Seaside towns in 'breakdown'

Declining seaside towns around Britain have become "dumping grounds" for vulnerable people, a report warned today. Some towns are suffering "severe social breakdown", the Centre for Social Justice thinktank said.

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'Severe levels of social breakdown' in coastal towns

Christian Guy, the director of thinktank Centre for Social Justice, whose report highlighted poverty in seaside towns, 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.

– Christian Guy, Centre for Social Justice

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Thinktank calls for action to revive seaside towns

Out of 20 neighbourhoods across the UK with the highest levels of out-of-work benefits, seven are in coastal towns that once attracted millions of tourists, a report said.

A view of Dreamland in Margate, Kent, which was one of the towns highlighted in the report. Credit: Gareth Fuller/PA Archive

The Centre for Social Justice thinktank 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 area of Rhyl, two-thirds of working-age people are dependent on out-of-work benefits, while 41% of adults in Clacton have no qualifications, according to the report entitled Turning the Tide.

Out of the 10 wards with the highest rates of teenage pregnancy in England and Wales, four are in seaside towns, with the highest rate in Great Yarmouth, the study showed.

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.

Seaside towns are 'dumping grounds' for poor

British seaside towns have become "dumping grounds" for those on low incomes, welfare claimants and vulnerable people, a report warned today.

Seaside towns have become a 'dumping ground' for vulnerable people, a report says. Credit: Tim Ireland/PA Wire

Former hotels have been converted into cheap flats in once-thriving beach resorts and are used by councils in wealthier areas as a low-cost option for placing vulnerable people, like children in care, the Centre for Social Justice thinktank said.

Britain is spending almost £2 billion a year on welfare payments to people of working age in seaside towns, the report found.

Seaside towns are suffering "severe social breakdown" as holiday-makers are deserting the UK in favour of overseas breaks.

The level of school failure, teenage pregnancy, lone parenting and worklessness in these towns rival inner-city areas which have previously been seen as the benchmark for deprivation.

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