Travel trouble for jobseekers

PUBLISHED: 11:42 16 August 2007 | UPDATED: 12:43 04 May 2010

JOB seekers have been hit by an arson attack on Ely JobCentre. People are having to travel to Cambridge to make new claims for Job Seekers Allowance and follow-up interviews or face losing benefits after the fire in the early hours of July 30, forced the

JOB seekers have been hit by an arson attack on Ely JobCentre.

People are having to travel to Cambridge to make new claims for Job Seekers Allowance and follow-up interviews or face losing benefits after the fire in the early hours of July 30, forced the Market Street office to close.

Normal appointments to sign on are being held at a temporary office at Hereward Housing on St Mary's Street.

Electrical salesman Stephen Germeney, whose wife Joanne is seeking a job after giving birth to their daughter eight months ago, complained how he had to take time off work to take her to Cambridge.

He explained that she does not drive and would have had to take their daughter on a two-hour round bus trip for a 10-minute interview.

Mr Germeney said: "In an age where climate change and congestion are high on the agenda, why are Ely residents being forced to travel to Cambridge? Surely there must be local premises that can be rented."

A spokesman for the Department of Work and Pensions said: "Staff have been working hard to minimise the disruption caused to customers.."

n People with benefit queries should call 0845 6088603, to make a new claim call 0800 055 6688, and to apply for a Crisis Loan call 0800169 5198. Call 0845 606 0234 for assistance with job search and 01353 652695 for other inquiries.

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