seaside towns briefing paper by fdh56iuoui

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									FUTURE POLICY THINKING




       WHAT FUTURE FOR
       ENGLAND’S STRUGGLING
       SEASIDE TOWNS?
       Si Policy Roundtable Friday 4th July
       BRIEFING PAPER




                                              1
SUMMARY



Many seaside towns have not benefited from the urban renaissance of                        Central government is looking to develop      Seaside towns are “the least understood
the past decade and the national regeneration initiatives implemented in                  more tailored and co-ordinated solutions      of Britain’s ‘problem’ areas” and the
                                                                                          for different places, including seaside       existing research base in patchy 1. The
that time have overlooked the problems they face. Seaside towns have                      towns, through the new Regeneration           discussion at the Si Policy Roundtable
struggled to cope with significant economic and demographic changes,                       Framework. The development of the             will feed directly into the Regeneration
and their poorest neighbourhoods are now caught in a self-reinforcing                     Framework is a real opportunity to put        Framework. This briefing paper sets out
                                                                                          seaside towns on the public policy            our analysis of the problem, an account
cycle of limited economic growth, housing market imbalance and public
                                                                                          agenda. Going into a period of slower         of the current policy response and a
service failure to tackle severe concentrations of deprivation.                           economic growth and lower public              provisional set of recommendations
                                                                                          expenditure, we should not expect a new       to aid the discussion on the day. We
Local renewal programmes have                  Economic responses are not, however,       round of SRB- or NRF-style funding streams.   also outline some brief examples of
successfully stabilised conditions             a panacea. Equally intensive efforts are   The new emphasis is on increased private      interventions from other places and
and slowed the decline, but more is            required to tackle the concentrations      sector engagement and smarter market-         summarise our own work in Margate.
needed to reverse it. Identifying and          of poverty, incapacity and ill-health,     based interventions that bring together
implementing interventions at a scale          and the “chaotic lifestyles” of some       different strands of regeneration activity.
which will significantly alter the prevailing   of the most excluded households. The       The threat of recession and prolonged
market dynamics e.g. redeveloping the          solutions to those problems are beyond     housing market instability, in addition
housing stock and related infrastructure       the current capacity, resources and        to emerging funding gaps as existing
to win back younger and more                   decision-making powers of local public     regeneration programmes wind down,
prosperous households, is a priority.          service.                                   makes this task increasingly urgent.




2                                                                                                                                                                              3
CONTENTS




1. Introduction .............................................................................................................6
2. Why some seaside towns are struggling .............................................................8
3. Policy responses ................................................................................................... 16
4. Recommendations for the regeneration framework..................................... 20
5. Appendix - lessons from the Margate Renewal Study ................................... 22




4                                                                                                                                5
1.    INTRODUCTION



