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Census figures reveal extent of social deprivation in Newquay

By Cornish Guardian  |  Posted: February 26, 2014

  • DAVE SLEEMAN: "We've never had to rely on foodbanks and soup kitchens before."

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THE EXTENT of Newquay's social deprivation has been laid bare following the release of statistics based on the latest population census.

They reveal that 95 households are classed as 'deprived' in the key areas of employment, education, health and overcrowding, 45 of which are in the town centre.

A total of 1,139 residences are said to be overcrowded, while 604 have no central heating – both figures being proportionally above the national average.

The information, made available through the Government's Office for National Statistics (ONS), also shows more than 6 per cent of people in the resort – 1,244 – are in 'bad' or 'very bad' health.

More than 900 people are unemployed in the town and almost a quarter of the population, 4,440, have no qualifications.

Geoff Brown, Cornwall councillor for Newquay Central and the council's Cabinet member for homes and communities, said the figures had not come as a shock.

He said: "Newquay has one of the highest numbers in Cornwall of children living in deprivation, in terms of housing and family income.

"We are working hard to raise standards in the private rental sector and there are a lot of ways we are trying to assist people but it's not helped by the Government's changes to the welfare system."

The emergence of foodbanks and soup kitchens over recent years was evidence of the change in living standards, he said.

In the town centre, Mr Brown's ward, 2.2 per cent of households tick all four deprivation boxes – four times the national average.

Councillor Dave Sleeman, the local member for Treloggan, said: "We don't recognise that there's a lot of poverty on our doorstep. I hear there are people on the breadline in this town. We've never had to rely on foodbanks and soup kitchens before. A lot of people are deprived, which is a worry for everybody."

Pat Lambshead, who covers Tretherras, said facilities were not lacking in the town, with schools and colleges addressing educational needs and enough doctors' surgeries to help those in need.

"I know the infrastructure is in place in Newquay to help people," he said.

All three councillors said more jobs would soon be available through the Enterprise Zone at the airport, Trevithick Manor retail park, near Morrison's supermarket, and Quintdown Business Park at Quintrell Downs.

They agreed more affordable housing should be provided among the many developments springing up in the Newquay area.

The ONS statistics are based on the 2011 census, analysed over the past three years.

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