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McClymont: Cumbernauld households are clearly “struggling” and “worried”

Written by Scott Campbell.
Published at 18:45 GMT on Friday 29th March, 2013.
Representatives of numerous local groups at the drop-in advice surgery.

CUMBERNAULD’S local MP has said that Cumbernauld households are clearly “struggling” and “worried”.

The comments of the Labour MP for Cumbernauld, Kilsyth and Kirkintilloch East were made after the area’s Member of Parliament hosted a packed welfare summit in Cumbernauld Town Centre for local people worried about the Government’s controversial changes to the welfare system.

Gregg McClymont MP was joined by Mark Griffin, MSP for Central Scotland and representatives from Jobcentre Plus, Citizens Advice Bureau, Unemployed Workers Centre, Sanctuary Cumbernauld, and North Lanarkshire Council’s Advice Service.

Denis Hackett of The Cumbernauld Unemployed Worker’s Centre said: “We certainly spoke to a lot of people which shows that locals are worried about the welfare changes, and particularly the bedroom tax. We think the impact will be worse than most think, and could end up making many more people homeless.”

The drop-in summit gave locals the opportunity to speak to representatives from various organisations for information and advice before next month when many of the cuts to tax credits and benefits take effect.

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Campbell Kinloch, of Sanctuary Cumbernauld, said: “Welfare reform is a major challenge for Sanctuary Cumbernauld and other social housing providers to manage and we welcomed the opportunity to attend.

“Our welfare rights advice officer and housing officers have been doing all they can to help tenants before the welfare changes begin to mitigate what will be extremely difficult circumstances for many.”

The town’s MP said that the upcoming ‘bedroom tax’ was the most prominent concern among attendees, with many residents worried about the devastating impact on household budgets.

He said: “The numbers speak for themselves, with over 100 people coming to speak to the experts present it’s clear that people in Cumbernauld and Kilsyth are not only struggling already, they are worried about how the upcoming changes will affect them.

“I hope that people who attended the surgery came away with a better idea of how their circumstances may change and what measures are in place to help them.

“I would urge anyone who wasn’t able to attend the surgery and are concerned about the changes to contact my office on 01236 457788.”

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