IF there ever was a prize for one of the most picturesque areas in Britain the leafy district of Harrogate, North Yorkshire would certainly make the shortlist.

Attractive, well maintained, litter-free, jobs-a-plenty and no visible signs of deprivation.

Yet works and pensions secretary Amber Rudd has decided this pretty town would be the perfect place to pilot the horror show they call Universal Credit (UC).

UC was first launched in 2013 by Iain Duncan Smith to a fanfare of trumpets, but has descended into a trumpet of raspberries.

Poverty, debt, foodbanks, cruel and pointless benefits sanctions and the rapid removal of working tax credits are all born of Universal Credit.

UC is the true enemy of the poor and vulnerable.

It has been rolled out in such an amateurish way the government have now decided to introduce a major pilot scheme in Harrogate.

But what will this prove? Testing a controversial reform in one of Britain’s most affluent towns may be playing it safe, but tells us nothing about the real dangers a full scale roll out will cause.

Stephen Dixon, Redcar