Election 2019

General election 2019: Jaywick voters outline concerns

Jaywick seafront
Image caption Some Jaywick residents feel the village has been largely 'forgotten about' by those in power

Deprivation is a swear word for many who live in Jaywick, the village labelled England's most deprived area three times in a row. People here will tell you of a kind of wealth they have in spades - neighbourliness. They look out for one another in Jaywick. Do they expect the same from their eventual MP?

"There are places all over the country that are forgotten about it, and Jaywick is one of them," says Lynn Purton. "Too much attention goes to the big money places like London."

Her view of a Jaywick largely overlooked by the powers that be was one echoed by most of those who spoke to the BBC.

The village is part of the Clacton constituency which since 2010 has been held by either the Conservatives or UKIP. Home to more than 4,500 people, Jaywick was once a popular holiday destination for people living in Essex and east London.

Many of the houses in Jaywick were originally built in the 1930s as temporary holiday homes. After World War Two, those properties became permanent homes which are still in use to this day.

Nearly everybody who spoke to the BBC voted to leave the EU. But will they be voting in December's election?

Image caption Lynn Purton says she might not vote in this year's election

Mrs Purton lives in a two-bedroom, single-storey, pebble-dashed home in the Brooklands area of Jaywick. She says although she and her husband Ted usually vote, this time around she's not so sure.

"With this election, nothing takes my fancy," she says. "I've listened to the all the political parties and there's nothing in there that makes me want to vote."

Asked what might attract her cross on a ballot paper, Mrs Purton, who suffers with Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD), offers a short list.

"If they are really interested in making things better here we need lots of investment, better housing and tougher regulations on landlords," she says. "Oh, and a new GP surgery closer to me would be nice."

Image caption Jaywick was originally created as a seaside holiday resort for Ford workers

Down from the Brooklands area towards what residents call the "village" is a smattering of businesses, including an amusement arcade, convenience store and a fish-and-chip shop.

In front of the bar of the Broadway Social Club is Paul Galley, who has lived in Jaywick for 20 years.

He will not, he says, be voting.

"It isn't going to change anything so there's not a lot of point in voting really," he says.

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The key issue for Mr Galley has been what he sees as the wane of the union movement and protections for workers.

He explains how his own overnight pay was "dropped" by an employer without consultation.

"There was no talk about it all, it was just done," he says. "We used to have strong unions and workers' rights. That will never come back and besides, we haven't got any industry really any more."

Image caption The key issue for Paul Galley is what he sees as the wane of the union movement and protections for workers

Keen guitarist Al Clark moved to Jaywick seven years ago with his wife Rosina. They now live in the village in a two-storey home off Broadway.

Mr Clark says he knows exactly what it would take to catch his vote.

"Whoever comes up and says we're going to get the dole queues down and give the youngsters an education through national service," he says, "will, I think, get loads of votes."

Mr Clark wants tougher policing and a stronger sense of community.

"The youngsters are 'lippy' and there's no control over them," he adds.

"The easiest way out of it is to put them in the Army in national service. These youngsters are bored. Put them in the Army for two years or so and they'll get a bit of education, discipline and they'll learn some skills and come out a better person.

"Whether you like it or not, we need laws.

"People have lost confidence in one another, they don't want to help you. You could get a guy fall over in the road and people will walk by him. It is terrible. What's gone wrong with people today?"

Mr Clark, whose home sits about 300ft (100m) from the sea, is equally concerned about the risk of flooding, both locally and nationally.

The danger of flooding is an ever-present threat in Jaywick. In 1953, 35 villagers died during a North Sea storm surge.

"Why hasn't somebody done something?" asks Mr Clark. "These rivers that keep flooding, well they either need dredging or go into a reservoir or something, because give it a few months and we will be in a drought.

"It just seems nobody is giving a damn, whoever is in power, whether it is Conservative or Labour or whatever. Nothing is being done and it is disgusting."

Image caption Al Clark said if a political party proposed a return of national service it would get his vote

Back at the social club is another recent incomer to Jaywick, Margaret Johnston. She moved to the Essex coast less than two years ago.

A former council worker in Hertfordshire, Ms Johnston wants to see better enforcement of the law - especially around environmental infringements such as dog fouling and fly-tipping.

"There are abandoned cars lying in the street and nobody seems to take ownership," says Ms Johnston.

She wants whoever gets her vote to champion the idea of a credit union specifically for Jaywick.

Credit unions are financial co-operatives controlled by its members and run on the principle of people helping people. The district of Tendring, which includes Jaywick, is currently covered by the Colchester Credit Union.

Ms Johnston, who claims too many people are taken advantage of my unscrupulous lenders, wants one just for Jaywick.

"This place is ripe for a credit union that encourages people to save and allows them to borrow sensibly," she says.

Image caption Dave Davis said he would vote for the Jaywick Bewildered party - if it existed

Dave Davis, a social club regular, says if somebody set up a party called "Jaywick Bewildered" he would probably vote for them.

"I do sometimes vote," he says. "But half the time they [politicians] don't do what they say they are going to do, so I give up.

"I honestly don't know what it would take to get me to vote until it hits me in the face."

Whether or not a policy will be put forward that piques the interest of the likes of Mr Davis, Mr Galley or Mrs Purton, only time will.

Image caption The danger of flooding is an ever-present threat in Jaywick

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