Latest unemployment figures reveal that an area of Great Yarmouth has one of the highest rates of people claiming unemployment benefits in the United Kingdom.

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Latest unemployment figures reveal that an area of Great Yarmouth has one of the highest rates of people claiming unemployment benefits in the United Kingdom.

The Nelson ward already has the unwelcome tag of being one of the most deprived areas in the country, despite its place in our largely-prosperous county.

Earlier this year it emerged that nearly half of children living in the ward are in families on out-of-work benefits.

That was compounded yesterday when the latest unemployment figures revealed the ward has the 11th highest rate of people claiming Jobseekers Allowance in the country – with nearly one in six claiming unemployment benefit.

The ward comes in just behind areas in Glasgow, London, Middlesbrough and Northern Ireland.

The figures were last night described as “shocking” and people in the town said more must be done to increase employment opportunities.

Michael Jeal, borough councillor for Nelson ward, said: “My personal opinion is that Great Yarmouth needs more industry. This does not deflect from the valuable role the tourism industry plays to the Great Yarmouth economy, but there isn’t enough work in the tourism industry for 52 weeks of the year.

“Unfortunately, since the recession, people haven’t been quite so willing to invest and smaller businesses, which need investment, are not getting it from banks. Yarmouth, like everywhere else, has been hit severely by the recession and it needs regeneration.”

Mr Jeal said he hoped local labour would be used to build the town’s new £35m casino, which was given the green light last month.

Great Yarmouth mayor Colleen Walker said the figures were “shocking” and the issue needed addressing urgently.

“I was born and raised in the area and I share your concerns,” she said. “It is not good for an area of town to suffer in this way.

“I do not understand why and we have to look at it urgently. Obviously we want people’s lives to be better and we do not want them to continue living in deprivation... I do not have the answer. I wish I did.”

Melodie Fearns, headteacher at St George’s Infant and Nursery School said it was working hard to increase children’s aspirations.

“We do have a mixed population here,” she said. “We have people in normal jobs as well as a number of families who are claiming benefits in various forms and also people above benefits – some who are in low paid work and are therefore struggling an awful lot.

“We currently work within the school to support parents on low pay or on benefits.

“From our point of view, in job terms and career terms, Great Yarmouth is quite limited in normal circumstances. It is even more limited given the financial crisis we all find ourselves in. I currently do everything possible to bring into the curriculum that there is life beyond Great Yarmouth and increase aspirations in any way.”

Mrs Fearns said about 30pc of youngsters at the school did not speak English as their first language.

She added: “Parents can become despondent and can be unemployed for a very long time through no fault of their own. Quite often parents volunteer in school and we allow them to come in so they can put it on their CV. We are quite different to Great Yarmouth as a whole and have quite a transient population. There are also a lot of low cost houses, a lot of them privately rented.”

Ben Sampson is project co-ordinator for Target Opportunities, a project set up to help people in south and central Yarmouth find employment. He said the issues surrounding unemployment were multi-faceted.

“One of the main things is inter-generational unemployment where people are born into a household where perhaps the father and grandfather do not work and they lack aspiration,” he said.

“This problem is one of the main drivers in Yarmouth, a lack of aspiration and a discord between people and what the opportunities are. For example, we know there are lots of jobs in care and there are going to be a lot of jobs in the offshore industry but Joe Bloggs on the street probably doesn’t know that. I do not think anyone is particularly happy to stay on benefits. The vast majority are honestly really trying to find work.”

Rob Gregory, corporate strategy, communities and partnerships manager at Great Yarmouth Borough Council, said it was working hard to improve employment support for people in the area.

“We are acutely aware of the issues for local residents in terms of unemployment,” he said.

“In Nelson ward in particular, we are working with the local neighbourhood board “Comeunity” to bring together a pooled community budget from the borough council, job centre plus and local private sector to help to improve employment support for local people.

“Part of this work is about linking local people with new and emerging job opportunities in the borough. The Target Opportunities project is one service we have been able to fund through this approach. It has been hugely successful in helping people to get into work – mainly because it is shaped and designed by residents themselves.”

