Did you know the phone boxes in Hull are cream? The People United bus team do now too. Although we never quite got the bottom of it, it?s got something to do with the service provider. It has probably also got a lot to do with Hull, out here on the edge of England. Proud of its own identity.
Unemployment is on the rise in Hull, almost doubling since 2008. I spoke to Matt about his situation. Matt moved back to Hull after university. He thought he?d done everything right, got the grades at school and worked hard at university to gain a good degree. Matt is feeling short changed; he managed to get a job in the council but lost it after a couple of years. Local authority cuts mean his local library has closed, where he used to go to find jobs online and apply. He now need to take a bus to use the internet. It?s a vicious circle, at times of high unemployment local services are more vital than ever.
Benefit changes are affecting Hull too. Lynne told me how the bedroom tax has led to her sacrificing one meal a day, something she has to give up to make sure her young son receives the best upbringing possible. Lynne is happy to move her family to a smaller property but there isn?t any available, so unless she moves her family into an insecure private rented flat which would cost more, she?s stuck. Lynne is just one of 6,700 hit by the hated bedroom tax in Hull it?s little wonder local MP, Karl Turner vowed to keep the pressure on his party to scrap it if they return to power.
The tour is beginning to paint a familiar picture of hardship in every town we go to. Britain’s people and Britain need better.