Southall Job centre closure meetingFri 24 Feb 2017
Ealing Southall MP Virendra Sharma was going to be present but was unable to attend due to being busy in Parliament.
Ealing Council leader Julian Bell could not attend due to being ill but sent Councillor Peter Mason, Cabinet Member for Prosperity and Transformation.
Others councillors present were the Deputy leader Councillor Ranjit Dheer (Dormers Wells ward), Councillor Harbhajan Kaur-Dheer (Greenford Broadway ward) and Councillor Karam Mohan (Lady Margaret ward).
Councillor Sarfraz Khan, Councillor Sanjai Kohli and Councillor Kamaljit Nagpal representing the Southall Broadway ward in which the Southall Jobcentre is located were ALL absent as usual.
The speakers at the meeting included:
- Theresa Raftery (PCS West London Branch - Public & Commercial Services Union)
- Councillor Peter Mason, Cabinet Member for Prosperity and Transformation
- Deputy leader Councillor Ranjit Dheer
- Eve Turner – Ealing Trades Council
- Raj Gill – Unite the Community branch secretary
- Declan Power - PCS branch secretary - West London
- Janpal Basran - Southall Community Alliance
“The closure is meant to save tax payers money. Are we not tax payers?”
The proposal will ALSO affect a lot of sick and disabled people who will be forced to travel at least another 3 miles at their own expense.
Councillor Peter Mason said that we are used to cuts. The Southall Community Centre was sold, Ealing Hospital is being downgraded, Southall Job centre is closing and there have been £180 million in government funding cuts over 8 years.
This is designed to “undermine the welfare system” and is just “asset stripping” of Southall. The job figures do not represent the true picture. More people are now working in low paid jobs. The average wage in Southall has gone down by 3% over the last 3 years.
Councillor Ranjit Dheer felt “very upset as a resident of Southall”.
“The government has not budged from its decision to close Ealing Hospital. You keep your health services open in the community where they are needed. Southall has the highest birth rate in the borough and yet our maternity wing has been closed. It does not make any sense at all.”
“We have the highest incidents of diabetes, blood pressure and heart illnesses in Southall and yet all these acute services have been moved away from Southall. It does not make sense. That is why people feel upset and angry.”
“It is the same arguments we have in respect of the Jobcentre. “
“Southall is one of the most deprived towns in the country and the ward in which the Jobcentre is located is one of the 10 most deprived wards in the country."
Most job centres are closed without any consultation. We were given JUST 28 days’ notice to study and evaluate the proposal. This is insufficient time for the local residents to mobilise against it.
Those in power will then take 3 months to arrive at their decision. Southall residents cannot remain silent during this period. They need to mobilise and have their say.
PLEASE SAVE SOUTHALL JOB CENTRE – TAKE PART IN THE CONSULTATION!
Have your say NOW before it is TOO LATE.
The public consultation closes on Tuesday 28/2/17 at 5.00pm.
Tell them not to close Southall Job Centre!!!
Please e-mail or write your strong views about the proposed closure of Southall Jobcentre to:
Post: Brian Menzies, District Managers Office, Public consultation, Acton Jobcentre Plus, Armstrong Road, Acton, London, W3 7JL
Some reasons for not closing Southall Job Centre are mentioned here.
If you have a local news story, share it with the rest of Southall, by using the contact form.