By Josie Demuth 

Labour Hastings and Rye are launching a campaign on Friday 12th July which calls for the reinstatement of a job centre in Rye. This includes an online petition, video and letter to Amber Rudd MP.

In 2015 the job centre drop-in that used to be based in Tilling Green Community Centre was closed, and the service relocated to Hastings. As a result, job seekers and benefit claimants from the Rye area have been left with no choice but to travel up to 21 miles to sign on. This journey can cost up to £13.00, which is a quarter of Jobseeker’s Allowance weekly benefit.

The relocation of this vital service has meant those out of work are sometimes unable to afford the lengthy journey or are delayed by the bus or train, then they find themselves sanctioned and are even less likely to attend a job interview. 

Jenny, former job centre claimant, said: “You made use of the employability courses to help people get back into work. It was a great shame when it closed, and these stopped suddenly. [Reinstating] it would make a big difference, help people back into work and improve people’s well-being.”

The campaign demands an end to this entrenchment of rural poverty by re-opening the old job centre in Tilling Green Community Centre or by creating a new one in Rye Library.

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