A COUNCIL boss has hit back at a survey which puts South Shields in the top 10 of deprived seaside areas.
Using levels of health and disability and employment levels, South Shields is listed at number eight in the poll from the Office for National Statistics – with Blackpool topping the chart.
But South Tyneside Council leader, Coun Iain Malcolm, said: “The report in question is based on now-out-dated information from 2010, and since that time South Tyneside – and in particular South Shields – has seen transformational improvements to facilities and the built environment.
“You only have to see the developments at Littlehaven, Sandhaven, Ocean Road and on the riverside to realise the progress that has been made in this short space of time.
“Over the past three years, the council has created a vision that will make the borough – including its coastal areas – an outstanding place to live, invest and bring up families.”
The North East fares badly in the survey, with both Sunderland and Hartlepool also listed, at numbers 10 and six respectively.
THESE were the most deprived of the larger English seaside destinations in 2010.
2: Clacton, Essex
3: Hastings, East Sussex
4: Ramsgate, Kent
5: Margate, Kent
7: Great Yarmouth, Norfolk
8: South Shields
9: Barrow-in-Furness, Cumbria
While overall, 20 per cent of England was considered deprived in 2010, the figure for the 31 largest English seaside destinations was 26.9 per cent – up on the 2007 figure of 26 per cent.
The ONS said: “Our analysis has considered levels of deprivation in larger English seaside destinations, which may have once thrived on seaside resort tourism. There is a perception that these economies have declined and are enduring high levels of deprivation as a result of people going on holiday abroad rather than in England.
“The perceived extent of their decline is so great that during the 2010 election campaign, all three major political parties discussed the problems facing British seaside settlements. The results of the analysis revealed that there were higher levels of deprivation in 2010 than the deprivation measure for England on average.
“The larger seaside destinations with the highest average deprivation levels were Blackpool, Clacton and Hastings.”