The total number of unemployed claimants in Dagenham and Rainham constituency in May 2018 was 1,720. This represents a rate of 3.3% of the economically active population aged 16-64. The equivalent UK claimant rate was 2.8%. The UK unemployment rate, which includes people not claiming benefits and is estimated from survey data, was 4.2% in February to April 2018.

The number of claimants in Dagenham and Rainham constituency is 25 higher than May 2017 and 35 higher than April 2018. There were 330 claimants aged 18-24 in May 2018, 25 lower than May 2017.

The United Kingdom Acquired Brain Injury Forum recently contacted Jon Cruddas MP seeking support for the All Party Parliamentary Group on Acquired Brain Injury. The group which was formed in 2017 to seek improvements in support and services for people directly affected by ABI, and for their families and carers.

The Forum explains that All Members of Parliament have constituents living with the consequences of ABI. The APPG on ABI have tabled a debate in the House of Commons for Monday 18th June raising issues which span across health, social care and welfare.

This week Jon Cruddas MP for Dagenham and Rainham has co-signed a letter calling for better fire safety and to ensure all tower blocks are liveable. The full text of the letter can be found HERE. In the aftermath of the Grenfell Tower fire last June, the government said “we cannot and will not ask people to live in unsafe homes” however not enough has been done for residents of tower blocks.

Jon Cruddas' June column for the Barking and Dagenham Post and Romford Recorder. Published the week commencing Monday 11 June.

I don't think I can ever recall a more divided Government than the current Tory one - with Cabinet members routinely stabbing each other in the front, and the back.

The Brexit debate does throw up strong emotions, but most people in communities like ours just want to get on with it.

A consultation has launched asking residents for their views on proposed changes to community urgent care services.

A 12-week consultation was launched by Redbridge, Barking and Dagenham and Havering’s Clinical Commissioning groups which asks questions on the way services are accessed in all three boroughs. The CCG’s are asking for opinions to change and improve local community urgent care services.

The consultation includes proposals for changes to local GP hubs, walk-in services, and GP Out of Hours services.

Carers Week is an annual awareness campaign to celebrate and recognise the vital contribution made by the UK’s 6.5 million carers.

A carer is someone who provides care and support to a family member or friend who has a disability, illness, mental health problem or who needs extra help as they grow older.

We must never forget the strikes at the Dagenham Ford plant. This week we celebrate this major contribution to British post-war history. The brave actions of these local women some 50 years ago led to the Equal Pay Act - a major turning point in achieving equality at work between men and women in this country. Dagenham has a long proud history of working class women standing up for their rights, and the fight they started back in 1968 is one that continues today. We have come on leaps and bounds since 1968 but there is still a prevalent gender pay gap which needs to be overturned.

The Sycamore Trust has launched a new project for pre-school children across Barking & Dagenham, Havering and Redbridge. Starting in September 2018, “Speak With A Picture” has been funded by the BBC Children In Need and is aimed at pre-school children with a social communication disorder living within the listed borough’s.

Jon Cruddas MP has encouraged local residents to consider joining Barking and Dagenham’s revamped waste collection team. Barking and Dagenham Council are currently in the process of improving the borough’s refuse collection programme and are looking to recruit new members to their waste collection team. Roles available include drivers, loaders, street cleaners, office staff and supervisors.

Penguin, the book publisher, is on the lookout for new writers. ­Write Now is a programme which aims to find, mentor and publish new writers and illustrators from communities under-represented on the UK’s bookshelves. The programme includes a range of opportunities for budding writers and illustrators to get involved with including workshops and mentoring with Penguin’s own editors and designers for a year to develop a book or artwork.

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