Great Yarmouth MP Brandon Lewis welcomed yesterday’s figures, but said there was a “real issue” with the Nelson ward. He added: “There is not a simple, straight fix. Nelson ward has been an issue for a long time.

“In Yarmouth we have such big opportunities with £50bn worth of energy contracts over the next 10 years – the opportunities are there.

“There are jobs available and we need to make sure the system encourages people. If they can’t necessarily get the job they want at first, they may have to take a job and use it as a stepping stone. The majority are keen to work and we need to make sure the system gives them every opportunity.”

Mr Lewis added: “A couple of years ago a kid said to me that it was good to be on benefits as his parents were on benefits and they had a decent telly and could eat McDonalds nearly every day and that their neighbours next door could not afford that and they were at work. The fact that child was able to have that conversation at all is still a worry.”

COMMENT – Page 26

30 comments

  • I moved to Yarmouth from outside the area, I live in Nelson Ward, not because I have to but because I chose to, at the time I didn't know about the area, I didn't even realise it was a council estate, not that it bothers me, until a couple of years ago, I was a council tenant in one way or another from the day I was born. I was looking for a house and found one I liked within the ward, I still like it, its less than 10 minutes to both sea and town centre, the neighbours are nice decent people. I've been here nearly 4 years and had no problems whatsoever with the area. I did initally hope that when I moved here that I could get a part time job to supplement my pension, but that didn't happen so I can understand how the people who are unemployed and would really like to work feel. I don't however have any time for someone who is justs wants to sit on their backsides or spend all day in the pub spending their benefit monies and not try to make something of themselves.

    Report this comment

    Spooky

    Friday, May 18, 2012

  • @ 'V' That's because unemployment on the whole in Great Yarmouth is below the national average, at about 6%. Where as in Nelson it's at 16%. So yes there are problems with unemployment elsewhere, but the problem is generally small when compared to Nelson ward.

    Report this comment

    JamesDee

    Thursday, May 17, 2012

  • Gt. Yarmouth has been mis-managed for a very long time. The false promises of a ferry service, the frustration of an unusable outer harbour, and most of all, the influences of secret male only societies on the towns consequetive Governments, lack of training opportunities and infrastructure, all have had a negative effect on its jobs opportunities. Brendan Lewis MP's spin is unfortunate and ill placed, he has held up the Nelson ward in a negative light and will be judged on its changes in future.

    Report this comment

    ingo wagenknecht

    Friday, May 18, 2012

  • It's all those herring fishers who haven't stopped wanting to fish herring. The herring are gone and they need to find a real job.

    Report this comment

    telawrence

    Thursday, May 17, 2012

  • SHOCKING? The only thing SHOCKING is the people of GY continue to except the situation and people in this forum do nothing but whine about anything and everyone not in made in thier own image.

    Report this comment

    Paul Morley

    Saturday, May 19, 2012

  • MP Brendan Lewis will be judged on the Neslon wards performances in future. Gt. Yarmouth has long been mismanaged by male only secret societies. They are responsible for the failure to attract a fast ferry service and the 1000 promised jobs, they failed to instigate apprenticeships and training opportunities and presidet over a disastrous outer harbour development and still, 2012, nothing has changed much, especially not the spin and rethoric. Young people will soon get fed up with this quagmire reality from our main parties, they will not sit still in front of their Sat.TV much longer.

    Report this comment

    ingo wagenknecht

    Friday, May 18, 2012

  • As a past resident of Great Yarmouth and a parent of children under Mel Fearns at her previous school I am confident that she is doing all she can to prepare the children for the future and will instill in the youngsters at St. George's that to get ahead in life they will ultimately have to look further afield than Great Yarmouth. This is a sad indictment of the situation but with virtually no large scale employers in the town options are limited. Unfortunately the town is paying for past mistakes.

    Report this comment

    Eastangler

    Thursday, May 17, 2012

  • Should rename Nelson ward, Satellite City. Much more appropriate, as picture shows.

