The other day, I sat on the beach, had a few cans & watched the tides.
November 16, 2017 5:05 AM   Subscribe

People in Blackpool can’t afford to wait for central government to fix their problems. [Dr] Rajpura fizzes with energy as he talks about how the town is trying to break out of its vicious circle. When Sainsbury’s built a store in the town, “the fantastic manager, Ian” worked with the council to get local residents into the jobs. It says a lot about the director of public health’s approach that he is on first-name terms with the manager of the local Sainsbury’s. “I’ve not talked about health services at all, have I?” he exclaims, half an hour into our conversation. “[That’s because] 80% of health is determined outside the health service” - The Financial Times meets the people of Blackpool, one of England's fastest growing, and fastest declining towns.

For Jonathan Portes, chief economist at the DWP [Department of Work and Pensions] between 2002 and 2008, the lack of a plan was, in retrospect, part of the problem. “There’s an argument for saying you can’t do [welfare reform] separately from having some sort of place-based economic strategy as well — and we never really had that,” he says. “Just telling them, ‘Well there’s 5,000 new jobs in London every week, and people seem to find it perfectly easy to move 1,600 miles from rural Romania to take one of these jobs, so why can’t you move 200 miles from Blackpool?’ — it’s true but it sort of ignores the social context.”

When I ask Chris Hopkins whether he would leave, he thinks back to life in his old town, where the shutters for all the shops came down at 5pm and he would spend the rest of the night alone in his flat. “But I’ve come to Blackpool and there’s always something on. At least I can walk out my door and go into the town and put 10p in the console machine, or go and sit on the beach. The other day, I went and sat on the beach and had a couple of cans, just playing my music, watching the tide come back in,” he says. “I enjoyed myself.”
posted by ambrosen (1 comment total)

This post was deleted for the following reason: I'm sorry but FT's paywall is unforgiving, so this is probably not going to work. -- goodnewsfortheinsane

This is paywalled for me. I don't know if enough MeFites subscribe to the Financial Times to get a good discussion going!
posted by ArbitraryAndCapricious at 5:17 AM on November 16, 2017 [2 favorites]

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