Declining seaside towns in parts of the UK are stuck in a cycle of poverty, a think tank has warned.
The Centre for Social Justice - set up by Work and Pensions Secretary Iain Duncan Smith - said some towns were suffering "severe social breakdown".
They were also becoming "dumping grounds" for vulnerable people such as children in care and ex-offenders.
This has been "further depressing the desirability of such areas and so perpetuating the cycle", it said.
The CSJ report, entitled Turning the Tide, examined conditions in five coastal towns in England and Wales - Rhyl in north Wales, Margate in Kent, Clacton-on-Sea in Essex, Blackpool in Lancashire and Great Yarmouth in Norfolk.
Whilst each town has its own particular problems, it said "a recurring theme had been that of poverty attracting poverty".
Many seaside towns' economies were badly affected by the advent of cheaper foreign travel in the 1970s, it said. This led in turn to a depleted economy, low skills base and "dangerously high levels of family breakdown".
The total working-age benefits bill for the five towns is almost £2bn, it says - and the human cost of their high unemployment rates is "more considerable still".
The think tank said on key measures of poverty - school failure, teenage pregnancy, fatherlessness and lone parenting, and worklessness - some resorts now had problems as severe as deprived inner-city areas.
Of the 10 wards in England and Wales with the highest rates of teenage pregnancy, four were seaside towns.
In one part of Rhyl, two-thirds of working-age people were dependent on out-of-work benefits. Meanwhile 41% of adults in Clacton-on-Sea had no qualifications - almost double the average for England and Wales.
Blackpool local authority had the highest rate of children in care in the whole of England - 150 per 10,000 population - far exceeding the English average of 59, it said.
The CSJ said much of the accommodation in the five towns had been acquired by private landlords and converted into "extremely cheap" housing, attracting people living on low incomes and welfare claimants, as well as less economically-active people such as single-parent families and pensioners.
On a recent evening in Blackpool, among the young drinkers, 37 year-old Jodie sat begging, trying to collect enough money to avoid a night in the local public toilets, known locally as the 20p Hilton.
A mile away, as the clock struck midnight, a group of people approached a cashpoint machine, hoping their unemployment benefit had just been paid in. Some £40 of it would go on weed, one man said.
Nobody in the group was actually originally from Blackpool, but they had arrived over the years.
The local council believe an abundance of cheap accommodation is a magnet, as old faded guest houses are turned into bedsits.
They are trying to contain the situation by forcing landlords to get licences.
But councils in London and the Midlands have approached Blackpool landlords looking to find cheap accommodation for some of their residents - a poor town, attracting poor people.
It also found councils in high-cost areas were taking advantage of cheap accommodation in seaside towns by using them to house vulnerable people.
As a result, coastal towns were become "veritable dumping grounds for groups such as care leavers, people with substance abuse problems, those with mental health issues and ex-offenders", it said.
The influx of vulnerable people being re-housed was "further depressing the desirability of such areas and so perpetuating the cycle", the think tank argued.
Such people had "complex needs" and tended to intensify the "pressure on schools, social workers and other services", CSJ policy director Alex Burghart said.
CSJ director Christian Guy said living standards in some of the UK's best-known coastal towns had declined "beyond recognition" and locals were 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," he said.
Fall in wages puts Britain in Europe's bottom four.
Only workers in Greece, Portugal and the Netherlands have fared worse over the past three years
James Cusick Author Biography
Sunday 11 August 2013
British workers have suffered one of the biggest falls in real wages among European countries over the past three years, with only crisis-hit Greece, Portugal and the Netherlands doing worse.
New figures collated by the House of Commons Library show a 5.5 per cent drop in wages after inflation since 2010. This follows other recent national statistics on the rising cost of living and a substantial fall in living standards since the first of George Osborne's austerity budgets was delivered three years ago.
The shadow Treasury secretary, Cathy Jamieson, said the figures, released by the Labour Party yesterday, showed that not only was Britain worse off under the Conservative-led coalition, but the UK was doing much worse than most other EU countries.
Ms Jamieson said: "Life is getting harder for ordinary families, as prices continue rising faster than wages." She attacked David Cameron and the Chancellor as "failing badly over the past three years, with working people paying a heavy price".
The new wages and salaries analysis, covering the 11 quarterly figures since autumn 2010, showed Greece faring worst, with an 11.3 per cent drop, and Bulgaria leading the index with a 13.2 rise in real wage levels. Britain's two main EU competitors, France and Germany, both showed increases in real wage levels.
Professor John Van Reenen, director of the Centre for Economic Performance at the London School of Economics, described the fall in real wages in the UK as "stunning – and something that did not happen in previous postwar recessions in Britain". He said the weak performance reflected poor growth and linked it to falling GDP and national income, "which is now 3.5 per cent smaller than it was before the financial crisis".
