Deprivation stats ‘not all bad news’

A RECENT report has identified two wards in Adur as part of the top 20 per cent deprived wards in the country.

According to findings by Sussex Community Foundation, Eastbrook ranked 1,485th and Southlands 1,513th, out of 7,932 wards in England.

The report focuses on many types of deprivation including salary, health, education, life expectancy, housing, unemployment and crime and it claims to be the first report to give a broad view of issues facing local communities across the entirety of Sussex.

Adur suffered in health, education and housing affordability, however, unemployment and crime statistics were below the national average.

Councillor for Adur’s Eastbrook ward Jim Funnell,said: “It is not all bad news. Action Eastbrook is a partnership that was set up in December 2011 and residents and organisations continue to work together on problems in the area discussing local issues with Adur Council, police, schools, volunteer groups and so on.

“Things are happening in this area; The Fishersgate Centre opened recently, we are looking to upgrade the recreation ground and will apply for funding soon and we want to start a community bus, servicing Southwick, Fishersgate, The Holmbush Centre and all main areas.People are being proactive.”

The average salary from 2010 to 2011 in Adur was £21,000 – £8,000 under the south east average of £29,100.

The health deprivation figures which measure morbidity, disability and premature mortality were not too positive either, as Adur is worse than the national average.

For young people looking to get on the property ladder, statistics were not encouraging.

In Sussex, Adur is within the top three areas where housing is least affordable; 80 per cent of people under 35 cannot afford to buy a property in Adur.

Cllr Funnell added: “All agencies are working together and we are all aware of the issues. We are trying to get more people involved so they can help build up the area.”

Where Worthing achieved education statistics higher than the national average of 58 per cent, with 59 per cent of students achieving five GCSEs A-C including maths and English, Adur came in with under 47 per cent.

The range in life expectancy between 2006 and 2010 was also marked in Adur with women in least deprived areas of Adur living on average 7.3 years longer than those in most deprived areas.

However it is not all bad for Adur. The area has only 15 per cent of older people living in poverty compared to the 19 per cent national average. The statistic improves for children in poverty which stands at 15 per cent in Adur compared with the England average of 22 per cent.

Unemployment in Adur is at 2.4 per cent, which is under both the Sussex average of 2.41%per cent and the UK average of 3.5 per cent.

The overall crime deprivation statistics for Sussex are below the national average, and Adur does not show up in the top 10 per cent most deprived wards in the country.

The Sussex Community Foundation rounded off the survey by stating: “Sussex is a great place to live if you can afford it.”