    Report this comment

    vegas

    Thursday, May 17, 2012

  • Great Yarmouth MP Brandon Lewis welcomed yesterday’s figures, but said there was a “real issue” with the Nelson ward. He added: “There is not a simple, straight fix. Nelson ward has been an issue for a long time. “In Yarmouth we have such big opportunities with £50bn worth of energy contracts over the next 10 years – the opportunities are there. Total utter rubbish, lets see him show us where the opportunities are, 5 months of the year its tourist season, the rest of the year its a dead and un-alive place where most of the businesses are closed. The harbour has no jobs and if it did, it would have to be experienced people working there. The new casino complex is going to give employment to about 300 part time and full time staff, which will probably be shared jobs scheme, but that's in the future, it isn't now. St George's theatre will only employ a few people, not enough to change any figures, what is needed is an injection into the community now because when you add the fact that the unemployment level in Nelson and other parts of Yarmouth are high, there will be hundreds of children leaving school and college in the summer, there is nothing for them here, if you don't know about wind farming or harbour work and aren't interested in working in a granary, wood yard etc. there's nothing.

    Report this comment

    Spooky

    Thursday, May 17, 2012

  • "the latest unemployment figures revealed the ward has the 11th highest rate of people claiming Jobseekers Allowance in the country – with nearly one in six claiming unemployment benefit." It's even worse than this. What is the rate of people claiming other benefits such as Income Support and ESA? I would hazard a guess that when you take in to consideration all the information the unemployment figures for Nelson Ward are far worse than this article lets on.

    Report this comment

    Shaun Envis

    Thursday, May 17, 2012

  • No wonder the British people are rejecting this Tory government.

    Report this comment

    Jeffrey Osborne

    Thursday, May 17, 2012

  • Yet in the photo must houses have Sky, also the areas around don't have the same unemployment issues, funny considering you can walk across Gt Yarmouth in under a hour.

    Report this comment

    Ivan Coppard

    Thursday, May 17, 2012

  • We have the usual, lets blame everything on the Coaltion. This is not something that happened overnight. Casual summer workers used to come to Yarmouth from all over the country and then went back home in the winter to claim their benefits. I think I am right in saying that changes were made to benefit system that allowed these people to stay in Yarmouth and claim the dole. The area has always been a hot spot for DHS claimants and by now housing immigrants in the same area is it little surprise there are problems. The current cap on benefits is 26K which converts to a gross wage of 34K. Where on earth are people with low skills, a poor or non existent education, social issues including drink or drug dependency going to find work in the town that pays them that. Its a no brainer. They are going to stay on the dole for as long as they can by one means or the other and if anyone thinks they are going to wave the magic wand and solve this problem overnight they are deluded. A start would be to stop moving problem families and immigrants into the area. The problems associated with Nelson Ward were decades in the making and it`s going to take decades to eradicate them.

    Report this comment

    BG

    Thursday, May 17, 2012

  • ivan what do you want these children to do ? they live in an area of poverty where libraries are shut down and youth centres are being shut down now you want to take any pleasures they have away too ? if i was their family i would want them to have some sort of pleasure in life . clearly you want them to sit in the dark with no joy whatsoever .

    Report this comment

    Jeffrey Osborne

    Thursday, May 17, 2012

  • At every opportunity Brandon Lewis tries to make political gain even at the expense of unfortunate people that are in deep mire that must seem to them an impossibility to get out of. Brandon’s loaded comments all point to his buttering up to the PM (his boss and he wants to impress him by implying people on benefits get too much), He does not consider what the Borough has lost these past four decades especially in and around Nelson Ward. We have lost: - Birds Eye, Eire Resister, Tecta Furniture, Crabtree, Gus Lee & Boswell, Jewson, Palgrave Brown, Roselyn Foods, Matthes, Guyluw Engineers, these are just a few of the big firms. From Priors Engineering (which is no longer) to Nelson Monument were hundreds of smaller industries that employed thousands, at times the “Golden Mile” was so short of staff because of full time employment the tourist trade started to pay more. Now Brandon instead of political gain by knocking the unemployed why don’t you knock on the doors of the previous councillors that created a situation by not producing the promised 1000 jobs in the outer harbour. A Ferry would have produced not only those jobs, it would have bump started the EDGE and between the Ferry service and the EDGE they would be the catalyst to bring the Borough out of this terrible recession. The new Cabinet will need more that luck to build a sound employment base which we once had.

