Council leadership claims a new unit has significantly increased employment

East London and West Essex Guardian Series: Waltham Forest Town Hall. Waltham Forest Town Hall.

Labour’s claim that the party is responsible for a large fall in unemployment in Waltham Forest has been attacked by opposition councillors.

The town hall leadership has hailed a new unit set up last year to tackle the problem by increasing co-operation between businesses and job centres.

Labour say there has been a general fall in people claiming jobseekers allowance of 25 per cent since the unit was established and a 29 per cent drop in youth unemployment.

Council figures show the employment rate in the borough is currently 66.4 per cent.

London’s average is 68.1 per cent and the national average is 70.4 per cent.

Councillor Mark Rusling, cabinet member for economic development and corporate resources, said: “That puts us among the top 10 performing boroughs in London on overall falls in unemployment during the period March to December 2013 and I think that has a lot to do with the hard work we have been undertaking.

“Now our business, employment and skills unit is up and running and making an impact, I am sure there are plenty more opportunities out there to maximise the chances for our residents to find work.”

However, this claim was attacked by the Conservative opposition and Liberal Democrats, who say the coalition government’s economic strategy is responsible for the fall in joblessness.

Tory group leader Matt Davis also pointed to the past failures of Labour led schemes to tackle the problem in Waltham Forest.

He said: “Although the council’s current efforts on unemployment are better than the absolute nothing that was their approach for decades in our borough, the present improvement owes a lot more to the Conservative led government than it does to Cllr Rusling or the Labour party.”

Lib Dem group leader Bob Sullivan insisted not enough is being done.

He said: “Local Lib Dems have forced the council to increase their measly four apprenticeships to 40.

"Nationally Lib Dems have created 1.6million private sector jobs and given every person in work a £700 tax cut, making sure they don’t pay any income tax on the first £10,000 they earn.

"Finding a job and being in work pays. This more reflects the council’s figures than a hurriedly set up unit.”

The council credits schemes including a youth employment hub, which it is claimed is the first of its kind in England, and agreements that businesses in the borough employ local people.

The council’s previous attempts to tackle unemployment through the Worknet programme were beset with long-term failings and underperformance.

In 2012 it was found that companies hired to provide services under the £9million programme fell well short of targets and blamed the authority for not providing adequate support.

The number of people out of work nationally fell by 125,000 to 2.34 million in the three months to December, according to estimates.

Comments (6)

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10:17am Wed 19 Feb 14

Villagecranberry says...

Getting a job is good for ones self esteem and well being and it is a national disgrace that for years on end people have been permitted to spend their whole working life claiming dole and other benefits.

There should have been more schemes such as voluntary work placements in the absence of ready employment to train the young into routine and preparation for work.
Getting a job is good for ones self esteem and well being and it is a national disgrace that for years on end people have been permitted to spend their whole working life claiming dole and other benefits. There should have been more schemes such as voluntary work placements in the absence of ready employment to train the young into routine and preparation for work. Villagecranberry
  • Score: 9

10:19am Wed 19 Feb 14

TTMAN says...

Trust the labour numpties to claim the high ground.
Trust the labour numpties to claim the high ground. TTMAN
  • Score: 6

1:56pm Wed 19 Feb 14

RichieA70 says...

It isn't enough to decrease unemployment in the borough without increasing the number of jobs available in the borough too. All the councils plans are actually causing masses of local jobs to disappear to be replaced with housing. Let's hope they lobby TfL to increase capacitiy and frequency of rail, tube & bus services to cater for the increasing masses of the borough's residents having to commute out of the borough for work.
It isn't enough to decrease unemployment in the borough without increasing the number of jobs available in the borough too. All the councils plans are actually causing masses of local jobs to disappear to be replaced with housing. Let's hope they lobby TfL to increase capacitiy and frequency of rail, tube & bus services to cater for the increasing masses of the borough's residents having to commute out of the borough for work. RichieA70
  • Score: 10

10:52pm Wed 19 Feb 14

mdj says...

'That puts us among the top 10 performing boroughs in London on overall falls in unemployment during the period March to December 2013...'

Wow, talk about defining your terms tightly!
Labour have been broadly in charge of this borough for 27 years. Only now does it occur to them that possibly trying to develop the local economy might be a good idea?
This is probably the result of the many bigwigs who gave the borough a once-over before the Olympics, and saw for themselves what a sorry mess of stagnation the place was in.

Politicians need to be wary of claiming responsibility for stuff; people might get the ungrateful idea that they're also to blame when things go wrong, and we can't be having that!

Richie is right to stress the point that has become more and more glaring as the years go by: the deliberate sacrifice of work spaces, which don't yield a direct benefit to council coffers, in favour of housing, which does. It's a recipe for ghettoising and benefit farming - but since so many of our councillors are BTL landlords, why should they care?

