Councillor hits back at Jaywick jibes
IT has been dubbed "the Brixton of Essex" and was described in a recent novel as the "a***hole of the universe."But now a veteran councillor has leapt to the defence of one of Tendring's most deprived areas.
IT has been dubbed "the Brixton of Essex" and was described in a recent novel as the "a***hole of the universe."
But now a veteran councillor has leapt to the defence of one of Tendring's most deprived areas.
Jaywick, with its ramshackle appearance, unmade roads and shanty-town style buildings, can seem unappealing to some.
High unemployment, poor sanitation and the danger of flooding have left the area near the bottom of estate agents' lists for some time.
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But according to 76-year-old Roy Smith, who represents the village at both a district and council level, what Jaywick lacks in infrastructure it more than makes up for with its population.
"The most important thing in Jaywick is its people. It's a very close-knit community and everyone is very caring. I have had dozens of letters from people who have left the village and then become miserable. They miss the closeness of Jaywick."
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Mr Smith was particularly scathing about a soon-to-be published guidebook called Crap Towns: The 50 Worst Places to Live in the UK.
In it, Jaywick picks up a particularly bad review – along with its residents. "More a collection of tin shacks than an actual town, Jaywick started life as a series of beach huts cowering under the 20-foot sea wall and populated through the summer months by the dregs of East End London, and has gradually been extended," the entry reads.
"There are no roads, just alleyways with the obligatory grass median and the occasional wider dirt-track.
"The less said about the inhabitants the better, except that none of them would look out of place on the seedier episodes of the Jerry Springer Show. You can almost hear the banjos playing as you drive in."
Mr Smith said: "I think it's disgraceful people should write things like that without getting their facts right. It undermines the area and brings it a bad reputation.
"A lot of people who live here are low incomes, and some are elderly and have come from living in London. They do appreciate the environment and the fresh air, which is very valuable for people who have been in smoke all their lives."
Mr Smith added that there were problems with Jaywick's infrastructure, but these were gradually being addressed.
"We do need vast investment. The byroads do not have drains, or streetlights, or footpaths. When it rains some of those roads are more like a boating lake.
"However, the majority of homes in the Brooklands area do have sewerage.
"Some of the residencies in Jaywick are like palaces. They upgrade them."