Place Survey abolished

The Place Survey, one of the largest surveys in Europe that was due to be conducted by local authorities this autumn, was formally abolished yesterday by Local Government Minister, Grant Shapps.

This follows on from the scrapping of Comprehensive Area Assessments by Communities Secretary Eric Pickles in June 2010.

Read the announcement on Communities and Local Government.

Consultation on English Indices of Deprivation

Map of West Midlands illustrating performance against Indices of Deprivation 2007 at Lower Super Output AreaCommunities and Local Government launched a consultation on the Indices of Deprivation this week.

The consultation is seeking input on three key areas:

  • Need for an updated set of indices, the form they should take and comments on a longer term aim of whether specific indicators or domains should be comparable across the UK
  • Comments on the methodology used for the Indices of Deprivation 2007
  • Current availability of data sources if the Indices of Deprivation 2007 methodology is retained for an immediate update

Responses to the Indices of Deprivation 2007 suggested that a full scale review of the indices would be best held after the 2011 Census.

As such the consultation asks whether an update should be produced in 2010 based, as closely as possible, on the 2007 methodology with a subsequent detailed review to follow the next Census. The alternative is to postpone the update until after a full review is carried out.

The indices are used widely within public and third sectors to analyse patterns of deprivation, identify areas that would benefit from special initiatives or programmes and as a tool to determine eligibility for specific funding streams. As such, it’s a hugely important consultation and we would advise any interested parties to feed their views in through the CLG process.

Consultation papers are on the CLG website and responses need to be submitted by 10th May 2010.

New Deal for Communities has brought significant improvements to deprived neighbourhoods in West Midlands

A new report  published by Communities and Local Government, A New Deal for Communities Experience: A final assessment (pdf, 779kb), highlights how government investment has had a positive impact on the six New Deal for Communities (NDC) areas in the West Midlands.

The £2 billion flagship regeneration programme between 2001 and 2008 helped:

  • Reduce the proportion of working age residents in Walsall NDC area with no qualifications by 17 percentage points
  • Raised the satisfaction with housing to 91% in 2008
  • Reduced the proportion of residents in the Aston NDC area feeling unsafe in the dark from 20% to 17% in 2008
  • 81% of residents in Kings Norton NDC area feel they had good access to a doctor in 2008
  • 69% of residents in the Sandwell NDC area felt the NDC had improved their area

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Local Information Systems network event

Communities and Local GovernmentOn 29th January, Communities and Local Government hosted a network event on local information systems designed to enable colleagues to learn from one another’s experience and consider the future of local information systems.

The event was well attended by a range of organisations from across the country including the ONS, Communities and Local Government, the Environment Agency, the West Midlands Regional Observatory, the Black Country Observatory, a number of Local Authorities, in addition to several consultancies.

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Digital Mentors: invitation to tender

Communities and Local GovernmentThe Department for Communities and Local Government (CLG) are inviting individual organisations and consortia to bid to co-ordinate the development of a network of ”Digital Mentors” to help people in deprived communities in England develop skills in using social and community media.

More details on the invitation to tender and the role of digital mentors—including an Expression of Interest form and workshop details for those interested in tendering—are available from Communities and Local Government (doc, 136kb).

There is also a discussion forum for further debate on the Digital Mentors initiative.

Keeping up to date with the latest data and statistics

UK National StatisticsBarely a day goes by without an article on the morning news bulletin announcing, “according to the latest figures…” or “statistics released today show that…”

There’s a wealth of data being collected, analysed and published and sometimes you’re left wondering, “how do I keep up with these data releases?”

One of the services I use to help stay on top of the latest available data from central government is the RSS feed from the UK Statistics Authority.

The UK Statistics Authority was set-up by the Statistics and Registration Service Act 2007 and its objective is to promote and safeguard the quality of official statistics that serve the public good. It is also required to safeguard the comprehensiveness of official statistics, and ensure good practice in relation to official statistics. It has three main functions, one of which is to monitor and report on all UK official statistics, wherever produced.

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