What future for England’s struggling seaside towns? Are there sustainable                  to seaside towns. CLG funded the
and prosperous ways forward for places like Margate and Blackpool                          research into the drivers of deprivation
– and if so, how do we get them on the right track? Does the prospect                      in Margate which Si carried out and the
                                                                                           department is open to suggestions and
of recession and more severe falls in house prices forestall any hope of                   ideas for the Framework.
regeneration in the short term? These are urgent questions for regeneration
practitioners across England and policy-makers in Whitehall.                               However, there is little robust research
                                                                                           into the problems and potential
                                                                                           solutions in seaside towns, and practical
For regeneration and housing managers          migrant workers from the EU accession       know-how about “what works” is only
on the ground, the challenge is tackling       states has added another layer of           just starting to be tapped through
the complex and interlocking drivers           complexity for service managers and         initiatives like BURA’s coastal towns
of deprivation which have gradually            created tensions in some places.            network.
taken hold as seaside towns lost their
economic rationale.                            The challenge for policy-makers             The Si Seaside Towns Policy
                                               is creating the right conditions for        Roundtable will directly address these
This fundamental change has                    regeneration through the new                challenges, and draw up a series of
manifested itself in different ways, but       Regeneration Framework, in a way            recommendations for the Regeneration
practitioners from many places tell            that addresses the specific challenges       Framework. To inform the discussion, this
a similar story. As the market for low-        in seaside towns, such as the               paper sets out:
cost ‘bucket and spade’ holidays               seasonality of labour demand and the
shrank, the local workforce, and young         concentration of Incapacity Benefit (IB)     •   The reasons why some seaside towns
people entering the labour market in           claimants.                                      are struggling, drawing on practical
particular, could no longer rely on the                                                        examples and Si’s work in Margate in
hotel and catering trade; guest houses         Prompted by the criticisms of the               particular;
and hotels, unsuited to typical family         House of Commons Inquiry into Coastal       •   The policy context for the sharpened
accommodation, became hostels and              Towns, the Secretary of State for               focus on seaside towns; and
Houses in Multiple Occupation (HMOs),          Communities and Local Government            •   A set of starting propositions to inform
often for homeless and vulnerable              (CLG) Hazel Blears has stated that the          the discussion on recommendations
households; and public services                new Regeneration Framework should               for the Regeneration Framework.
struggled to cope with the subsequent          “facilitate more co-ordinated, cross-
concentrations of need.                        government working in coastal towns         Following the discussion, we will submit
                                               exhibiting significant problems, and         the agreed recommendations to
In places like Margate, the increase           identified as a priority for intervention    CLG and look at ways to sustain and
in poverty amongst local families was          on the grounds of market failure or         facilitate the search for sustainable
exacerbated by the placement of                equity”. The Regeneration Framework         solutions to seaside deprivation.
children in care, and the arrival of           will determine the next phase of
vulnerable households and benefit               regeneration activity in England; its
claimants encouraged by other local            development offers an opportunity to
authorities. In recent years, the arrival of   address the policy blind-spot in relation




6                                                                                                                                         7
2.     WHY SOME SEASIDE TOWNS ARE STRUGGLING


                                                                                                                                                                                       Seaside Towns by Employment Rate
Some seaside towns are struggling today because the decline in demand                                                                                           Whitley Bay

                                                                                                                                                                                                               Performing Well

for the traditional “bucket and spade” holiday on which they relied for                                                                                                                                        Maintaining

                                                                                                                                                                              Whitby                           Declining

income and job creation took away their economic rationale.                                                                                                                     Scarborough

                                                                                                                                                                                   Bridlington

                                                                                                                                                                                                                             The places
                                                                                                               Morecambe and Heysham

                                                                                                                            Blackpool
The growth of seaside resorts from the      These places are mapped on the                                                Southport
                                                                                                                                                                                                                             which fall into
                                                                                                                                                                                                                             “declining”
late 1800s was driven by the expansion      following map. There are problems
                                                                                                                                                                                                                             category are:
of the domestic tourism industry. For       with using the employment count                                                                                                                Skegness


