Headlines: August 23rd, 2000

The Government has unveiled the most detailed analysis of deprivation in England ever seen, showing a complex picture across all regions. This updated and comprehensive information will help target policies and funding more effectively to needy areas and end forever the idea that prosperity is subject to a simplistic north-south divide. The Indices of Deprivation show that differences within regions are at least as great as the differences between them. Many cities, for instance, can have extremes of severe deprivation and relative affluence.The indices include 33 indicators on key aspects of deprivation such as low income, unemployment, poor health and access to education and training, giving accurate results for every ward in England. The Government has decided to use the new indices rather than the old Index of Local Deprivation as the main but not the only basis for allocating resources to deprived areas. Three year transitional arrangements will be set up to smooth the transfer of monies away from those areas which will in future lose out on such grants.

The review has been undertaken by a team led by Michael Noble of Oxford University. The key outputs now available include scores and rankings of all 354 local authority districts. There is further ward-level information and specific information on child poverty. A summary of the indices and other information is found at www.detr.gov.uk  under regeneration or from h_r_summaries@detr.gsi.gov.uk . Later in the year DETR will be publishing a final report which analyses the patterns of deprivation revealed by the new information.