Welcome to Poverty-on-Sea
Sadly, it is. And yet Great Yarmouth and its “poverty-on-sea” siblings are far from being alone. There is nothing radically new in what the CSJ has to report, and some will think that much of it could have been said 30 years ago. Many British seaside towns, once as remote from our cities as Mr Peggotty’s romantic dwelling, fell on hard times, particularly in the Sixties, when cheap package holidays in the sun began to persuade us away from a week in a glum Essex boarding house or the faded glories of an Edwardian hotel on the Kentish riviera.
Yet the think tank report is a call to arms. It finds that seven out of 20 areas in Britain with the highest welfare dependency are in coastal towns; that Blackpool – with high rates of teenage pregnancy – has three times the national average of numbers of children in care; that up to two thirds of working-age people in one area of Rhyl on the North Wales coast are dependent on out-of-work benefits.