the past thirty years, that industry has    as the basis for categorisation, and                                                                                                                                             1.           Blackpool
declined in the face of competition         Fothergill highlights the danger of                                                                                                                        Great Yarmouth        2.           Bridlington
                                                                                                                                                                                                                Lowestoft
from low-cost European package              overlooking issues beyond the labour                                                                                                                                             3.           Clacton
holidays, and traditional resorts have      market. Nevertheless, in the absence                                                                                                                                             4.           Falmouth
struggled to diversify their economic       of a more broadly accepted definition                                                                                                                                             5.           Great
base. The result has been significant
                                                                                                                                                                                                         Clacton
                                            of struggling seaside towns, the DTI’s                                                                                             Southend-on-Sea                                            Yarmouth
economic under-performance, or what         analysis is a useful proxy.                                                                     Weston-super-Mare              Whistable and Herne Bay
                                                                                                                                                                                                                   Thanet
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      6. Morecambe
BURA describes, in the case of Rhyl, as
                                                                                                                                                                                                   Deal
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          and Heysham
                                                                                                                                           Burnham-on-Sea
                                                                                                           IIfracombe
                                                                                                                         Minehead
                                                                                                                                                                                  Brighton                       Folkestone and Hythe
“economic inertia”2.                        The manifestations of decline vary                                                       Sidmouth     Bournemouth
                                                                                                                                                                                                Hastings and Bexhill
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      7. Skegness
                                            from area to area, but we identify a                 Newquay
                                                                                                                         Exmouth
                                                                                                                                                                                        Worthing
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      8. St. Ives
In contrast to other categories of          set of common factors, drawing on                St Ives
                                                                                                                        Torbay                  Weymouth
                                                                                                                                                           Swanage    Isle of Wight
                                                                                                                                                                                                     Eastbourne
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      9. Thanet
place which have been the subject of        work by Fothergill and colleagues at                             Falmouth
                                                                                                                                 Dawlish and Teighmouth                               Bognor Regis
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      10. Whitby
                                                                                             Penzance
regeneration interventions, there is no     Sheffield Hallam University, the House of
agreed definition of a deprived seaside      Commons Inquiry into Coastal Towns,
town and little monitoring of or research   our own work in Margate and the
into conditions within them.                accounts of people living and working        •     Isolation. Smaller coastal towns in                                                       coastal regions in the coming years
                                            in struggling seaside towns.                       particular are peripheral outposts                                                        and decades. The risk of sea level
The Department of Trade and Industry                                                           on main transport routes, limiting                                                        rise will become a more important
(DTI) have developed a straightforward                                                         access to the jobs and services                                                           and problematic factor in public
typology of seaside towns, putting them     STRUCTURAL BARRIERS TO GROWTH                      located in towns and cities within the                                                    and private investment decisions
into one of three categories according                                                         surrounding sub region. This makes it                                                     about growth and development in
to the local employment rate:               Seaside towns encounter intrinsic                  difficult to attract new-comers and                                                        some seaside towns. The LGA has
                                            structural barriers to growth which are            closes off the option of becoming a                                                       established a special interest group
•    “Performing well” – defined as having   common to all coastal population                   “dormitory town” for nearby growth                                                        on coastal towns to lobby and share
     employment rates above the England     centres:                                           centres. The psychology of distance                                                       information on issues like erosion and
     average                                                                                   can also reinforce the sense of being                                                     flooding mitigation.
•    “Maintaining” – defined as having       •   The 180º factor. Their position by the         “at the end of the line”.
     an employment rate within 3% of the        sea imposes limits on growth as they     •     Vulnerability to climate change. The                                              Beyond these structural factors, we
     England average                            can only expand in one direction.              specific impacts of climate change                                                 identify a set of shared economic,
•    “Declining” – defined as having an          In some places, the surrounding                on different places are not entirely                                              physical and demographic problems in
     employment rate 3% lower than the          topography, such as steep hills,               known, but the best predictions                                                   struggling seaside towns which prevent
     England average                            imposes further limitations.                   suggest rising sea levels - and the                                               them growing economically and create
                                                                                               faster erosion rates associated with it -                                         concentrations of need which local
                                                                                               will impact dramatically upon certain                                             services are struggling to manage.




