Jaywick has been branded as a "national disgrace" after being listed as the third most deprived area in England.

The Brooklands and Grasslands area of the ailing resort was listed as the 102nd worst area in the country in 2004, but in a recently-updated Government index, it has risen to the third-worst.

The list of the 50 worst Lower Super Output Areas (LSOA) was drawn up from among 32,482 deprived areas.

Only the Speke ward in Liverpool and the Harpurhey ward in Manchester are considered to be more deprived.

In an e-mail obtained by the Gazette, an Essex County Council planning and regeneration officer said: "Worryingly, the 2007 figures are based on the same approach, structure and methodology used to create the 2004 data.

"However, there are two additional subsets of data included under the income deprivation domain - income deprivation affecting children, and income deprivation affecting older people - that has meant the scores for Jaywick have got much worse.

"That said, I suspect things have deteriorated anyway on most elements of the index."

Neil Stock, leader of the Conservative group on Tendring Council, said Jaywick's poor listing has been caused due to mismanagement by local authorities.

David Lines, leader of Tendring Council, hit back at Mr Stock's claims and said the regeneration of Jaywick would need to be taken in partnership with a number of groups.

Stephen Castle, Essex County Council cabinet member for economic development and regeneration, said: "Essex County Council is committed to working with the community to improve the lives of the people living in Jaywick.

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