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Starving Town In Devon Living Off Food Handouts

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A shocking snapshot of Britain: The small town where more than 50 families rely on free food handouts so they don't starve

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1366062/A-shocking-snapshot-Britain-The-small-town-50-families-rely-free-food-handouts-dont-starve.html

In the heart of rural Devon, with the dramatic heights of Dartmoor rising behind it, the town of Okehampton would appear to offer an idyllic lifestyle.

The reality could not be more different. Here, surrounded by rolling countryside and picturesque thatched villages, lies a snapshot of the havoc and hardship the economic downturn is wreaking on Britain.

Shockingly, more than 50 families in this town are relying on food handouts to keep them from starving.

Recent multiple business closures mean that the situation is going from bad to worse. Hundreds who lost their jobs are now living under the poverty line and are struggling to feed and clothe their families.

Local vicar the Reverend Barry Walton, delivering food parcels to the needy, said: 'People are going hungry - that is not an exaggeration.'

The town's food bank, started by the council a few years ago to send aid to families in Romania and Bulgaria, is now a lifeline for more than 200 people in Okehampton itself.

Organisers say they're running low on supplies - which are donated by individuals, clubs, and even schools - as more families affected by the recent redundancies are forced to rely on the scheme.

More than 300 workers have been laid off in the past month by three Okehampton companies: the Robert Wiseman milk factory, Browns chocolate factory and Polestar desserts have all either closed down or been relocated.

The jobless figure in the town - population 7,000 - has jumped from 1.9 per cent to more than 11 per cent. Okehampton mayor Michael Morse said that the community was still reeling: 'It is a shock. We've never had anything like this happen before.'

Worried: Councillor Mike Davies, who said: 'How are people going to live? There is a mood of genuine fear'

Worried: Councillor Mike Davies, who said: 'How are people going to live? There is a mood of genuine fear'

Former mayor and town councillor Kay Bickley, who helped start the food bank three years ago, said: 'In the past four weeks we've have had in excess of 4,000 kilos of food donated and roughly the same going out.'

She said: 'The people of Okehampton have pride and want to work but circumstances have led a lot of families into a devastating situation.'

She said of the food bank, which was originally set up as past of the Trussle Trust: 'The Baptist church is the actual distribution point. People go in there anyway - no one would be stigmatised by going in and out - although we don't give out the food in boxes, we put it in bags like you'd find in a shop.

'It takes a lot of courage to admit you are struggling financially and we don't want people to feel stigmatised. A lot of the time when people come in they see their old friends from the factory floor and it can actually have quite a real community feel.

'One of the most upsetting things I have seen is when two parents were both employed by the factories. One of the factories, which went into administration six weeks ago, didn't pay its employees for the last two weeks so some families have been two months with no income.

'It can take a while to sort out benefits you are entitled to, so in the meantime they are forced to live on handouts.'

Mrs Bickley said: 'We were expecting something unpleasant to happen - what we weren't expecting was to find over 11 per cent of the working population made redundant.

Mary and Nick Wonnacott both worked for Polestar for more than 15 years before losing their jobs last month. They described the food bank as a 'Godsend' without which they could not have managed.

Mrs Wonnacott said: 'We've had four weeks where we've had to manage with no income at all, so this has been a wonderful boon for us.'

Councillor Mike Davies, who helps run the food bank, said: 'For many people in this town at the moment there is simply no money coming in. How are they going to pay the rent or the mortgage? How are they going to live. There is a mood of genuine fear in the town at the moment.'

Another volunteer, Andrew Morgan, said: 'We are still appealing for food. It is desperately needed, some staff made redundant hadn't been paid for weeks - there really are people with no money and they really can't put food on the table.'

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But, but, but, surely the private sector is going to mop up redundant public sector workers???

It will.*

* Providing they are not entitled, whiny, unionite troublemakers who get a rash at the prospect of actually being productive and self-reliant.

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This is staggering news,

The desperately sad results of an invisible Tsunami, caused by decades of inept governance and bankster greed.

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If benefits doesnt cover it then its time for a business decision which is to downsize to what benefits would cover.

Not pleasant becuase people get emotionaly attached to property especially females ;) but its all about adapting to change.

Its an unfortunate situation but when push comes to shove tough times call for tough decisions.

Adapting to change is great when there is an alternative . However I think you will find in places like this there is no cheap housing rented or bought . All part of the lack of supply and wealthy people buying up what little stock there is.

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300 redundancies in a town with a population of 7,000, less than half of whom will be in the workforce.... and this will probably lead to several hundred more job losses as redundant Okehampton residents rein in their spending to the minimum.

