A case of fantasy accounting?

When I read the report ranking Hastings 13th most deprived town in the UK, up from 20th most deprived in 2010, (Observer, October 16) I believed it.

So much money has been wasted here – so many empty offices, boarded-up retail spaces, deserted industrial estates; tourist trade in decline, schools and hospitals in special measures, people living on the beach; dog faeces on the streets, suicide rates above the national average.

But no, council leader Chowney (Observer, November 6), while recognising that ‘parts of St Leonards, Hollington, Tressell, Baird and Ore all rank in the most deprived three per cent nationally, we should ‘celebrate the whole town’ improvements, and the ‘benefits regeneration is bringing’.

No-one does fantasy accounting better than Hastings Borough Council and its collaborators at Sea Space and Sea Change. So many of its projects underperform, sometimes absurdly, often laughably so. With tax-payers picking up the tab.

The recently adopted local plan promises more of the same. In five years we’ll have made the top ten most deprived towns in the UK.

Things can only get worse.

Ivan Burge

Tower Road West

St Leonards

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