8                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  9
LACK OF ECONOMIC DIVERSITY                         Margate are in public administration           households further creates a cycle        •   In-migration of vulnerable households.
                                                   compared to 27% nationally.                    of low demand and low prices. The             The availability of cheap rented
Many seaside towns continue to rely on         •   High levels of incapacity. Recent              low demand for “typical” family               accommodation and the placement
the declining traditional tourism industry         research by the DTI suggests that              accommodation depresses prices                practices of other local authorities has
and other low-wage, low-skill and often            9.3% of working age adults in                  and acts as an incentive to meet              created concentrations of vulnerable
seasonal sectors.                                  seaside towns claim IB. 18% of                 the demand for low-quality, low-              households, including statutorily
                                                   working age adults in Margate                  rent flats and bedsits, which in turn          homeless families, care-leavers and
•    Failure to diversify economically. The        claim IB, almost four times the                encourages more affluent families to           ex-offenders. Many new arrivals from
     fundamental driver of deprivation in          regional average, and the number               look elsewhere.                               the EU accession countries have
     many struggling seaside towns is the          of claimants has increased in recent                                                         also moved in to private rented
     failure to move on from a reliance            years while the national number of                                                           accommodation. Local services are
     on the traditional seaside economy            claimants has fallen.                      DEMOGRAPHIC IMBALANCES AND                        often ill-equipped to manage their
     and create a new economic                                                                MULTIPLE DEPRIVATION                              arrival and support their integration,
     purpose. Successful seaside                                                                                                                with anecdotal evidence suggesting
     destinations have updated and             POOR STOCK CONDITION AND                       The overall population of seaside towns           that they are often the victims
     re-marketed their traditional offer       HOUSING MARKET IMBALANCES                      has grown for over three decades, but             of unscrupulous landlords and
     and augmented it with innovation                                                         most continue to lose adults of working           employers.
     and new activity around creativity,       The physical legacy of the tourist trade       age. The population of seaside towns is
     heritage, culture and other               is the predominance of run-down hotels         disproportionately elderly, and there are
     distinctive agenda. There remains         and guest houses, some of which have           concentrations of vulnerable households
     a consistent demand for domestic          been turned into hostels and HMOs for          in private rented accommodation.
     tourism, which may increase in the        low-income households because they
     light of concerns about the impact        do not meet the demand for family              The Thanet Inquiry carried out in 2005
     of aviation on the environment, but       accommodation.                                 found that the Cliftonville West ward
     many households do not want the                                                          in Margate had over seven times the
     traditional seaside package that          •   Unfit physical fabric. Many seaside         proportion of looked after children as the
     is still being offered in towns which         towns are full of hotels and guest         Kent average, and noted that half of
     are struggling to update their “visitor       houses which served the tourism            these were placed there by authorities
     offer”.                                       trade but are not fit for other uses like   outside the county. BURA describes
•    Low-wage, low-skill job markets.              family accommodation. Many piers,          coastal towns as “dumping grounds
     A consequence of the failure                  arcades and lidos are also run-down        for people facing problems such as
     to diversify is the dominance of              and costly to renew and re-develop.        unemployment, social exclusion and
     low-wage, low-skill jobs in the               The simplest alternative use for a hotel   substance dependency”3.
     declining tourism industry and                or guest house which can no longer
     seasonal industries like fruit picking        attract paying customers is conversion     •   An ageing population. The out-
     and packaging. 31% of working-                into bed-sits and small flats.                  migration of younger households
     age adults in Blackpool and               •   Low demand and low prices.                     and the growth in the care-home
     39% in Skegness have no formal                The prevalence of cheap rental                 industry has created a demographic
     qualifications, compared to the                accommodation has served to                    imbalance, putting a higher burden
     national average of 23%. There is             attract in vulnerable individuals.             on social services. 21% of residents in
     also a reliance in some places on             The poor quality of the stock and              seaside towns are over 65, compared
     public sector jobs – 47% of jobs in           the out-migration of younger                   to the national average of 16%.4




10                                                                                                                                                                                   11
     •     Some areas have also been                      these challenges, in part because local
           stigmatised as a result and struggle           actions are too tightly prescribed by
           to successfully re-brand and market            national priorities which do not take
           what they have to offer.                       account of the particular challenges in
                                                          seaside towns.
     Taken together, this combination of
     factors has created a cycle of decline,              Existing regeneration vehicles are
     as set out in the diagram below. The                 often effective within their own terms
     interplay and relative importance of                 but do not have sufficient resources
     these factors will vary from place to                to intervene at a scale that will alter
     place, but we highlight the lack of                  the fundamental market dynamics.
     economic diversity as the key driver.                They also often lack the capacity
                                                          and infrastructure to bid for and pull
     It is equally important to recognise that            together funding packages, and
     forging a new economic purpose can                   respond to regeneration opportunities
     not be the only answer. Intensive efforts            – skills which are found in other, usually
     are required to tackle severe social                 urban, places which have a longer
     problems in seaside towns such as the                history of regeneration intervention.
     high levels of population transience
     and the chaotic lifestyles of the most               There is no magic bullet for struggling
     excluded residents.                                  seaside towns, but local initiatives
                                                          suggest that there are practical
     Our work in Margate underlined the                   approaches and models of intervention
     fact that mainstream public services                 which can be adapted in other places;
     do not have the capacity to address                  some of these are described below.



