Headlines: June 5th, 1998

New data on deprivation has been published by the DETR which its authors say offers far more accurate pinpointing of poverty than before. The 1998 Index of Local Deprivation matches new local authority boundaries and its information will be used to target services to those who need them.

The information trawl and method of measurement was sensitive enough to identify small pockets of severe deprivation in otherwise well-to-do areas. For example, South Kesteven in Northamptonshire is ranked as a low area of deprivation on overall council rankings but has more than five per cent of it’s population living in wards that are amongst the most deprived in England. Leeds is another example of a city with an average ranking overall, but deprivation in its worst areas is so severe that it is also highlighted in the survey’s ‘intensity’ measure.

The index authors say this is particularly useful in identifying the existence of severe areas of deprivation in local authorities that are made up of a mix of deprived and non-deprived areas.

The index scores for individual wards can be obtained from The London Research Centre (Contact: Keith Folwell Tel. 0171 787 5658, e-mail keith.folwell@london-research.gov.uk