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Closure of Bacup Jobcentre condemned by traders
TRADERS and councillors have condemned the decision to close the Bacup Jobcentre.
The 250 unemployed people who use the resource on the corner of Gladstone Street and South Street every week will now face a 10-mile round trip to Rawtenstall to sign on, or will have to sign on by post.
The centre recently found 70 people from Bacup positions at the new Morrisons store in Market Street which opened on Monday.
Last December, the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) said that it was looking to relocate the office.
Inquiries were made with the Maden Centre on Rochdale Road, but plans to move the centre were abandoned in January.
Coun Jimmy Eaton said that the closure was worrying.
He said: “It seems the centre has closed to cut overheads because the building it’s in is very large.
“But there are lots of empty buildings they could downsize to in Bacup.
“Even if they only kept a couple of staff there, at least people could go and look for work.
“People looking for work are really going to struggle with the added time of people travelling to Rawtenstall.
“Not everyone can get online to look for work and need somewhere to go.
“This closure is going to leave them isolated.”
The Jobcentre is on sale through Bury-based estate agents Pearson Ferrier for £135,000.
A spokeswoman for the Department for Work and Pensions said: “Negotiations are nowe underway for alternative services to be provided in Bacup. These should conclude shortly.
“Meanwhile to avoid disruption, customers have been given the opportunity to sign fortnightly by post or visit their nearest Jobcentre in Rawtenstall.
“In total, 70 per cent of customers took up the offer of using that office.”
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