Seaside towns like Cleethorpes need to be “redesigned for modern age”, claims Chris Whitty
England’s chief medical officer, Professor Chris Whitty, has claimed seaside towns like Cleethorpes need to be “redesigned for the modern age” in a bid to combat deprivation and health inequalities.
He said many coastal towns in the country were built around industries like tourism and fishing that have since collapsed over the past 100 years.
Professor Whitty also claimed that towns such as Cleethorpes and Skegness have “really significant deprivation” – and that attention must focus on “how we can re-invent them for the new era”, the BBC reports.
He said: “One of the things we need to do with all of them is take a long-term view of how we recreate a sense of excitement that you had along the coast when these towns were first produced.”
This comes after he published a report in June that highlighted the “overlooked” issues in coastal towns, which tend to have lower life expectancies and higher rates of poor health.
He also claimed that coastal towns have more in common with each other than their in-land neighbours.
He said: “These are really wonderful places, but alongside the beautiful areas on the coastline and some of the resort areas, very close to them you can often have areas of really significant deprivation.”
Shared issues included poor housing and transport connections, he claimed.
He also said that it could be “difficult” to attract staff from the healthcare sector to coastal towns, while there were limited educational and employment opportunities.
The chief medical officer said a solution could be to focus medical training colleges in deprived towns.
Despite Professor Whitty’s comments, Cleethorpes has received praise in recent years for its new additions – with the new state-of-the-art watersports centre by Ebb & Flo having been officially approved just last week.