'We live in UK's worst seaside town – we'll vote for whoever keeps giving us our benefits'

4 weeks ago 44

A street scene in Jaywick, Essex

Jaywick, Essex, is one of the poorest seaside towns in the UK (Image: Getty )

With the General Election just weeks away a burning issue for some people in Jaywick, Essex, is not education, crime, or the war in Ukraine but which party will 'keep their benefits' coming.

That's the assessment of some in this neglected corner of south east England which is part of the Clacton constituency, once a stronghold of UKIP's Douglas Carswell after his defection from the Conservative Party.

it's now once again a Tory-held seat, under Giles Watling, who had a majority of 24,000 at the last election in 2019.

Historically the village of Jaywick, which sits on the North Sea coast around 17 miles from Colchester, has been recognised as an area needing investment since at least 2010.

In 2019 it was named the most deprived area in the UK for the third year running and unemployment at times has reached almost 50 percent.

A car without a wheel in Jaywick, Essex

With the General Election just weeks away some have said they want to keep their benefits (Image: Getty )

According to the Mail Online, many residents living in the area today rely on state handouts to survive, making benefits a key issue for them at the ballot box.

Paul Redwood, 44, who has clamied disabilty allowance and Universal Credit for six years, told the paper he didn't want change and would probably vote Conservative.

He said: "I'm happy the way things are. The last thing I want is any sort of change to the system."

Jaywick, Essex

(File pic) Jaywick in Essex is one of the most deprived areas in the UK (Image: Getty )

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Alison McGuire, 36, told the newspaper she had lived in the area for eight years and was worried Labour might not keep the "benefits system the same" if elected.

She added: "I'd vote Conservative purely because I am happy with the money I get at the moment. I would not want it to change. It's good for me."

During a Levelling-Up Fund debate in Parliament in March this year the local Tory MP Giles Watling said he was "delighted that we have recently been able to bring £78million of investment to Clacton".

And on May 17 Mr Watling hosted a mobile surgery in Jaywick, posting on X: "The weather is so good that I've stopped outside the Three Jays pub in Jaywick. Still time to come and talk about the issues affecting you."

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