We could be better than Bognor - MP

PUBLISHED: 08:07 03 September 2013 | UPDATED: 08:07 03 September 2013

Sunny Sunday Afternoon rides in Weston. Photo submitted to iwitness24 by Donald Bailey

Sunny Sunday Afternoon rides in Weston. Photo submitted to iwitness24 by Donald Bailey

(c) copyright citizenside.com

JOHN Penrose has challenged Weston to become better than Bognor Regis, after it was revealed our town is one of the most deprived seaside resorts in the UK.

Household incomes, unemployment rates, poor health and crime figures were all analysed by the Office for National Statistics (ONS), as part of a Government survey into the perceived decline of seaside towns.

Weston was ranked 21st in the list of most deprived resorts and below the national average.

However, the town’s MP expects it to move up the list sooner rather than later.

Mr Penrose said: ‘Weston’s seafront has improved enormously in recent years with a mixture of private and public money going to improve sites like Dolphin Square, the Grand Pier, the promenade and Princess Royal Square.

“But, as this report shows, there’s still more to do. The work at junction 21 will improve our road and rail transport even further, but we need more employers to bring jobs to sites like the old airfield and RAF Locking camp to keep pushing us up the rankings.

“Weston’s easily good enough to overtake some of the towns which are ahead of us on this list, like Bognor Regis or Poole, but we can’t afford to stop now.”

Clevedon was the best performing seaside town in Somerset while Burnham also scored a rating above the national average.

The ONS report into resorts was the first of its kind following cross-political party consensus during the 2010 election that the problems facing the British seaside industry needed investigating.

Larger seaside towns, such as Weston, have tended to struggle most over the past five years.

Skegness and Blackpool meanwhile were named as the most deprived seaside towns in the country.

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