A new deprivation report being presented to the Swindon Health and Wellbeing Board shows the current day deprivation challenges facing Swindon.
You can click on the report via the following link: DEPRIVATION REPORT
Overall, Swindon has similar levels of deprivation compared to the national average however there are deprivation indicators that have declined in Swindon compared to nationally.
The largest increase in relative deprivation (i.e. a deterioration in circumstances relative to nationally) has been seen in the health deprivation and disability domain in 2010 there were 221 more deprived local authorities than Swindon but in 2015 there were only 155 more deprived.
Swindon’s relative deprivation is most severe in the education, skills and training domain where it is 47th most deprived out of 152 Unitary Authority Areas. The driver appears to be children and young people’s indicators which calls in to question Tory-ran Swindon Council’s decision to close all of Swindon’s Children’s Centres and agree to cut all funding from Swindon’s community libraries, threatening their existence.
The actual number of people in Swindon who are considered income deprived or employment deprived has also risen sharply over an 11 year period to 2015.
Penhill north in Penhill and Upper Stratton Ward is the most deprived LSOA (local super output area) or neighbourhood in Swindon. There are eight Swindon LSOAs in the most deprived 10% nationally. Three of the Eight LSOAs in Swindon which are in the 10% most severely deprived LSOAs in England are found in Penhill and Upper Stratton ward, a further three are found in Walcot and Park North ward and the remaining two in Gorsehill and Pinehurst ward.
Priory Vale west is the only LSOA to have worsened by two quintiles nationally from 2010 to 2015, going from being within the least deprived 20% of areas in the country in 2010 to the 40%-60% quintile in 2015.
The Labour Group’s Shadow Lead for Public Health, Councillor Ray Ballman, said:
“While Swindon remains a fairly average town in terms of overall deprivation compared to the national picture there are some areas we will need to work on over the coming years.
For example, Swindon has fallen back compared to the national average in terms of health deprivation and disabilities. This data shows that Swindon Council has a big job to improve public health in Swindon, ensuring local residents have all the information and assistance they need to keep our residents in good health.
Swindon has also noticeably fallen back in education, skills and training as compared to the national average. This is a big area of concern because it raises questions on whether Swindon has developed the right skills in our young people to take advantage of the good employment opportunities in the town. When considering where to locate, businesses do consider the skills towns and cities have to offer, so this drop won’t look favourable for us.
Where there are similarities in this report as to deprivation reports in previous years is the communities which have the highest levels of deprivation, with Penhill, Pinehurst, Walcot and Parks all having areas which are in the highest 10% of deprivation across the country. This is precisely the reason why Labour campaigned so hard to keep Children’s Centres in these areas, which the Council have now agreed to close.”