Angry petitions and cross-party support from MPs and councillors have not been enough to save Feltham Jobcentre.
Despite widespread opposition, staff at the centre, in Feltham High Street, have been told by the Department of Work and Pensions (DWP) that they will close in three months meaning jobseekers from the west area will now be forced to travel to Heathrow or Hounslow to claim benefits.
A DWP spokesperson said: "Our intention at this time is to close Feltham Jobcentre by the end of December 2008. This decision is a consequence of the development of alternative channels for our customers to access our services.
We will be providing the full range of Jobcentre Plus services from Hounslow Jobcentre and our employer engagement suite at Heathrow Jobcentre."
Declan Power, branch secretary of the Public and Commercial Services Union (PCS), said staff were 'extremely shocked' by the news and concerned about whether the Hounslow office would be able to cope with the extra pressure.
Council leader Peter Thompson described the decision as, 'mind-bogglingly short-sighted.' He added: Around the corner from the centre is the Highfields Estate, where a third of the working age population get some kind of benefit."
Feltham & Heston MP Alan Keen spoke out against the closure when it was first proposed in March. This week he said he was disappointed about the decision but confident that some of his suggestions for creating 'employment hubs' at bases such as Hanworth Library, would be taken up.
All Feltham staff have been promised new positions within the Hounslow Jobcentre.
WHAT DO YOU THINK OF THE DECISION? COMMENT IN THE BOX BELOW