NEW figures have revealed insolvency rates in the coastal town of Scarborough are the highest in the country. The shock statistics show rates in the North East, Yorkshire and the Humber and the North West are the worst in England and Wales. The insolvency trade body R3 says the statistics are a stark reminder of the continuing North South divide.

The results are for 2019 and show 453 people insolvent in Scarborough, a rate of 50.8 per 10,000. The lowest was in Westminster with 8.2 per 10,000. It's feared numbers will soar following the pandemic. Leeds barrister Eleanor Temple, Chair of R3 said eight out of the ten local authorities with the highest rates are in coastal areas.

She added:"With higher personal insolvency rates a symptom of wider deprivation, it is concerning that a town in our region now has the highest rates of personal insolvencies across the whole of England and Wales.

"The statistics are a stark reminder of the continuing North South divide with the North East, the North West and Yorkshire and the Humber ranked as the three regions with the highest levels of personal insolvency. The endemic hardships being faced across the North once again highlight the need for debt advice services to be targeted and tailored for people living in less affluent areas.

"Unfortunately, the disruption and economic fall-out caused by the pandemic is likely to hit people in these areas the hardest. After decades of industrial decline, employment was already more precarious and with hospitality and retail suffering from the Covid-19 lockdown, these type of jobs are likely to be in short supply, and we expect to see even more disturbing figures."