Every three years the DCLG publish The English Indices of Deprivation. The last time it was published, in 2011, it covered the situation that existed the previous year. It ranked 32,500 LLSOAs. These are small neighbourhoods about the size of polling districts. The poorest was not in Liverpool or Hackney. It was the south west corner of the affluent sounding Golf Green Ward on Tendring District Council. The ward includes a village called Jaywick which is in the Clacton constituency.
There are several other districts of Clacton that are also relatively poor. The Labour Party appears to be making no serious effort to win the by-election.
What do the Conservatives have to offer the people of Jaywick and the other areas of Clacton that are struggling.?
Last month there were 1,397 people on the dole in Clacton – as defined by those claiming Jobseeker’s Allowance. In April 2010 the figure was 2,492.
Crime has fallen – including in the West Clacton policing neighbourhood which includes Jaywick. Accountability and transparency has made policing more effective.
Accountability has also driven up standards in schools. There is more choice – for instance with the Tendring Enterprise School. Douglas Carswell has praised it’s achievements but a Labour Government would block such innovation. The more Conservatives that follow Mr Carswell into UKIP the more likely we will find that next year we have a Labour Government blocking such initiatives.
One factor that blights areas like Jaywick is the number of empty, boarded up properties. The New Homes Bonus gives councils an incentive to bring derelict properties back into use. In 2010 there were 950 “long term vacants” in the Tendring area. By last October the number had fallen to 703.
There are also plans for 150 new homes for local people.
This is an area where many people have been left behind. The Conservatives are doing something about that. Matthew Parris is misguided in his curious implication that applying such an approach contradicts encouraging wealthier areas to thrive even more.
What is so extraordinary is that in an area like this Labour just seem to be out of the picture.