                                                                 Weak job market –
                                   Unfit and disinvested
                                                                    low-skilled,
                                     physical fabric
                                                               seasonal employment

         Weak and unbalanced
            housing market

                                    LACK OF ECONOMIC DIVERSITY –
                                                                                  Under-employment and
                                       RELIANCE ON DECLINING
                                                                                     unemployment
                                          TOURISM INDUSTRY

     Transience and in-migration
       of vulnerable households

                                   Low demand and          Localised multiple deprivation
                                      low prices           - low skills, ill-health, incapacity




12                                                                                                       13
     PRACTICAL RESPONSES

     Local authorities, regeneration bodies, and VCS organisations have been working to
     regenerate seaside towns for many years. Here we provide a brief summary of some
     of the approaches they have used.


                                                                                     Creativity as a catalyst
        Strong housing management                                              Nurturing creative and cultural
       Some areas are using the new                                              industries has helped several
   powers in the Housing Act 2004 to                                            seaside towns kick-start a new
    introduce mandatory licensing of                                            type of visitor industry. Tate St.
   HMOs and take quicker action on                                             Ives, opened in 1993, replaced
    removing hazards and improving                  Iconic structures              a derelict gasworks with a
       conditions. This sends a strong            Seaside towns often           contemporary art gallery. In its
      signal to landlords, tenants and             have large, iconic          first seven years, it received 1.2
     surrounding households and can                buildings, piers or         million visitors and now employs
   help build community confidence.               seafronts. Renovating                        69 staff.
   Buying back private units following         them can play a crucial
         inspection also provides an              part in renewing the
   opportunity to help re-balance the           towns tarnished image,
               housing market.
                                               for residents and visitors.     Section 106 and local planning
                                                                                            policies
                                                                              Various methods and levers can
                                                                             be used to increase the proportion
 Improvements from street level                                                 of owner-occupied and social
   Cleaning-up and renovating                                                 housing. Section 106 agreements
     streets and public spaces                                                 can be used to encourage RSLs
 enhances the surroundings and                                                   to purchase privately-rented
re-builds local confidence. Clean                                              properties. Thanet District Council
   sweep days in Margate have                                                 enforced a policy to prevent the
  helped remove environmental                                                  conversion of houses or hotels in
       hazards, transform the                  Tapping rich neighbours        the mnost derpived wards into 1-
appearance of parts of the town                Seaside towns are often                     bed flats.
and involve local residents. Small            concentrated pockets of
 grants have also been given to               deprivation in prosperous
  home-owners to improve their             surroundings. Drawing in these
    property, which has had an            ‘rich neighbours’ – as shoppers,              Re-valuing assets
     immediate visual impact.               day-trippers, or new residents       Many seaside towns are rich
                                         – can revitalise local businesses.        in natural and built assets.
                                         Littlehampton in West Sussex has         Re-assessing their value and
                                          been transformed over the last         re-thinking their potential are
                                          decade from a rundown resort           often pre-requisites to longer-
                                          into a chic seaside destination,            term transformation.
                                               largely through drawing
                                              in residents from affluent,
                                                 neighbouring areas.




