AUDIO:Let’s see a special team set up to tackle problems of Waterlees says Virginia

WISBECH councillor Virginia Bucknor has called for a special team to be set up to tackle issues on the Waterlees estate.

She told BBC Radio Cambridgeshire today that a new report had shown the estate to have dropped even lower in the wards of the UK’s most deprived wards.

“It would be foolish not to ignore these statistics,” she said.

Cllr Bucknor, an independent town and district councillor, said both she and her councillor husband have lived in the area for 25 years “and we’re happy and have lovely neighbours.”

However she said when she was elected last year she was surprised by the statistics which showed the deprivation in the ward.

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She said money had been given locally to help but small individual projects “are clearly not reaping a desired affect.”

What is needed, she said, is a team charged with developing a vision to drastically improve Waterlees which is now in the 10 per cent of most deprived wards in the country. Previously it had been in the bottom 20 per cent of deprived wards.

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“These statistics are just unacceptable and shameful,” said Cllr Bucknor.

Town and county councillor Samantha Hoy disagreed, arguing that Cllr Bucknor often sat on the sidelines and did not get involved.

Chris Stevens, Oasis centre manager, told the BBC she saw problems every day with high unemployment an issue along with literacy.

“Deprivation has never changed, it’s always been pretty bad,” she said. “People miss out.”

Resident Pat Brown said she had lived there for 40 years and once you tell people you live in a deprived area it had a knock on effect.

Another resident, Alan Lay, said he was surprised by the findings since he had not seen in any real way an area he felt was socially deprived.

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