Resort ‘failing’ to help poor says MP

Revoe area of Blackpool. Looking up Central Drive
Revoe area of Blackpool. Looking up Central Drive
  • Five areas of Blackpool are among the top 10 most deprived neighbourhoods in England
  • Bloomfield ward is featured three times in the research
  • The area around Louise Street, off Central Drive, is named as the second most deprived
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A row has broken out after it emerged five areas of Blackpool are among the top 10 most deprived neighbourhoods in England according to the latest government figures.

Bloomfield ward is featured three times in the research which pinpoints pockets of poverty.

Paul Maynard

Paul Maynard

The area around Louise Street, off Central Drive, is named as the second most deprived part of the country, while communities based around Alexandra Road and Anderson Street are ranked seventh and ninth.

The Cocker Street area of Claremont is ranked third, while Dean Street in Waterloo ward is fifth according to the statistics which measure multiple indicators including employment, barriers to housing, health, crime and income levels.

As revealed last week, Blackpool is now ranked seventh most deprived town in the country, compared to ninth last time the findings were published in 2010.

Blackpool North and Cleveleys Conservative MP Paul Maynard today blasted the Labour-run council - which has blamed government cuts for hampering its efforts to tackle deprivation - for failing to do enough to help the town’s poorest by bringing in jobs and investment.

Other Labour councils in the North West are also facing budget cuts, but they are being innovative and working with the private sector to address their area’s problems.

Paul Maynard

He said; “There is no sense of urgency and it is a lazy argument that this is all the government’s fault.

“Other Labour councils in the North West are also facing budget cuts, but they are being innovative and working with the private sector to address their area’s problems.

“Blackpool is comprehensively failing to do that and therefore failing the vulnerable of this town.

“I hear from local businesses who say they are being ignored by this council, but they need to understand they need to be working with the private sector.”

Simon Blackburn

Simon Blackburn

But council leader Coun Simon Blackburn hit back saying: “We are working as hard as possible to turn the town’s economic fortunes around.

“This includes working with the private sector on a strategy around Squires Gate, by pushing for an enterprise zone and seeking to attract thousands jobs, including seizing upon the Fylde Coast’s unique opportunities in the energy industry, including renewables and off-shore oil and gas.

“We’ve also been working to create a new business district around the Talbot Gateway. This is on top of all our efforts to attract visitors around the year.

“Unfortunately, our efforts are being hampered by the Tory government’s insistence on hitting poorer areas such as Blackpool the hardest, from slashing tax credits for tens of thousands of in-work Blackpool families to slamming Blackpool Council with some of the harshest cuts in the country.”

Coun John Jones, who represents Bloomfield, said: “We are working really hard, for example with the NSPCC on the Better Start initiative aimed at helping families right through from pre-natal to give children a better chance.

“We are also looking at selective licensing in Bloomfield ward to improve housing.

“We have issues with employment in Bloomfield where a lot of people are on zero hours contracts, or are part-time or seasonal workers.

“Proposals to cut tax credits will hit them hard and drive them further into poverty.”

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