Our seaside town is the UK's 'most deprived' and could be DESTROYED – but we won't leave | The Sun

RESIDENTS in the UK's "most deprived" seaside town have revealed how it could be destroyed – but insist they won't leave.

Brits living in deprived Jaywick in Essex are just metres from the sea – with high tides kept at bay by three miles of sea wall from West Clacton to Cocketwick.

One local councillor has told how the entire area could be underwater if those defences fail.

But residents told Sun Online they won't be leaving the homes they've spent years building their lives in.

Local councillor Dan Casey told Sun Online: "Whenever we've done evacuations in the past only a couple of hundred go, the rest stay.

"We can't force them to leave. That's the really frightening thing.

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"Let's put it this way, we live without a shadow of a doubt in a flood zone. It is a massive risk.

"There are up to 1,000 people at risk and the frail and elderly don't stand a chance."

The last serious flood in the area was 1953, when 35 people died.

Mr Casey's brother was one of the survivors.

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He added: "In 2014 the sea got to three inches from top of the wall. The only property there is a garage, the homes there have been there for 90 years.

"The construction is not the greatest, it's not going to withstand the force of water.

"The sea has gotten scarily high four or five times in last few years and we do have an evacuation point in a school.

"But you only get a couple of hundred that will go. The rest stay. You can't force people to go. That’s the frightening thing. They won't use the facilities."

In 2013, sea water came within two and a half centimetres of topping the sea wall. 

But residents have now told Sun Online they aren't afraid, and won't be driven out of their homes by flooding.

Mum-of-two Daisy Miguel, 24, said: “Obviously if it rose to a certain level then yes I’d be worried. But it hasn’t so far so no I’m not bothered. I’ve been here for three years.

"We’re looking to move. It’s not a nice area. I have two little ones. One’s three in September and the other’s two in August.

"I don’t want them growing up around here. To be honest it is really rough. Everyone’s ready for a fight.”

Mum-of-three Chantel Lyons, 31, said "no one can take me out of my home",

She added: “We had flood alerts last time and I never left my house. I’m not leaving my house. I’ve been here 15 years. There haven’t been any floods here.

"If it happens and I’m in the situation I’ll just see what happens. Until that happens no one can take me out of my home."

Others are keen to get out of the area, but feel trapped by poverty.

Linda Field, 71, said: “You’ve got drunkards, druggies everything here. The flood risk really scares me. I’m desperate to leave.”

Michelle, 47, who didn’t want to give her surname, said: “I’ve only been here since November. I had no idea the area was a flood risk.

"My partner’s sister has been here six years and last year they had to be evacuated because of the weather but I didn't think much about it.

"The people who haven’t got money for a deposit have to live here. We don’t have a choice but to stay, it’s scary.”

Her pal, who wouldn’t be named, added: “I’ve only been here a couple of months but whenever I used to visit the sea did get really high. It would be up as far as the wall and lashing over.

"It splashed against the wall. We’re not many houses away. It’s so hard to get a house. It’d be impossible to leave. Now we’ve got this I can’t imagine losing it.”

Another resident, who wouldn’t be named, said: “I don’t believe it’ll flood here. I’ve been here 45 years. I think 1950 was the last big flood. I won’t leave my home. I could live anywhere in the world but this is the place for me. I love it here.”

The town was named the most deprived neighbourhood in England for a third time in 2019, according to the Ministry of Housing.

And last year it became overran with disease – with an outbreak of canine parvovirus killing at least a dozen dogs.

For years, Jaywick has been blighted by documentaries that paint the 5,000-strong community as dossers, boozed-up benefits claimants and thugs.

The area famously featured in the Channel 5 series Benefits By The Sea in 2015 and 2016 about the struggles of its residents on the breadline.

Its reputation was further tarnished when a defender of then-President Donald Trump used an image of a rundown part of Jaywick in a poverty campaign.

The poster, which was made by politician Nick Stella, read: “Only YOU can stop this from becoming REALITY… Help President Trump keep America on track and thriving.”

A United Nations expert also visited the village in 2018, and highlighted the plight of its residents in his report about “extreme poverty” in the UK.

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However, residents love living there and insist locals are the "friendliest and kindest people in the world”.

And despite the area’s rough reputation Jaywick was voted as the fifth best place to live in England in a poll earlier this year.

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