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300 redundancies in a town with a population of 7,000, less than half of whom will be in the workforce.... and this will probably lead to several hundred more job losses as redundant Okehampton residents rein in their spending to the minimum.

Oh well no problem Harry !!

just looks like a job for CCC . These lazy feckers in Okehampton need to log on here and talk with him , he will explain to them how to try harder and find some work . Remember his saying there is always work for those who try the hardest.

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'It can take a while to sort out benefits you are entitled to, so in the meantime they are forced to live on handouts.'

That's the thing that shocks me. Scroungers think that claiming the benefits they are "entitled" to isn't living on handouts.

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That's the thing that shocks me. Scroungers think that claiming the benefits they are "entitled" to isn't living on handouts.

If your car catches fire and you claim on the insurance, are you a scrounger?

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I shop in Okehampton. The town has doubled in size the past decade and now looks like a Lego estate and they're still building! I'd say the majority there are very wealthy.

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If your car catches fire and you claim on the insurance, are you a scrounger?

If the government collects taxes and then gives you some, then you are a scrounger.

If the government gives you the right to raise your own taxes, then you are a hard working buy to let entrepreneur.

Which part of this is difficult to understand?

In the first case, the government pays you to do nothing using money it took from us. In the second case, we pay you to do nothing or else the government will take money from us.

Do you see?

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If benefits doesnt cover it then its time for a business decision which is to downsize to what benefits would cover.

Not pleasant becuase people get emotionaly attached to property especially females ;) but its all about adapting to change.

Its an unfortunate situation but when push comes to shove tough times call for tough decisions.

Yep. I suspect some will have to cancel the sky tv package and take the mobiles off the kids.

The horror.

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It will.*

* Providing they are not entitled, whiny, unionite troublemakers who get a rash at the prospect of actually being productive and self-reliant.

There is nothing wrong with Unions or most of Capitalism!

It's just that the workers/gen population are too thick to put stop-gaps in to stop the complete nutters getting to the top (which suits the Govt/Wealthy exploiters who can trash all the unions with Xtra laws allowing the rich to exploit further.)

Most union leaders have been 'sleeper' infiltrators for the Elites leading the thicko's to strike over (& demand) ridiculous things over the years which turns people away from the benefit of a union & let Govt legislate nearly all their powers away - duh!

(The Elites took the piss by making Carry-on Films for the unionists to larf at themselves without realising they had been cleverly manipulated)

That's precisely what they did over last 25yrs!

With Capitalism there are no laws/rules in place to stop excess Banker/supa wealthy/City wealth extortion and expoitation and they make sure those who reach top of Govt circles are there just to benefit them!

They become the manipulating Beasts and Super Preditors that they now are - unleashed on the population!

Truth or Fiction? :o

Dirty tricks played on UK population by the UK Govt who are puppets of the hidden/shadowy Elites who exploit us!

You've been mislead by your elected UK Govt/brainwashed if you think anything else!

N.U.M. supporters claimed the conservative Thatcher government, learning from Heath's mistakes, adopted strategies to break the union even before the strike, increasing government subsidies to nuclear power and gas to undercut and weaken the nationalized coal industry.

Once the government announced plans to close mines and lay off 20,000 workers, critics charged, Thatcher waged war on the union using tactics reserved for severe internal security threats. Government undercover agents infiltrated the union and wreaked havoc on public perceptions.

At one juncture, a union official who later was alleged to be a Thatcher agent approached Libyan officials with great public fanfare asking for donations.

That incident did much to turn public opinion against the miners' cause during the strike.

Edited by erranta

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If the government collects taxes and then gives you some, then you are a scrounger.

Do you see?

If you pay taxes and most people claiming benefits will be paying some unless they never

eat , use energy, get on a bus, wear clothes, buy soap, shampoo ect then you are entitled to claim form the system that you pay into .

Do you see ?

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I know the area extremely well and have ties to it. There are alternatives as well if people arent crying wolf. I wonder if these food places actually check whether the recipients are genuine?

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-11427207

http://www.housepricecrash.co.uk/forum/index.php?showtopic=152379

Go on then speak up what alternatives ? What should these people do ?

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If you pay taxes and most people claiming benefits will be paying some unless they never

eat , use energy, get on a bus, wear clothes, buy soap, shampoo ect then you are entitled to claim form the system that you pay into .

Do you see ?

A person who received income from the public purse can NEVER pay tax in excess of his handout...he is therefore a cost.

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  • 309 Brexit, House prices and Summer 2020

    1. 1. Including the effects Brexit, where do you think average UK house prices will be relative to now in June 2020?


      • down 5% +
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      • Even
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      • up 5%



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