Resolution to tackle town’s inequalities

Published Friday, 27th September 2019

Black wall outside the Civic Centre with the words Civic Centre in gold

The Leader of the Council has claimed the council’s new administration will be “unrelenting in its resolve to tackle inequalities in the town”, after a national study into deprivation in England.

The English Index of Multiple Deprivation, published on Thursday by the Ministry of Housing, Communities & Local Government, shows that the Borough of Southend includes nine of the 10% most deprived areas of England but also 13 of the least deprived.

The study measures deprivation by scoring seven “domains of deprivation”- namely income, employment, education, health, crime, barriers to housing and services and living environment.

Commenting on the latest study, Leader of the council, Cllr Ian Gilbert, said: “This study shows that since the study was last conducted in 2015, the position in Southend has not changed greatly. We continue to have the many of the characteristics of a London Borough, with affluent and deprived areas cheek by jowl. As an administration, we will be unrelenting in our resolve to tackle inequalities in the town.

“Deprivation can impact on almost every aspect of a person’s life – it can shorten life expectancy, increase your chance of suffering poor health, see you living in substandard accommodation, and reduce your chances of succeeding at education and employment.

“Reducing this divide won’t happen overnight but it as an area where we are determined to make clear headway.

“We are committed to substantially increasing the provision of high quality council homes and affordable housing and already started buying properties across the town to help meet our social housing needs. Indeed, we our acquisition programme is already paying dividends and will see some families moving from temporary accommodation to new homes by Christmas.

“We are continuing to promote opportunity and prosperity by supporting schools and families to raise educational attainment standards. Indeed, GCSE and A-level results continue to be above the national average and showing year-on-year improvements. In addition to this, we are committed to reviewing and improving the use of our children’s centres across the borough.

“And we are ensuring the town remains an attractive destination for major employers through the development of the Airport Business Park, support services for small and start-up businesses and by rolling out a “full fibre” network through our partnership with CityFibre.

“We have recently committed to become a Real Living Wage employer, ensuring all directly employed council staff are paid in accordance with the cost of living today.

“We will also be working closer than ever before with our partners in the emergency services and health services to ensure we are helping wherever we can to keep our residents safe and well.”

What is the Index of Multiple Deprivation (IMD)?

The Index of Multiple Deprivation, commonly known as the IMD, is the official measure of relative deprivation for small areas in England. It is the most widely used of the Indices of Deprivation. The Index of Multiple Deprivation ranks every small area in England from 1 (most deprived area) to 32,844 (least deprived area).

You can read the full study on the Gov.uk website.