     14                                                                                                              15
3.    POLICY RESPONSES



Seaside towns “are the least understood of Britain’s ‘problem’ areas”. There                The Committee criticised the lack of        they are focused on areas with the
have been few targeted policy interventions, and little appreciation of the                 any meaningful liaison and joined-          potential for sustainable economic
particular challenges facing them, creating a “national policy vacuum”5.                    up thinking between different               growth and for private sector investment
                                                                                            departments. CLG has since formed           over the longer term. Improving the
                                                                                            a cross-departmental working group          consistency of appraisal and evaluation
Central government, led by CLG, is            been adapted to take account of the           on issues affecting coastal towns, and      will be a key element of the framework;
looking at ways to sharpen the focus          specific characteristics of seaside towns.     supported the formation of an RDA           ensuring interventions are better
on the specific challenges faced                                                             coastal towns network and the Seaside       targeted on tackling market failures.9”
by seaside towns. The Regeneration            A local housing officer working in             Network of local authorities organised
Framework will be the key test.               Thanet who was interviewed as part of         through BURA.                               The Framework should set out a clearer
                                              CASE’s longitudinal research in 12 low-                                                   rationale and a tighter set of principles
                                              income neighbourhoods, argued that            DCMS have also recently established         and priorities and interventions. These
A CLEARER FOCUS ON SEASIDE TOWNS              the money “allocated to the most unfit         the £45m Sea Change programme               are likely to include:
                                              areas doesn’t help us here; we’re not         to support heritage and culture-led
Seaside towns have not generally              in that category because the buildings        regeneration programmes in coastal          •   a much more tailored and
been regarded as a discrete category          aren’t bad, it’s rather that they’re not fit   resorts.                                        variegated approach to
of place in policy terms. They have           for purpose”7.                                                                                regeneration interventions in
attracted relatively little policy interest                                                                                                 different areas including coastal
and have often been marginal to               More broadly, the House of Commons            THE REGENERATION FRAMEWORK                      towns;
national regeneration initiatives like the    Committee highlighted the poor                                                            •   greater integration and
National Strategy for Neighbourhood           understanding of the specific ways in          The sharpened focus and increased               rationalisation of different
Renewal.                                      which national policies – such as on          networking on seaside and coastal               interventions, to improve impacts
                                              HMOs or the benefits system – impact           issues is important, but the most               and deliver efficiency and value for
In turn, this has meant there have            on coastal towns specifically.                 significant policy development is                money; and
been fewer incentives for developers                                                        the creation of the Regeneration            •   more emphasis on attracting private
and businesses to invest. As Local            A discussion is starting to open up           Framework which will determine the              sector investment, with interventions
Futures have argued, “there has               about the particular financial burdens         type, extent and focus of regeneration          designed to catalyse economic
been a significant urban focus within          borne by struggling seaside towns.            activities in England for the foreseeable       growth and tackle worklessness.
the government’s regeneration and             The House of Commons Committee                future.
renewal agenda, a policy framework            suggested that more work was needed                                                       Focusing on struggling seaside towns
that may exacerbate the challenges            to ensure that “the Revenue Support           Through the Sub-National Review             would clearly fit with the emphasis
for some coastal areas because higher         Grant calculations take into account          of Economic Development and                 on interventions which are “better
levels of investment are going to central     the levels of elderly and transient           Regeneration (SNR), HM Treasury             targeted on tackling market failures”.
urban areas”6.                                populations in an area, and recognise         mandated CLG to deliver:                    According to the Secretary of State for
                                              the geographical variations in demands                                                    Communities and Local Government,
Seaside towns have been the recipient         placed on services by these groups”8.         “A clear framework for regeneration,        Hazel Blears, the framework should
of regeneration funding streams,              Our work in Margate similarly argued          to provide a clearer link between           “facilitate more co-ordinated, cross-
including the Single Regeneration             for a review of the arrangements              neighbourhood renewal and                   government working in coastal towns
Budget rounds, Neighbourhood                  for meeting the costs of vulnerable           wider regeneration and economic             exhibiting significant problems, and
Renewal Fund and the ‘neighbourhood           households which have been placed in          interventions. This will help ensure        identified as a priority for intervention
element’ of the Safer and Stronger            the town.                                     regeneration interventions are co-          on the grounds of market failure or
Communities Fund, but they have not                                                         ordinated with regional strategies so       equity”.




