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Cameron said CAB was a "lifeline"
Cameron's praise as Somerset unemployment rises
As David Cameron visits Taunton's Citizen's Advice Bureau, we take a look how the county has been affected by unemployment.
The latest figures have revealed that Somerset is one of the hardest hit areas in the South West for job cuts.
Nationally, unemployment has risen by 146,000 in the three months leading up to December with 1.97m people being out of work. The number of workers claiming Job Seeker's Allowance (JSA) has reached 1.23m, an increase of 73,800 in a month.
In Somerset, Mendip has had the highest increase as 1,451 are now claiming; a rise of 109% (you can see how the rest of the area is faring by scrolling down to the unemployment table).
Max Bezeek, a business advisor at the Citizen's Advice Bureau (CAB) based in Taunton, said they have received a third more calls, with a rise in people requesting help with housing and relationship problems which have arisen due to being made unemployed.
The Conservative leader David Cameron said during a visit to Taunton's CAB that such organisation's were a "lifeline" and that we should encourage more volunteers.
"I think Somerset is lucky to have such a strong CAB and an enormous network of over 80 volunteers.
"Clearly, local businesses have been affected; we can see the increase in unemployment and the amount of people claiming Job Seeker's Allowance locally which are pretty stark figures.
"But as I say, we'll get through this, there are good strong businesses based here in Somerset, there's all the ingenuity of the British people, but it's going to be tough and what people need right now is a government which gets to grips with what needs to be done."
last updated: 18/02/2009 at 18:41