday with an appeal for help.

The Department for Work and Pensions recently revealed a proposal that could mean closure of the Mealpot Road centre.

A DWP spokeswoman said, however, that a job centre presence would be retained in the town, possibly working out of a shared office on the Ewanrigg or Hillside estates.

A group of young unemployed people from the town immediately set up a “Save Maryport Job Centre” Facebook page.

The campaign is being headed by Toni Fowler, 24, Peter Smiles, 24, James Wood, 27, Damien Sheridan, 25 and Jonathan Brown, 26, with the help of Toni’s mother Sally-Ann Fowler.

Mrs Fowler, of Kirkby Street, said that closure of the job centre or a relocation to the Hillside estate would create extra hardship for many people.

Maryport Town Council promised to present the petition to the Department of Works and Pensions.

The council will also invite a DWP representative to attend a council meeting.

The council was unanimously opposed to the closure proposal.

Mayor Peter Kendall said: “It needs to be accessible. The unemployed are the least likely to have money to run cars, and trying to get a job should be made as easy as possible.

“It needs to be in the town centre or at least in an area served by a frequent bus service.

“Moving to Hillside, for instance, would probably make the job centre inaccessible to about 90 per cent of users.

“Keep it where it is or move it to an empty shop in Senhouse Street but do not put it up in some remote area.”

Councillor Janice Wood said: “If they are just moving to another part of town, what is the point?”

Workington MP Sir Tony Cunningham said he shared concern about the proposal.

The DWP recently said that no decision had been made to close the present office.

Have your say

I don't think Tom meant that people got their dole money at the jobcentre but they have to sign on there, but if the government got off their backsides and stopped giving people loads of money for nothing then people would look harder for work there are jobs going but the money is the same as the dole money some people have no pride in themselves!!!

Posted by albert on 21 December 2012 at 09:52

Tom a Job Centre is where unemployed look for work.
It's kind of in the title of the place.
If it shuts it will be another barrier to work.
Instead of slagging off the unemployed why not ask your mighty government why they are dismantling this country and not passionate about job creation?

Posted by Maryport Resident on 18 December 2012 at 16:40

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