ONE in four people don’t trust their neighbours, an alarming survey has found that laid bare the rapid demise of communities across the UK.
A report by the Onward think tank also found seven in 10 members of the public believe their sense of a local community has declined in their lifetime.
Six in ten said the Government has a duty to protect institutions like pubs and post offices from closure, according to the poll conducted by Hanbury Strategy.
Worryingly, the proportion of the public who feel their area has become a “worse place to live” has risen by nearly a third – to a quarter of all people.
The number of people saying that none or a few of their neighbours can be trusted has risen from 15 per cent in 2013 to 26 per cent in 2019.
The decline in trust has occurred across all generations, but particularly among the 25-49 age group.
Lord O’Shaugnessy, who will co-chair a major cross-party review run jointly by Onward, Shelter and the Joseph Rowntree Foundation, blamed Westminster for being out of touch with Britan’s communities.
In a damning indictment, he said: “Our Westminster-dominated politics has ignored the lives of too many of the United Kingdom’s communities for too long, paying scant attention to their need for renewal and repair.
“Making sure that every place in our country is given the chance to thrive is an urgent task, not just for this government but for everyone involved in politics.
“That’s why I’m delighted to chair this cross-party review, which will give voice to the forgotten towns of the UK and generate new policy ideas that give them back their purpose and vitality.”