Seaside towns becoming “dumping grounds” for vulnerable as benefits bill nears £2 billion

CSJ warns that some coastal resorts have never recovered from decades of
Efforts to revive towns must be rekindled to prevent people being left behind

Britain is spending almost A?2 billion a year on welfare payments to people of working age who live in once flourishing seaside towns, according to a new
report warning that some resorts are suffering severe social breakdown. Of the 20 neighbourhoods (LSOAs) across the UK with the highest levels of working-age people on out-of-work benefits, seven are in coastal towns that once attracted millions of holiday-makers. Poverty is attracting poverty, the report from the Centre for Social Justice (CSJ) warns, as it praises attempts by charities and local councils to turn the tide. But it calls for far greater efforts to recapture the prosperity that was once the
hallmark of the seaside resort.

The report, Turning the Tide, examines five of the UK’s seaside towns: Rhyl in North Wales, Margate, Clacton-on-Sea, Great Yarmouth and Blackpool. It points out that on key measures of poverty, school failure, teenage pregnancy, addiction, fatherlessness and lone parenting, and worklessness, some resorts now have problems as severe as deprived inner-city areas. Christian Guy, CSJ Director, said: Living standards in some of the UK’s bestknown coastal towns have declined beyond recognition and locals are now bearing the brunt of severe levels of social breakdown.

About Author: Colin Trend