Axe to fall on only job centre in valley

PUBLISHED: 12:43 23 January 2008 | UPDATED: 21:29 15 June 2010

THERE is nothing anybody in Axminster can do to save the town's Jobcentre from closure. The facility has been lost forever following Government cutbacks. The building, in Chard Street, had been under the threat of closure, with a period of public consulta

THERE is nothing anybody in Axminster can do to save the town's Jobcentre from closure.The facility has been lost forever following Government cutbacks.The building, in Chard Street, had been under the threat of closure, with a period of public consultation taking place as councillors campaigned to secure its future. News of the closure was confirmed last week.Mayor of Axminster Graham Godbeer said: "Nothing can be done to save it."Because we are trying to develop Axminster in terms of industrial use and we are expecting the town to expand in numbers in the near future, it is extremely sad and inappropriate that, at this time, they have decided to close the JobCentre."It would have played a vital role in marrying the new people in the town with jobs."News of the closure is to the detriment of this town and we are extremely sorry that they have come to this decision."Jobseekers in the Axe Valley will now have to travel to Honiton to access their nearest Jobcentre.Caroline Flint, Employment Minister at the Department for Work and Pensions, said: "The changes I am announcing today are the latest stage in our modernisation programme that will lead to more efficient and effective services for our customers - releasing resources to our Jobcentres - while providing best value for taxpayers."The service we provide to our customers is at the forefront of all our decisions and we have been working closely with partners to ensure everyone can benefit from the expertise and support available at Jobcentre Plus."Jobcentre Plus customer service director Claire McGuckin said: "These changes, although unsettling for those affected, will result in a more effective service. "Currently we are in negotiation with partners to finalise our plans for an alternative service in the localities concerned."MP for East Devon Hugo Swire said: "This is just one more example of how the Government are attacking local services, particularly in rural areas."The Government claims it wants to get people into jobs through their 'welfare to work' policies. "Now they are shutting the services that help people get a job. Many people use Job Centres at difficult times in their lives. Removing these services and in effect disenfranchising them will be a disaster for my constituents trying to get back to work.

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