Cllr Rusling may have something to crow about when he can say that we are no longer the borough with the highest proportion of residents who have to leave the borough to find work.
'That puts us among the top 10 performing boroughs in London on overall falls in unemployment during the period March to December 2013...' Wow, talk about defining your terms tightly! Labour have been broadly in charge of this borough for 27 years. Only now does it occur to them that possibly trying to develop the local economy might be a good idea? This is probably the result of the many bigwigs who gave the borough a once-over before the Olympics, and saw for themselves what a sorry mess of stagnation the place was in. Politicians need to be wary of claiming responsibility for stuff; people might get the ungrateful idea that they're also to blame when things go wrong, and we can't be having that! Richie is right to stress the point that has become more and more glaring as the years go by: the deliberate sacrifice of work spaces, which don't yield a direct benefit to council coffers, in favour of housing, which does. It's a recipe for ghettoising and benefit farming - but since so many of our councillors are BTL landlords, why should they care? Cllr Rusling may have something to crow about when he can say that we are no longer the borough with the highest proportion of residents who have to leave the borough to find work. mdj
  • Score: 4

7:19pm Thu 20 Feb 14

Garrow says...

So, let me see if I've got this right, unemployment figures are dropping nationally, Labour whine and moan because the Conservative/liberal Democrat government makes it harder for people to live well on benefits, so when people decide to go to work, it's because of Labour's job creation schemes? Would these be the same job creation schemes like the Le Cheile debacle in which £123,000 of European grant money went unaccounted for. The Le Cheile scheme folded in July 2000. Or perhaps the Better Neighbourhoods Initiative (BNI), an inquiry conducted by PriceWaterhouseCoope
rs found that of 105 contracts awarded under the BNI, only three were done by the book and large sums of money remain unaccounted for. Then there was O-Regen, this was a company/charity/busi
ness set uo to create "Job Opportunities". That enterprise showed an cumulative loss over five years of £1,621,728 and apparently did not place one person in a job. And most recently we have had Council sponsered, Clyde Loakes run, E11 Business Improvement District (BID) Company, which collected a levy from around 300 companies in Leytonstone and also received public funds and was closed down for being over £40,000 in debt and according to letters written to this paper has also had money disappear. Cllr Rusling and the rest of his cronies have nothing to be proud of.
So, let me see if I've got this right, unemployment figures are dropping nationally, Labour whine and moan because the Conservative/liberal Democrat government makes it harder for people to live well on benefits, so when people decide to go to work, it's because of Labour's job creation schemes? Would these be the same job creation schemes like the Le Cheile debacle in which £123,000 of European grant money went unaccounted for. The Le Cheile scheme folded in July 2000. Or perhaps the Better Neighbourhoods Initiative (BNI), an inquiry conducted by PriceWaterhouseCoope rs found that of 105 contracts awarded under the BNI, only three were done by the book and large sums of money remain unaccounted for. Then there was O-Regen, this was a company/charity/busi ness set uo to create "Job Opportunities". That enterprise showed an cumulative loss over five years of £1,621,728 and apparently did not place one person in a job. And most recently we have had Council sponsered, Clyde Loakes run, E11 Business Improvement District (BID) Company, which collected a levy from around 300 companies in Leytonstone and also received public funds and was closed down for being over £40,000 in debt and according to letters written to this paper has also had money disappear. Cllr Rusling and the rest of his cronies have nothing to be proud of. Garrow
  • Score: 3

10:22pm Thu 20 Feb 14

NTiratsoo says...

Yes, Cllr. Rusling certainly does seem to have a credibility problem.

Of course, we await to see credible evidence (rather than mere assertion) to show that the 'youth employment hub’ and 'agreements that businesses in the borough employ local people' really have dented local worklessness in the way suggested - or even that in any true sense they can be called council projects as opposed to ones essentially emanating from, and supported by, JCP or the DWP.

But meanwhile its always well to remember that this was a Councillor who was intimately involved with two of LBWF's biggest recent fiascos - Worknet (with its miserably missed targets, absent monitoring, failure to capitalise on millions of pounds worth of proffered funding, and problems with double counting) and the infamous Leyton Olympic Market.

If the good Councillor wants to be taken seriously perhaps he could come clean about them.

Or was it all his senior colleague Cllr. Akram’s fault?
Yes, Cllr. Rusling certainly does seem to have a credibility problem. Of course, we await to see credible evidence (rather than mere assertion) to show that the 'youth employment hub’ and 'agreements that businesses in the borough employ local people' really have dented local worklessness in the way suggested - or even that in any true sense they can be called council projects as opposed to ones essentially emanating from, and supported by, JCP or the DWP. But meanwhile its always well to remember that this was a Councillor who was intimately involved with two of LBWF's biggest recent fiascos - Worknet (with its miserably missed targets, absent monitoring, failure to capitalise on millions of pounds worth of proffered funding, and problems with double counting) and the infamous Leyton Olympic Market. If the good Councillor wants to be taken seriously perhaps he could come clean about them. Or was it all his senior colleague Cllr. Akram’s fault? NTiratsoo
  • Score: 2

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