UN representative told of great strides being taken to make Jaywick Sands ‘the jewel it can be’
PUBLISHED: 10:56 12 November 2018
STELLA FOR CONGRESS
A United Nations (UN) official has visited Jaywick Sands in Clacton as part of a mission to find out more about poverty in the UK.
The visit comes days after a US republican Party ad sparked fury in the Jaywick community for featuring an old photograph of Jaywick Sands as a representation of a deprived area.
Professor Philip Alston, the UN’s Special Rapporteur on Extreme Poverty and Human Rights, is currently undertaking an official visit to the UK to examine what poverty exists in the country, what causes it, and the impacts on people’s human rights.
As well as meeting governments and Parliaments across the UK and cities including Newcastle, Prof Alston chose to visit Jaywick Sands due to its listing at the top of the English deprivation index in 2015.
Yesterday, Prof Alston met with senior figures from TDC before holding a public meeting in Jaywick Sands organised independently of the council.
“I always enjoy talking about Jaywick Sands as it is such a positive story to tell,” Neil Stock OBE, TDC Leader, said.
“While there are historical challenges in Jaywick Sands which we are addressing now – and it will by no means be a short journey – the council working with the community is taking great strides to make Jaywick Sands the jewel it can be.”
Building on the success of previous investment in Jaywick Sands, including the £6.5million scheme by Essex County Council to improve the roads, TDC is now building ten new starter homes to kick-start the introduction of high-quality housing in the Brooklands area of the village.
This reflects the dynamic work of TDC right across the district, from leading on a £36m coastal defence scheme in Holland-on-Sea to supporting business growth and employment opportunities through its SME Growth Fund and Jobs and Careers Fair.
Ian Davidson, TDC Chief Executive, added that Prof Alston had been interested in how authorities had come together to address issues in Jaywick Sands.
“Prof Alston’s mandate is to look at a wide range of issues, including potential causes of poverty such as welfare reform,” he said.
“What is interesting about Jaywick Sands is how the root cause of issues around deprivation stems back to poor quality homes and a shortage of housing post-Second World War, rather than anything more immediate.
“Tackling that, and surrounding issues, requires an approach much wider than we can do alone – but that is why we are working with partners at County Hall, in government, and crucially in the community, through the Coastal Community Team to look at a holistic, long-term approach to improving quality of life for Jaywick Sands residents.”
Prof Alston is due to conclude his UK visit on Friday, November 16.