Partly Cloudy

Partly Cloudy

max temp: 21°C

min temp: 17°C

ESTD 1874 Search

The pigs have arrived. See the latest

Pigs Gone Wild

news here.

Clacton: Initiative to tackle long-term unemployment backed by MP Douglas Carswell

22:10 23 February 2014

Archant

Clacton has been named as one of only six areas in the UK being targeted in a new government scheme aimed at overhauling entrenched benefits cultures.

The bid to banish the town’s reputation as one of the country’s benefits capitals comes after a damning report found that more than half of working age people in the heart of Clacton rely on out-of-work benefits for their income.

Last night, Douglas Carswell, MP for Clacton, pledged his full support to the initiative, admitting action was required after the “depressing” report revealed some “uncomfortable truths”.

However he criticised senior government figures who condemn jobseekers as “scroungers”, attacking their belief that a carrot-and-stick approach is the only way to get people back in to work.

The scheme will see staff at Clacton’s Jobcentre Plus centre trained to tackle the causes of long-term unemployment and engage with benefit claimants to help them overcome the “barriers that are holding them back” to lead better lives.

The Centre for Social Justice report said last year that 54% of 16 to 64-year-olds in the Pier Ward of the town receive unemployment benefits – the fifth highest rate in the country.

The Department for Work and Pensions pilot will focus on people in the Pier and Alton Park wards of the town who have been claiming working-age benefits for at least three of the last four years.

Mr Carswell said: “The report was a very bad day for Clacton. I felt really depressed when I read it. It highlighted some uncomfortable truths.

“Coastal communities have a very difficult and specific range of problems and for seaside towns like Clacton there are pockets of high unemployment. But the only way to change things is to acknowledge the truth and I now feel positive the report has led to some action.

“I dislike it when the Government gets on its high horse and talks about scroungers and using a carrot-and-stick approach.

“In my experience, people get caught in a trap and stuck in a rut and it is really tough. A young man came to see me two weeks ago who had not worked for three years. I took him through the various stages and he secured a job interview.

“There are good people out there, like him, doing all the right things to get back in to work. They need that extra special helping hand. This pilot is exactly what we need.”

Lauren Kilbey, project manager at Clacton’s Jobcentre Plus, said she hopes the lives of around 120 people claiming benefits will be turned around this year.

“It is about getting people to take more responsibility and helping them to overcome the barriers that are holding them back for leading happier, healthier and more resilient lives,” she said.

Mick Page, leader of Tendring District Council (TDC) , said staff will receive “valuable customer insight”.

“This is a very important project which will help those where all other routes have failed,” he said. “TDC is pleased to support this very worthwhile scheme.”

The pilot will launch at TDC’s Weeley Council Chamber on March 19.

1 comment

  • put the retirement age back to 65 is one of the things that wants doing.

    Report this comment

    TERENCE MANNING

    Monday, February 24, 2014

New Anglia Local Enterprise Partnership, together with Norfolk and Suffolk Chambers of Commerce, host a business engagement events at UCS, to give businesses in the East the opportunity to learn more about the benefits of devolution. 
Panel of speakers Chris Starkie Chris Bally Dr Peter Funnell Andy Wood OBE Mark Pendlington answer relevant questions

Business leaders from across east Suffolk have come together to back proposals for the region to get more devolved powers from the government.

England's Harry Martin in 2014.

The greatest sporting spectacle on the planet is almost upon us once again.

The Premier Inn hotel in Bury St Edmunds - council teams stayed at the Bournemouth hotel

They may be based just yards from each other – but Suffolk County Council and Ipswich Borough had very different bills at the end of their annual visit to the nation’s main event for local authorities.

Registered sex offenders missing

Six of Suffolk’s 700-plus registered sex offenders are currently listed as missing, police have said.

South East Suffolk Magistrates' Court

A teenage registered sex offender has been given a suspended prison term after police discovered he had moved to Ipswich from the Midlands without telling them.

East Anglian Air Ambulance

A woman suffered a broken leg after falling from a horse in Santon Downham, near Brandon.

A Weeley man has been sentenced for tax evasion

A Weeley man who ran a paving company has been sentenced after he evaded £94,000 in tax by hiding thousands of pounds in his children’s bank accounts.

Most read

Great Days Out

cover

Click here to view
the Great Days Out
supplement

View

Most commented

HOT JOBS

Show Job Lists

Streetlife

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to the following newsletters:

Great British Life

Great British Life
MyDate24 MyPhotos24