Resort at top of UK bankruptcy ladder

Blackpool has the highest rate of personal insolvencies in the country. Below: Mike Barry, from the Blackpool Fylde and Wyre Credit Union.

Blackpool has the highest rate of personal insolvencies in the country. Below: Mike Barry, from the Blackpool Fylde and Wyre Credit Union.

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Blackpool is top of the league table for the most people going bust.

The resort has the highest rate of personal insolvencies in the country, with almost 58 per 10,000 adults.

Mike Barry, from the Blackpool Fylde and Wyre Credit Union.

Mike Barry, from the Blackpool Fylde and Wyre Credit Union.

The figures from the Office of National Statistics show seaside towns fill four out of five of the places for the highest rates of people going bankrupt, taking out Individual Voluntary Arrangements or being declared insolvent.

After Blackpool came Mansfield, the only non seaside town in the top five, Torbay, Scarborough and Denbighshire. The City of London had the lowest rate with 4.3.

Mike Barry, from the Blackpool Fylde and Wyre Credit Union, said the reasons for the high rates of debt were likely to be the low level incomes in the borough, high rents and joblessness, and the seasonal nature of employment.

He said: “I am not surprised by these figures. Insolvencies tend to be more suitable for people who have nothing to lose. That is people who are not home owners with little disposable income and have high levels of personal debt. We have a lot of that here.”

He said before the economic slump, people had become used to using cheap credit and were spending more than they could afford.

He advised people who were experiencing money problems to seek advice quickly. “My concern is that people go to fee charging advisors when there are so many free services out there.”

He suggested people talk to the Consumer Credit Council service or the Citizen’s Advice Bureau and people should be wary when going to high rate lending companies or to pay day loan firms as these could, if not used correctly, increase people’s problems. Blackpool North and Cleveleys MP Paul Maynard said: “A 2007 select committee report highlighted many economic challenges concentrated in seaside towns.

“The data on personal insolvency is further evidence of how these economic challenges manifest themselves in people’s daily lives.

“The Government recognised the unique circumstances facing seaside towns by setting up a £24m Coastal Communities Fund. We also need to make sure where people do experience insolvency there is a clear pathway out of the situation.”

Blackpool South MP Gordon Marsden said: “These are disturbing figures. Banks are still not being as helpful as they can over lending, many small companies and self employed people have over extended themselves with loans and find the lenders turn the screws on them.”

He added that the Government needed to do more to kick start the UK economy.

The Government unveiled the £24m Coastal Communities Fund earlier this year which features an initial allocation of £10m for six schemes to create local jobs. The nearest award was in Barrow. Next year the fund will be raised to £28m and bidding is set to open in the New Year.

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