'Dumping grounds for the poor': High levels of unemployment, drug addiction and teenage pregnancy leave British seaside towns locked in culture of 'poverty attracting poverty'
Britain now spends almost £2 billion-a-year on welfare payments in once-thriving seaside towns
Seaside towns around Britain have become “dumping grounds” for the poor and vulnerable, leading to high levels of unemployment, drug addiction and other social problems, according to new report.
Britain is now spending almost £2 billion-a-year on welfare payments to people of working age who live in once-thriving seaside towns, leading to a culture of “poverty attracting poverty”, according to the Centre for Social Justice think tank.
With holiday-makers deserting British beach resorts in favour of overseas breaks, some seaside towns are suffering “severe social breakdown”, with high levels of school failure, teenage pregnancy, lone parenting, and worklessness.
In turn, the cost of living in these towns is being driven down as wealthier residents leave and those on low incomes are attracted into the area. Councils in wealthier areas also see the deprived seaside towns as a low-cost option for placing vulnerable people, like children in care.
Of the 20 neighbourhoods across the UK with the highest levels of out-of-work benefits, seven are in coastal towns that once attracted millions of holiday-makers, said the CSJ report.
The report, entitled Turning the Tide, called for action to revive the fortunes of seaside towns like Rhyl in North Wales, Margate in Kent, Clacton-on-Sea in Essex, Great Yarmouth in Norfolk and Blackpool in Lancashire.
In one part of Rhyl, two-thirds of working-age people are dependent on out-of-work benefits, while 41 per cent of adults in Clacton have no qualifications, said the report.
Of the 10 wards in England and Wales with the highest rates of teenage pregnancy, four are in seaside towns - the highest rate is in Great Yarmouth - said the report. In some neighborhoods, more than 40 per cent of families with children are fatherless. Blackpool local authority has the highest rate of children in care in the whole of England - 150 per 10,000 population - far exceeding the English average of 59.
The report said: “Whilst each town has its own particular problems, a recurring theme has been that of poverty attracting poverty. As employment has dried up, so house prices have fallen and so less economically-active people - such as single-parent families and pensioners - have moved in, seeking cheaper accommodation and living costs.
“Similarly, vulnerable people - such as children in care and ex-offenders - have been moved in as authorities take advantage of low-cost housing as large properties have been chopped into HMOs. Many parts of these towns have become dumping grounds, further depressing the desirability of such areas and so perpetuating the cycle.”
CSJ director Christian Guy said: “Living standards in some of the UK's best-known coastal towns have declined beyond recognition and locals are now bearing the brunt of severe levels of social breakdown.
“We have found inspiring local people, services and charities working hard to turn things around, but they are struggling to do this alone.
“Some of these areas have been left behind. We must ramp up efforts to revive Britain's coastal towns, not just for visitors but for the people who live there.”
The CSJ recommended measures to improve skills in seaside towns and devolve greater powers to local level.
Additional reporting by Press Association
Olympic diver has made his modelling debut for Adidas
- 1 Thailand beach murders: Thai PM suggests 'attractive' female tourists cannot expect to be safe in bikinis
- 2 Scottish independence: Learn from Quebec's mistakes and beware of promises. Vote Yes.
- 3 A bottle of wine a day is not bad for you and abstaining is worse than drinking, scientist claims
- 5 Hitler’s former food taster reveals the horrors of the Wolf’s Lair
Thailand beach murders: Thai PM suggests 'attractive' female tourists cannot expect to be safe in bikinis
Scottish independence: Final opinion polls show undecided voters could swing the result either way
Isis release 'Flames of War' video warning Obama of attacks troops could face in Iraq
Hitler’s former food taster reveals the horrors of the Wolf’s Lair
Alan Henning: British Muslim leaders unite to call on Isis to release UK hostage
Daniele Watts: Django Unchained actress detained by Los Angeles police after being mistaken for a prostitute
Scottish independence referendum: A nation divided against itself
The political class is doing what Hitler couldn’t – destroying Britain
Scottish independence: Nationalist leader Jim Sillars threatens pro-union companies with 'day of reckoning' after independence
Portuguese academic says British are 'filthy, violent and drunk'
Russia freezes Ukraine into submission: Kiev admits country doesn't have enough fuel for winter
£110 - £200 per day: Randstad Education Leeds: Secondary Maths Teacher for spe...
£90 - £160 per day: Randstad Education Leeds: Secondary Science Teacher (mater...
£110 - £200 per day: Randstad Education Leeds: Secondary Maths Teacher for an ...
£22000 - £37000 per annum: Randstad Education Leeds: A West Yorkshire School i...