    Report this comment

    John L Cooper

    Thursday, May 17, 2012

  • The unemployed of Great Yarmouth, indeed anywhere can re-train to do something different if they really wanted to get out of the rut they find themselves in, it isn't compulsary to always stay in the same job all your life, look at what jobs are people are offering, if a person thinks "yes, I could do that" then re-train, there must be some sort of grant out there for this sort of thing.

    Report this comment

    Spooky

    Thursday, May 17, 2012

  • Why do the long term unemployed,serial benefit claimants keep on popping out babies? 30% of youngsters cant speak English.....Welcome to hell,Tony Blair's vision of a multi-cultural Britain.Well done to those who voted him in all those years ago in 1997.

    Report this comment

    wes1975

    Thursday, May 17, 2012

  • I wholeheartedly agree with yarco_joe, why should the whole of Nelson ward be penalised because of the unemployment. There are hard working residents here, they take whatever job they can get so that they can better themselves and their families, they do try to set an example to their children, unfortunately that doesn't always work. Its also possible that the unemployment figure is high here because to me it seems not all but quite a lot of the residents are foreign nationals who don't have a great command of the English language and can't get a job because of this so they end up on benefits instead, others are just lazy, others genuinely want to work but can't get anything. If you actually look at the amount of jobs advertised by agencies and businesses you can see there are a lot out there, the problem is there aren't any people trained is a lot of those jobs, this is what's needed, as I've said before, re-training schemes should be on offer to those who seriously want to work and willing to work in other fields than they are used to.

    Report this comment

    Spooky

    Friday, May 18, 2012

  • I left Great Yarmouth over ten years ago now and it was the best thing I ever done. Since then the town has continued to decline and is now a ghost town. A great shame as I loved the place when I grew up in the 70s.

    Report this comment

    chris

    Saturday, May 19, 2012

  • Just incase you havent realised it gy is the end of the line. Its a small sand bar that fills a gap in the map, that no one outside gy has the slightest interest in and anyone living in gy with money spends it in nicier surroundsings of Norwich, thus diluting any business opportunity in gy. The same goes for insdustry. When gy decides what it wants to be in timely manor, one which doesnt take 50 years to decide to dual a road to no where or add a surplus habour. If such a vision should emerge then gy might become GY unless the tide comes in quickier than planned.

    Report this comment

    Paul Morley

    Monday, May 21, 2012

  • Yarmouth has always been know as a long hours, low wage, slave labour economy that is based on the holiday trade, and sucessive councils have always given this their blessing as a lot of councillors have hotels etc on the seafront. What benefit does that seafront give the locals ??.

    Report this comment

    "V"

    Thursday, May 17, 2012

  • Instead of the 'FatTax' that was only mentioned the other day people like McDonalds should be made to put back into the community! This just goes to show from that child's comments to Brandon Lewis what some of these kids are eating on a daily basis. No wonder they cannot learn anything due to the junk food they are putting into their bodies! The only healthy meal they get a day is the school dinner that I are served with.

