35% of children live in poverty in Grimsby. The once prosperous fishing port on the Humber has become one of the most deprived areas to live in England: its people need help. 


Out of every town in England, Grimsby has experienced the biggest fall in the number of active healthy years and that’s not by accident; funding in the north fell 9%, three times as fast as the south.


Who’s to blame? The answer is complicated. Grimsby was a Labour constituency until 2019, experiencing £60 million regressions in council budgets a year, the result of the ruling Conservatives’ policy of shrinking funding amid a decade of Labour policies to grow funding.


Grimsby is now the most impoverished it has ever been. The gap in life expectancy between it and wealthy English areas is the same as the gap between Britain and Sudan.


Labour’s response: Conservative controlled Westminster ‘hamstrung’ the party, implementing economic austerity to limit government spending. Grimsby’s response: swinging to the Conservatives for the first time in 74 years to secure funding from those with a majority in parliament.


But conservatism in its nature is strict on funding, the outcome of this political shift won’t be what this town needs, what towns across the country need: £3 billion to fill the funding void from the last decade.

It’s not humane that 43,000 go into debt to afford food. It’s not humane that 10% struggle to pay for basic utilities. It’s not humane that among this economic crisis, the council closes half the family hubs to save money: Grimsby deserves better. But Grimsby is not alone, the rest of Britain deserves better. 




Particularly, Grimsby’s child services have been starved: “wildly inaccurate” budget expectations amid the children’s care crisis have resulted in more than 7000 children falling into poverty. The conservative council leader, Phillip Jackson, dismisses claims the £2.2 billion funding drop is the reason for the childcare catastrophe, instead citing reliance on temporary staff as reason for ‘inadequate’ services. 


Childcare staffing issues have gotten so bad that South African workers have been flown into Grimsby, keeping what’s left of the service alive. Again, a nationwide issue with 9800 fewer childcare workers in 2022 than in 2019. 


Yet leaders that should be tackling these issues directly have other priorities. That being a 72ft metal palm tree which would’ve cost £170,000 if it hadn’t been cancelled.


MPs aren’t much help either: Lia Nici promised to “improve our public services” then voted against funding of public services. She pledged a “brilliant future” for Grimsby then opposed the £20 universal credit uplift, which would’ve continued to assist households through the pandemic. 


In response to criticism, she told people on Universal Credit to get “better paid jobs” or work “more hours”, in a town where three people chase a job vacancy for one person, a figure three times higher than the national average. 


What can be done? It’s complex but it starts with you voting. Voting against Grimsby’s plummeting standards of living, failing services and sky-high poverty rates and voting for a new, healthy, prosperous future along the Humber.