16                                                                                                                                                                             17
THE CASE FOR A TARGETED RESPONSE            While it’s true that different places face
                                            very different challenges and have
Before setting out, in the next section,    diverse ambitions for the future, the
some potential recommendations              gradually emerging evidence base on
for the Regeneration Framework, it’s        seaside towns suggests that they share
worth tackling the question of whether      the underlying features and challenges
the problems in seaside towns merit a       described above.
targeted response.
                                            The second aspect is whether the
This is particularly important in light     problems in seaside towns are ‘unique
of the broader discussion within            enough’ to merit a specific and
government about the value of place-        tailored policy response, given that the
based interventions. Would a specific        problems found in seaside towns – weak
programme of seaside interventions, in      housing markets, population transience,
whatever form, actually distract from       limited job prospects – are found in
the core task of attracting more private    many other kinds of struggling areas.
investment and getting mainstream
public services to raise their game? This   The interplay of these factors within the
is the concern of some in government,       specific seaside context (including the
based on the perception that “special       legacy of tourist infrastructure and the
programmes” create a focus on small         physical limitations on growth) does
pots of money and lead to tensions          back up BURA’s point that “seaside
between service providers and               towns are unique in the complex way
communities over ‘who is getting what’.     that social issues converge in them”11.

The first aspect of this question is         In summary, although there are
whether seaside towns can be                significant gaps in our knowledge of
logically grouped together as a             the conditions and problems in seaside
discrete category of places. Professor      towns, individually and collectively,
Peter Roberts suggests that within the      there is a growing consensus that they
broader category of coastal towns, the      face a common and distinctive set of
“only truly common feature is that of       challenges which in the words of the
location – on the coast”10. CLG’s first      Select Committee “warrant government
response to the Select Committee was        action”12.
also premised on the argument that
there was no “standard definition” of
coastal towns and there were as many
differences between them as there
were similarities.




18                                                                                       19
4.     RECOMMENDATIONS FOR THE REGENERATION FRAMEWORK



Si has worked with CLG to develop the Framework over the past twelve
months, and we are currently facilitating a programme of engagement
with a range of stakeholders.


We set out below three draft recommendations, drawn from our work in Margate, for
the discussion at the Policy Roundtable

1. HMT and CLG should identify ways to better support areas which contain
   disproportionately large numbers of elderly, vulnerable and transient households.

     This could be achieved by reforms to the existing formula and grant mechanisms.

2. The new Homes and Communities Agency should lead local partners, including
   RDAs, developers and RSLs, to implement seaside housing market renewal
   interventions, at a scale that will alter the underlying housing market dynamics.

     This will often include some element of re-modelling the existing stock through
     renovation and clearance, with the overall purpose of increasing the proportion of
     desirable and sustainable homes for owner-occupation.

3. Officer teams from local public services, working with and through local voluntary
   and community groups, should invest in intensive programmes of outreach and
   support, targeted at the most vulnerable “high cost, high harm” families.

     This would involve complex packages of support in each individual case, bringing
     together a range of specific interventions and advice services.

These recommendations would redress the financial burden on seaside towns, provide
an opportunity to make a lasting difference to local housing markets, and support the
most complex and vulnerable families.