Professor Van Reenen added: "Labour is right to say that if the Government had pursued better policies, such as not cutting investment so dramatically since 2010, then growth would have been better and living standards higher."
Labour's renewed focus on the economic fallout from the UK's poor growth is in stark contrast to claims made yesterday by the Treasury Secretary, Sajid Javid, that the UK economy has "regained momentum" and a full-blown economy recovery is now under way in Britain.
The number of estate agents in the UK entering insolvency jumped 57% in the last year, a new report has indicated.
Some 77 went under in the 12 months to June, compared with 49 a year earlier.
The report from accountants Wilkins Kennedy suggested the prolonged slump in the UK property market is to blame, despite a recent upturn.
Significantly fewer agents went bust in the London area, reflecting the much more buoyant market in the capital.
"London has always been a more resilient market for estate agents, due to the higher property prices, constant demand and healthier lettings markets," said Anthony Cork, partner at Wilkins Kennedy.
"Although competition for business is fierce, transactions are constantly being made, which isn't the picture elsewhere in the country."
Quick sale competition
Property sales fell by 60% from their peak in December 2006 until the depth of the recession in December 2008, according to data from HM Revenue & Customs, and have barely recovered in the last four-and-a-half years.
With estate agents dependent on earning commissions, the prolonged drought in sales has simply lasted too long for many, according to Wilkins Kennedy.
The accountancy firm suggested that other factors have also contributed to estate agents' woes:
The rise of online market forums such as Zoopla and Rightmove
Competition from "quick sale companies", which help sellers in financial distress or otherwise in need of an urgent sale by slashing the offer price
"The new breed of quick sale companies targets those sellers who are most desperate to sell," said Mr Cork.
"As well as snatching instructions from estate agents, they may also be disrupting local property markets as buyers get a distorted idea of what the going rate of property is."
The Office for Fair Trading has criticised quick sale companies for misleading customers, and of dropping prices excessively - often at the last minute - in order to secure a sale.
Co-operative warns of job losses as it sinks £559m into the red and confirms £500m 'haircut' for bond investors
Investors face losses of £500m as Group confirms 'bail in' rescue plan.
Losses of £709m at bank wipe out profits elsewhere within the Group
Coop says restructure will involve job losses but will not say how many
By Matt West
PUBLISHED: 09:24, 29 August 2013 | UPDATED: 11:43, 29 August 2013
The Co-operative Group warned today there was ‘no plan B’ as it confirmed plans to inject £1.5billion into its beleaguered banking division as part of a rescue plan that will see all bondholders suffer losses.
The group, which announced £559million worth of losses for the first six months of the year, confirmed that investors, from pensioners to hedge funds, will have to take a loss on their investment under an imminent ‘bail-in’ plan.
Losses of £709.4million at the Co-operative Bank wiped out profits from other divisions, including its grocery division which saw earnings dip to £117.4million from £119million a year earlier.
Profit slump: Cooperative Group saw its profits wiped out by debts in its banking division
They will be forced to contribute £500million through an ‘exchange offer’ - which will replace bondholders' loans to the bank with equity in it. That will see the bank float on the stock exchange and the Co-op Group will inject the remaining £1billion itself.
The group, which employs more than 100,000 people, warned of job losses as it restructures the wider group as well as the bank but did not say how many staff will go.
Half of high street retailers in danger of closing down.
Half of all high street chains in Britain are at “serious risk of failure” a major report on the future of British retailing will claim this week.
The high street is 'as good as dead' says Bill Grimsey (PA)
By James Hall and Graham Ruddick
9:30PM BST 31 Aug 2013
Bill Grimsey, the former chief executive of Wickes and Iceland, will release the report on Wednesday and say that Britain’s high streets are in a “deep decline” and there is an “arms race for new ideas”. However he says that there is a “frustrating sense of policy being conducted in the margins”.
Mr Grimsey will say that previous initiatives such as Mary Portas’s government-backed review into the high street were too “nostalgic” and failed to grasp the extent to which the internet has changed shopping patterns.
Ms Portas, who will appear before the communities and local government select committee to discuss her review tomorrow, declined to comment on the release of Mr Grimsey’s report. However she said: “The more people who come on board [to help high street] the better. But if people think my review was about nostalgia, that’s wrong.”
Mr Grimsey will warn that small retail chains across Britain are “horribly stressed financially”.
The report will say that 47pc of the country’s retail companies — over 20,000 businesses — are in financial difficulty, based on detailed financial analysis of their accounts.
Right behind you on this one C.O.H the only ones making a recovery are Double Dip Daves Banker pals,the Lib Dems and Dave will try to fools us plebs in to thinking the economy on the mend to get re-elected in 2015,some fools and I could name one on this site will fall for Daves lies.