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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Consultation on making Ordnance Survey mapping data freely available

Person from Ordnance Survey submitting geographic data on a handheld computer

Ian Austin, Regional Minister for the West Midlands and Communities Minister, outlined proposals at the end of December 2009 on how to make Ordnance  Survey mapping data freely available, so that the data can be re-used in innovative applications and products.

Communities and Local Government launched a consultation on 23 December 2009, Policy options for geographic information from Ordnance Survey, on which Ordnance Survey datasets can be made freely available to support digital innovation and democratic accountability.

You can view the consultation PDF here or use this online form to tell the government what you think.

The deadline for consultation responses is 17 March 2010.

OS data is used heavily here in the Observatory and by partner organisations. It’d be interesting to hear what you think and the issues you’re feeding back in the consultation. Do let us know in the comments.

Observatory featured in new Analysis of Place newsletter

Spatial Analysis UnitWe’re featured in the first issue of the Analysis of Place newsletter (pdf, 1.89mb), published quarterly by the Spatial Analysis Unit (SpAU) in Communities and Local Government.

The Spatial Analysis Unit is a multi-disciplinary unit of geographers, economists, statisticians and social reasearchers, and sits within the Analytical Services Directorate. One of the aims of this unit is to promote spatial analysis in government.

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Place Survey results 2008

Logo of Department for Communities and Local GovernmentThe results of the Place Survey 2008 have recently been released.

This is a national survey administered by local authorities. It aims to collect consistent national data on the way people feel about their local area and the way in which their local authority is run.

We can use the results of the place survey to compare the West Midlands region as a whole to other English regions, and to compare local authorities within the West Midlands to one another.

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Launch of the first Place Survey results

Cobbled lane in HerefordshireResults of the first Place Survey were launched today providing information on people’s perceptions of their local area and the local services they receive.

The survey collects information on 18 national indicators for local government, used to measure local government performance for 152 county councils, metropolitan district councils, London boroughs and unitary authorities.

Communities Secretary John Denham said the results of the Place Survey—based on more than 500,000 people’s views and perceptions about where they live—demonstrates the importance of listening to local people and what they want for their local area.

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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.