Investigation into deprivation in the Skegness area

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AN INVESTIGATION into the causes of deprivation in Skegness is to be carried out to help local authorities combat the persistent problem.

Coun Phil Kemp won the support of his fellow councillors when he suggested the research exercise at Skegness Town Council’s latest meeting last week.

In a report issued to councillors he said: “We have known for several years that Skegness features highly in the indices of deprivations for England and this has been recently reinforced with a rise up the tables.

“We have known this, but never tackled the problem in any cohesive manner, but rather by the odd improvement here and there.

“If we are to tackle the problem systematically, we need to treat the cause of the problem and not just the problem, otherwise we are just treating the symptoms and not the disease.

“Time is now against us as we have left it so late before doing anything, but we can recover if we act quickly and with determination.”

Coun Kemp advocated working in partnership with East Lindsey District Council and other partners, utilising the facilities of the Lincolnshire Research Observatory to discover the fundamental causes of poverty.

Given Skegness’s prestigious position as the fourth most visited destination in the country, he believes there are ample opportunities to reverse the downward spiral of poverty and drive forward prosperity.

Although Coun Kemp conceded that the problems affecting Skegness - and their potential solutions - may not apply elsewhere, he believed the information attained could still be of use to other areas.

Councillors voted unanimously in favour of the proposal and raised suggestions of their own for avenues of research to follow.

Coun Neil Cooper suggested that Sheffield Hallam University could carry out the research as they had completed a similar piece of work for ELDC investigating the problem of hidden caravan communities on the coast.

And Coun Mark Anderson believed a researcher he knew at Nottingham Trent University would be interested in the project.