'It's a p***hole - a dirty, filthy place': Lifting the lid on England's poorest town

Mirror Online Incident 5 days ago

An Essex town that has been crowned the most deprived area in England for the third time in a row has been both slammed and defended by residents.

The seaside village of Jaywick Sands, which was known as a working-class holiday resort in the 1930's, has had well publicised problems with gangs , substance abuse and fly-tipping.

Abandoned homes, crumbling roads and empty shops and offices now make up much of the area.

The village's problems were documented in the Channel 5 documentary 'Benefits By the Sea' in 2015.

For the past three years, a Ministry of Housing survey has branded it the most deprived area in the country, taking into consideration unemployment , education, health and crime.

But is it that bad? The the Daily Star Online tried to find out...

Jaywick has been named England's most deprived area for the third time
Pensioner Fred said there is 'no community' in the area

One elderly resident has lived in the area for more than 23-years said that the town is "a p***hole and always was."

Fred, 82, who lives in a bungalow with his four cats, said: "Jaywick's a p***hole - it's a dirty, filthy place.

"You come down my street, you'd be surprised what you see outside the door just past my house, tons and tons of s*** and rubbish just dumped there."

"Everyone is dumping their s*** and rubbish there... thinking it's a dump. It's disgusting the way it is."

Fred said there was "nothing but trouble" in the area, including fights, drug dealing and knife crime.

The area contains many empty homes, offices and shops

He said there is "no satisfaction" for residents and no "good community".

A visit from a UN poverty expert last November found drastic cuts to social support were "inflicting unnecessary misery" on the local people, more than half of whom rely on benefits.

However, there are plans to build new homes in the area, invest in fly-tipping prevention action and demolish derelict and dangerous buildings.

Jaywick has had some issues with knife crime

Other residents said the village is the happiest and most affordable place they've ever lived.

Holiday park handyman Gary, 50, has lived in Jaywick for three months but told Daily Star Online the sense of community was "absolutely fantastic".

"Everyone is looking out for each other. They will give you their last cup of coffee if they wanted to, if they thought that you needed it.

"If they haven’t got something and someone else has they will offer it," he said.

There are some plans to rejuvenate the area
It was once known as a holiday resort

"This is why I am here, you can leave your door open here."

Gill Elkins, secretary of the Jaywick Sands Community Forum, insisted there was more to the area than deprivation.

"We have got so much going for us in Jaywick Sands that though the numbers might label us as deprived, we're not," she said.

"Yes, we appreciate it doesn't make us look good, but we have a fantastic community, one of the most beautiful beaches, and it is a wonderful place to live.

"If statistics say we are deprived then we go with what we've got, and it means we get some interest in the area.

"We have a lot of support from some big groups - the local councils, national organisations and even the government are all working with us to help Jaywick Sands realise its full potential."

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