Blackpool among worst in country for destitution warns Joseph Rowntree Foundation with some people unable to buy food or stay warm
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Research by the Joseph Rowntree Foundation, a national charity aimed at achieving social change, says this means many people in the town cannot meet their most basic needs to stay warm, dry and fed.
Blackpool is ranked 30th out of 360 areas of the country, with a weekly snapshot for 2022 showing 1.41 per cent of households in the town living in destitution.
Researchers say over a year, this figure would be seven times higher meaning one in 10 people in Blackpool would experience deep hardship over a 12 month period, especially in winter.
People living in destitution cannot even afford to buy necessities such as clothing, heating, shelter or food, even though most are claiming welfare benefits.
By contrast to Blackpool, the neighbouring and wealthier authorities of Fylde and Wyre were found to have much lower levels of destitution.
Wyre is ranked 264, with 0.532 per cent of households in destitution, and Fylde is ranked 278, with 0.508 in destitution.
The Joseph Roundtree Foundation is calling on all political parties to make tackling destitution a priority ahead of the next General Election.
It says nationally around 3.8 million people, including around one million children, experienced destitution in 2022 – a 61 per cent increase since 2019
Paul Kissack, chief executive of the Joseph Rowntree Foundation, said: “Across our country we are leaving families freezing in their homes or lacking basic necessities like food and clothing.
“Such severe hardship should have no place in the UK today – and the British public will not stand for destitution on this scale.”
A council report from September 2022 warned 16.8 per cent of households in Blackpool had struggled to get food, 8.4 per cent of households said they have experienced hunger, and 16.3 per cent of the population were fuel poor.
The town has received support from the Government’s Household Support Fund to help those most in need.
The council received £3,491,715 from the latest round of funding earlier this year designed to help families needing support with the cost of essentials in the face of rising costs.