20                                                                                        21
5.     APPENDIX - LESSONS FROM THE MARGATE RENEWAL STUDY



Shared Intelligence was commissioned by the Margate Renewal Partnership                     community groups and voluntary sector      list of footnotes
to carry out a study of the drivers of deprivation in Margate Central and                   organisations, we developed a seven
                                                                                                                                       1
Cliftonville West wards and make recommendations on future regeneration                     point action plan:                              The Seaside Economy – The final report of
                                                                                                                                            the seaside towns research project, Stephen
activity to tackle deprivation in a sustainable and holistic way.                           1. Regenerate the centre of Margate
                                                                                                                                            Fothergill and Christine Beatty, Centre for
                                                                                                                                            Regional Economic and Social Research,
                                                                                               and improve the public realm                 2003
The key issues facing the two wards were:      Thanet District Council has supported        2. Diversify the local economy and         2    The Social Challenges of the Seaside, BURA,
                                               this by tackling conditions in some of          create jobs                                  2007
                                                                                                                                       3    The Social Challenges of the Seaside, BURA,
•    Historic dependency on a declining        the worst HMOs, and improving the            3. Rebalance the housing market and
     tourism sector and a fragile economic     conditions and management of private            improve housing management and               2007
                                                                                                                                       4    England’s Coastal Towns – A short review of
     base – over 1,000 jobs were lost in the   sector accommodation through the                condition
                                                                                                                                            the issues, evidence base and research needs,
     two wards between 2003 and 2006;          housing renewal team. Thanet DC and          4. Develop an integrated approach to            Stephen Fothergill, 2008
•    A profoundly unbalanced housing           Kent County Council have also worked            worklessness and skills, and provide    5    Coastal Towns, Second report of session
     market with high and increasing levels    together to diversify the economy and           additional support for vulnerable            2006-07, House of Commons Communities
     of private rented properties, and         create new jobs across the District.            groups                                       and Local Government Committee, 2007
     benefit dependant households;                                                           5. Reduce the flow of vulnerable people     6    North / South Divide by the Seaside, The
•    The in-migration of economic              These interventions have not, however,          moving or being placed into the              Guardian, Wednesday 12th September 2007
                                                                                                                                       7
     migrants and the placement of             fundamentally tackled the key drivers of        wards and provide good support for           CASE report 29 - ‘The future’s changed’:
                                                                                                                                            local impacts of housing, environment and
     looked after children and other           decline in Margate:                             arrivals
                                                                                                                                            regeneration policy since 1997, CASE, 2005
     vulnerable groups;                                                                     6. Provide co-ordinated and                8    Coastal Towns, Second report of session
•    Entrenched and interlinked cycles of      •   The economy remains over-reliant            personalised support to residents            2006-07, House of Commons Communities
     deprivation, ill health and incapacity,       on public services and the declining     7. Engage local residents in the renewal        and Local Government Committee, 2007
     and worklessness – over a third of            tourism sector                              programme and support community         9    Review of sub-national economic
     working age residents in the two          •   Housing improvement work has                development                                  development and regeneration, HM
     wards are out of work and claiming            been on too limited a scale to                                                           Treasury, 2007
                                                                                                                                       10 The  Social Challenges of the Seaside, BURA,
     benefit, more than three times the             fundamentally shift the balance in the   Each of these points was underpinned
     regional rate; and                            housing market;                          by a specific set of practical                   2007
                                                                                                                                       11    The Social Challenges of the Seaside, BURA,
•    A lack of social cohesion within          •   Significant numbers of vulnerable         recommendations. The Margate
                                                                                                                                            2007
     and between older and newer                   adults and children from outside         Renewal Partnership is currently           12    Coastal Towns, Second report of session
     communities, and high levels of crime         Thanet continue to be placed in the      working with partners to implement the          2006-07, House of Commons Communities
     – recorded crime in Margate Central           district;                                recommendations.                                and Local Government Committee, 2007
     is four times the Thanet average.         •   National and local programmes
                                                   to tackle unemployment and
In response, the Margate Renewal                   deprivation have not improved the
Partnership has brought partners together          relative position of the wards; and
to transform the physical fabric of            •   Crime rates remain high and local
the town centre in order to re-create              perceptions of service provision low.
Margate as a modern visitor destination
and a thriving economic centre with            Through consultation with a wide range
a stable and prosperous residential            of stakeholders and partners, from
population.                                    central government departments to local




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