Monday, August 20, 2012

Closure of Dept. of Social Protection Office slammed

Sinn Féin Cllr. Thomas Gould has slammed the decision to close the Dept. of Social Protection offices in Shandon Street formally known as FÁS. This is another attack on the northside as this leaves only one office in the entire city and suburbs to cater for the unemployed who are seeking jobs and training. The people of the northside and especially Cork North Central have used this office for many years and feel left down once again by the Government’s decision. This is another blow to vital services on the northside following the recent closure of the Unemployment Drop –in/Training Centre on North Main Street. Cllr. Gould is appealing to the Dept. of Social Protection to reverse this decision and is calling on the Government’s TDs for Cork North Central to fight against these cutbacks. The staff involved are been relocated to the Cornmarket Street office but Cllr. Gould does not believe that the Cornmarket Street office will have the staff or the resources to cater for the demand for the unemployed in Cork City and surrounding suburbs. At a time when there are over 26,000 people are unemployed in Cork metropolitan area, these cutbacks will directly affect services for people who are looking for jobs, training and advice. According to the Dept. of Social Protection website, they are to provide services for the most disadvantaged in the labour market. Cllr. Gould adds ‘how can you name this a Dept for Social Protection when in fact it is doing the opposite or at the very least not making these facilities readily available which in his opinion defeating the purpose. Cllr. Gould fears for those who are already in vulnerable situations and by removing this office will only hinder those in need and add to the pressure they are already under.

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