By Dominique Brady
A report by Gavurin, a strategic economic consultancy firm based in Millenium Harbour, estimated that 850 jobs have been lost so far in Southwark and 333 in Lewisham – totalling over 1,000 jobs across the two boroughs.
The hospitality industry has come out the worst off, with around 600 jobs lost across Lewisham and Southwark. Whilst the financial sector has also fared badly with an estimated 248 jobs lost in Southwark and 51 in Lewisham.
Patrick Blunt, chairperson of Southwark Chamber of Commerce, who said he thinks the survey “understated” the impact of recession, with financial and property sectors ailing in the borough: “A massive number of estate agents have closed already. And the ones that are hanging on are probably going to go soon.”
Companies interviewed by The Platform said they are struggling.
Manager of The New Marbella Hotel in Peckham, George Lopez, told this publication trade had taken a major drop – 45 per cent in the last two months. He said their clientele, mostly business people, “don’t even bother coming anymore”.
Mick Down, director of Kalmars estate agents, said the company closed their branch in Bermondsey Street, Southwark two weeks ago, relocating employees to the firm’s headquarters near Tower Bridge in an attempt to prevent unemployment. “We thought it would be more sensible to move back to where we were,” he said. “We are fully aware that many smaller agents have already gone under.”
The White Hart pub and guesthouse in New Cross, is going to extreme lengths to secure its future. Manager Ken Linwood has applied for a licence to convert the premises into a pole-dancing club. “If we don’t get that licence we will go under, like 80% of the pubs around here have,” he said. He added that the pub has “virtually no guests these days” with the number of drinkers having dropped by 45%.
The Gavurin report used gross domestic product statistics, taken from the last two financial quarters of each borough, to chart a national recession map showing unemployment rates both nationally and locally. According to the firm 176,000 jobs have already been lost nationwide.