Workers and benefits claimants joined together to stage a protest over plans to close a Jobcentre office.

Members of the Public and Commercial Services union (PCS) staged a demonstration outside Leytonstone Jobcentre last week, ahead of its scheduled closure in April next year.

Staff were joined by protesters from Waltham Forest Trades Council, a group of Jobcentre users and Leyton and Wanstead MP John Cryer.

The centre is one of seven across east London likely to get the axe as part of a round of cuts by the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP).

Claimants in Leytonstone will instead have to travel to Walthamstow to sign on, the only Jobcentre the DWP plans to keep open in Waltham Forest.

A PCS spokesperson stated "We are campaigning against the government's austerity policies. Public sector workers have suffered almost a decade of pay cuts and public services are being destroyed.

“The DWP wants to shut Leytonstone jobcentre and move services to Walthamstow jobcentre, but they know the office is too small to accommodate the extra staff and customers.

“The government should listen to Waltham Forest residents and retain services at Leytonstone jobcentre.”

The DWP has argued its Jobcentres are no underused as eight out of 10 Jobseeker’s Allowance claims are now made online.

The department claims the “streamlining” of its properties will save the taxpayer around £1.8 billion.

Julia Poynter from claimants’ group Waltham Forest Stand Up For Your Rights said: “Claimants are pleased and proud to campaign alongside PCS staff in their efforts to prevent its closure.

“A major concern is the extra travel time and expenses many claimants will suffer if forced to sign on at the Walthamstow office.

“We also know from claimants that the Walthamstow office is already overcrowded. So with staff struggling to manage an extra load of transfers, this could well result through no fault of their own in a severely diminished service.”