Seaside resorts continue to grapple with insolvency

Bankruptcy Blog Insolvency

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Some of the country’s most picturesque resorts have the worst levels of debt of anywhere in the country, the Insolvency Service has confirmed.

The latest figures show that the financial pressures facing those who live in seaside towns are considerable.

The Isle of Wight – known for its verdant landscape and connections to historical figures including Queen Victoria and Alfred Lord Tennyson – has the highest number of insolvencies among young adults.

It is followed by Torbay, in Devon, and Scarborough, in North Yorkshire.

Nationwide, the number of 18 to 34-year-olds who became insolvent in 2016 was up by almost a third compared with figures for the previous 12 months.

Coastal communities tend to face the greatest hardship because a great proportion of the population are in low-paid jobs or have to rely on seasonal work tied up with the tourism trade.

In a special report on the challenges that some families face, the BBC spoke to a young couple on the Isle of Wight who have joint debts of around £30,000.

They have notched up £7,000 in credit card debts and also owe a considerable sum in council tax. At one stage they were living off just eggs, bread and milk, as it was the only food they could afford.

The young man, who works in the construction trade, is now in the process of declaring himself bankrupt, while his wife has applied for a Debt Relief Order (DRO).

Sandra Snell, who works as a debt counsellor for the island’s Christians Against Poverty charity, said that there were particular difficulties in this type of community.

“People are expected to live on nothing,” she said. “In the season there’ll be more work because of the tourist trade.

“Some people will slot into jobs, whether it’s cleaning the chalets or waiting on tables; then when the season comes to an end, they’re back to square one, and they’ve got no