    Report this comment

    rovi

    Thursday, May 17, 2012

  • This is very old news. The ward has been going downhill since the late seventies.There is a pile high of reasons-geographic isolation makes the town' problems typical of many seaside resorts, loss of manufacturing industries-BirdsEye, clothing factories etc means no unskilled work all the year round, the large numbers attracted to the area because they think there are seasonal jobs and cheap housing.The cheap housing attracts those from the rest of the borough, the young unemployed and single parents who rely on housing benefits but who cannot get a council house Those are the local problems. Then there are those foisted upon the town-transient residents located there by external agencies, populations encouraged to move to the area by employers such as food processors, who then fail to employ them consistently. Then there is the flight from the area of those who can get out. I know some very able young people who come from homes in this ward-they will not stay, they will take their degrees and work elsewhere in the country. Talk of jobs in the renewable energy sector is eyewash-how many low skilled young women will they employ or disaffected young men? Engineering industries want people with a bit of ability. Also local people who don't see the jobs being advertised anywhere, need to know that employment agencies are not placing the "transient population" in jobs ahead of them. What the town needs is a mass reliable fulltime employer of unskilled and semi skilled labour. All the other target this and that is a waste of time.

    Report this comment

    Daisy Roots

    Thursday, May 17, 2012

  • There are loads of jobs out there but people can't apply because they don't have the skill or understanding of the particular job, so how about the government setting up re-training courses for the people who's job skills are few are far between, then the one's that don't agree to it can have their benefits re-assessed, hang on, isn't there something like that already, so why aren't the people of Yarmouth doing this then?

    Report this comment

    Spooky

    Thursday, May 17, 2012

  • Ivan-what areas around? Lowestoft does not have many jobs going spare and it is 15+ miles to the nearest place of large scale employment . Geographical isolation contributes to Yarmouth's lack of employment for the unskilled.

    Report this comment

    Daisy Roots

    Thursday, May 17, 2012

  • For once I find myself agreeing with at least some of what 'Wes 1975' has to say - the starting point however was Thatcher's focus on 'Services' (money-lending). And the reason that some families live on takeaways is simply that some parents, too bone idle to work, are too bone idle to cook at home. And it will get worse - just wait until the housing hand-out reductions cut in and we get an exodus from London! Keep paying your taxes boys!

    Report this comment

    wallywalnut

    Thursday, May 17, 2012

  • Wes1975 is correct, being on benefits means you can't afford to keep having children, although a lot of people probably do it to get more benefits.businesses. Workwise, we should do what the Americans, Australians and New Zealanders do, not allow foreign workers into the country if there are people already living here that can do a job that's advertised. Newsflash, there's a perfectly good library in Tollhouse that the youngsters can use. As for Sky and also I might add nice cars in Nelson Ward, everyone is entitled to entertainment and leisure, but the people on benefits instead of paying £40-£50 per month to watch Sky, they could easily go and get Free-View and save money. What is needed is a council or government department to sit down with the job centres and list the jobs the benefits claimants can do and see what really needs to be injected into the community, it might be that there is a job out of town they can do, introduce bus passes and then people can look further afield for work, not everyone owns a car.

    Report this comment

    Spooky

    Thursday, May 17, 2012

  • The Iron Lady,once said (pay attention Brandon) "In the future, many people will never know the world of work, get used to it" Birmingham 1984........not forgetting, 25 years earlier "you've never had it so good" blurb from another head honcho , Harold Macmillan. The managed decline of various towns and it's industries, is a globalist agenda for unity in poverty for the masses or a return to serfdom.

    Report this comment

    nrg

    Thursday, May 17, 2012

  • Although the unemployment rate in this ward is shocking, let's not forget the many hard-working people who live in the area. As Mrs Fearns correctly points out, these people are often employed in low paid work and have to live on far less money than those claiming benifits (who get their rent and council tax paid, free prescriptions etc. etc. in addition to the JSAother benifit). It's these people who are being punished for 'doing the right thing' and setting a good example to their children that we should be helping!

    Report this comment

    yarco_joe

    Friday, May 18, 2012

  • Ah but Yarmouth is booming. Just think of all those jobs on the Outer Disaster and jobs within the offshour "wind" industry and according to Yarmouths lovely overpaid jobsworth (town centre manager, whenever he speaks) Yarmouth is leading the way with more shops opening (what he doesnt say is that they are all charity shops or pound shops. Also Why are they just talking about Nelson ward and no where else ?. It's because nowhere else matters according to certain people in Yarmouth !.

    Report this comment

    "V"

    Thursday, May 17, 2012

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