Deprived Communities Need Change in Policy to Tackle Economic and Social Challenges - MIDAS

Deprived Communities Need Change in Policy to Tackle Economic and Social Challenges

27 March, 2009

Deprived communities in Greater Manchester can be supported more effectively if local authorities develop policies targeted at individual neighbourhoods according to a report published today as part of the Manchester Independent Economic Review.

The Sustainable Communities report provides policy makers with a detailed picture of the influences behind deprived neighbourhoods and has labelled the traditional north-south divide within the city-region as too simplistic.

It has defined four new groups into which many of the city’s deprived communities across all ten local authorities can be categorised. The group definitions are:

· Isolate: Deprived areas in which people from deprived backgrounds live or move to. This results in a degree of entrapment for poor households that are unable to break the cycle of living in a deprived area.

· Transit: Deprived areas to which young people and first time buyers live or move to because of a limited personal budget.

· Escalator: Areas that people from more deprived areas move to as part of their progression through the property and or social ladder.

· Gentrifier: Areas that people from more affluent neighbourhoods move to or live, resulting in local residents moving to areas similar or more deprived than the original community.

The report concludes that it is Isolate neighbourhoods that require greater immediate attention and calls for a new approach to policy intervention to ensure recent economic and social progress is available to all.

The findings also show that whilst deprivation and unemployment still remain at the lowest ever levels for the city-region, this progress has been unevenly spread.

Local authorities with a small number of deprived communities include Trafford, Stockport and Bury, whilst central and north Manchester, east Salford, Wigan, Bolton, Rochdale and Tameside have a higher concentration of unemployment and deprivation.

Responding to the findings of today’s report, leader of Oldham Council, Councillor Howard Sykes said:

“All citizens in Greater Manchester deserve public services that work for them. This report is valuable in providing the detail we need across the city-region so that funds can be targeted at the areas most in need of support.
“However it is important that we do not lose sight of the fact that everyone across Greater Manchester needs to be able to access all public sector services wherever they live. It is down to local authorities and their partners to ensure that the correct level of support is available to all citizens to help them through periods of greatest need whether this is temporary or long term.” 

Source: MIER


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