Tuesday 8 July 2014

Job Centre Bar.Deptford . local residents real concern

Dear Antic Collective, 
We write to ask you to change the name of 'The Job Centre' bar that you have recently opened on Deptford High Street. The current name sends an extremely insulting and profoundly negative message about the role of your establishment in the neighbourhood and your view of the majority of people who live there. Given the Antic Collective's previous positive and progressive impact in other parts of South London, this is a message out of keeping with your profile and damaging to your reputation.
As you must know, Deptford is experiencing an influx of very expensive new-build housing and skyrocketing rents in existing properties, which together are pushing long-standing tenants out of the neighbourhood. Despite this trend, Evelyn ward remains one of the most deprived wards in the country. The Job Centre bar is around the corner from a free food bank serving those who do not have enough to eat. As new, pricier establishments move in to cater to the higher budgets of the new tenants, remaining residents suffer further as the shops on which they relied for affordable goods disappear. 
In the case of your bar, the Job Centre name you have chosen underscores the fact that a location that once housed a service for the many struggling people in the neighbourhood has been replaced with a bar catering to those who can afford the sort of upmarket pub food your website promises. By choosing to decorate with an ‘eclectic mix of vintage décor and quirky design features inspired by its function as a place that once served the unemployed’ (a quotation from your website), you turn the experience of the unemployed--an experience so widespread and painful in the current climate that it is literally driving people to suicide--into a style feature for the amusement of those with disposable cash. 
Taken together, the bar's name and its interior design suggest that you want potential clientele to understand that your bar is for the new people moving into Deptford, for whom job centres are a joke, and not the existing residents of Deptford, for whom job centres are often a necessity. This approach takes the injury of unemployment, poverty and displacement, and adds the insult of seeing such injuries turned into fun decor for people lucky enough to escape such experiences. We encourage you to rethink this unnecessarily divisive and repulsive message, which is hugely destructive to the good reputation you have earned across South London.
Sincerely yours, 
Lewisham People Before Profit

As of Monday 14 July 27 Local Deptford Community group[s and organisations have sent us support. We plan to publish list of 50 Deptford groups and Organisations supporting our call for a name change inAugust, by which time more groups and residents would have had time to meet, discuss and have consent to join the present 27 groups who do support our call for a name change.
Clearly the only way we can get the pubs owner to rethink, is by keeping away   Loss of income can hopefully lead to a positive outcome and we have a pub that gives a positive impression of Deptford reflecting the areas Heritage and Cultural diversity as well as the buildings awesome history.
Thanks to the increasing number of people contacting us who say they have been but will not be going again until the name is changed.
Join www.peoplebeforeprofit.org.uk
Follow Ray on twitter@Raywoolford

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