Boston and Skegness residents "least satisfied" says survey

Prime Minister Boris Johnson promised a levelling-up White Paper in the recent Queen's Speech.Prime Minister Boris Johnson promised a levelling-up White Paper in the recent Queen's Speech.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson promised a levelling-up White Paper in the recent Queen's Speech.
People in Boston and Skegness are among the least satisfied in Britain with the facilities on offer in their area, according to a new survey.

A survey by the think tank Demos asked 20,000 adults in parliamentary constituencies across Great Britain how satisfied they are with their local areas by measuring their priorities against what is on offer.

In Boston and Skegness, an estimated 29 per cent of residents think that the provision of the facilities they consider most important is nearer to 'bad' than 'good', which means the area has one of the highest negative satisfaction rates in Great Britain.

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The survey also asked people to choose which one of nine issues most urgently needs improving where they live.

In Boston and Skegness, 20 percent of residents chose good local shops, followed by good transport services (18 per cent), and premises to support local jobs (14 per cent).

Councillor Steve Kirk, Portfolio Holder for Coastal Economy, said: “We recognise there are opportunities to improve facilities within Skegness and over recent years we have invested significant amounts to do that, with a particular focus on public realm improvements.

"Over this time, we’ve also seen strong investment from private businesses which looks set to continue through projects such as the pier renovation. The opportunity to continue a programme of improvements in the town has clearly been recognised by the Government too, as they have selected Skegness to receive funding through the Towns Fund.

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"We are committed to using this funding to deliver our transformational plan for Skegness and helping the town to unlock its potential through a series of ambitious projects that seek to rejuvenate the economy, help to upskill workers, increase connectivity, and ensure residents can lead active, healthy lives.”

It comes as the Government is set to outline its plan to 'level up' the country, though anti-poverty charity the Joseph Rowntree Foundation (JRF) said it must improve on its "piecemeal" attempts so far.

Demos said prioritising retailers was particularly prevalent in more built-up areas, while rural communities were more likely to see a lack of quality transport as a problem.

The think-tank has urged the Government to reflect on its research as it considers how best to spend the £4.8 billion earmarked for a levelling-up fund to reduce inequality across the UK.

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Prime Minister Boris Johnson promised a levelling-up White Paper in the recent Queen's Speech – to be unveiled later this year – saying it would "turbocharge" economic recovery nationwide.

But the JRF said the Government has produced just "a series of piecemeal individual policies" so far and called on the legislation to address the long-term challenges facing parts of the UK.

Mike Hawking, head of policy and partnerships at the charity, added: "The Government has now promised levelling up will be about improving living standards, and it’s against this promise that they should be judged.

"The best way to do this is by boosting jobs and growing earnings in economically weaker parts of the country, and we look forward to seeing the Government bring forward plans to do this."