23 October 2008

I feel like Gradgrind, facts, facts, facts, and no poetry, no fables, no myths.
See new web addresses for the indices of multiple deprivation at the foot of the post

However, it is worth recording the unpoetic deprivation score for 2007 for the Cornwall and Isles of Scilly primary care trust (CIOS PCT) which has just been highlighted in Hansard 22 October 2008 columns 377W-380W. It is 74th out of 149 trusts in England (rank of average scores, where the higher the score the less deprivation). This is, of course, in line with the measures of poverty and deprivation for Cornwall which I have discussed several times.

Let me go through this again. The indices of multiple deprivation (IMD) show that in Cornwall, in the districts and within the districts, deprivation varies significantly, and in some places is severe and in some slight, and it is thus unhelpful to generalise about Cornwall as a whole.

As an example of the variety consider the IMD ranks for 2007, where the higher the number the less the deprivation, for the six districts: Caradon 156th, Carrick 120th, North Cornwall 96th, Restormel 89th, Kerrier 86th, Penwith 36th. These are the figures for the rank of average scores for 354 local authorities in England. However, remember, within each district the deprivation varies and you can find this fine level data here. This fine data is for the 32 482 lower layer super output areas (LSOAs) in England with an average of 1500 residents in each. There is an interactive map of the LSOAs here which will enable you to identify each of the 328 LSOAs in Cornwall. Note too that even an LSOA may contain variety and not be fine enough to identify all parcels of deprivation.

I do not expect these facts to stop nationalists and Liberal Democrats saying “Cornwall” suffers signal and Westminster-inflicted deprivation, though the projectile nonsense of the streets of London being paved with gold seems to have died off. Perhaps if I keep drawing attention to the evidence…

Okay, that’s a lot of data but the import is clear: deprivation in Cornwall varies greatly; some areas are severely deprived, some are prosperous; it is not sensible to generalise about deprivation and prosperity in Cornwall. Let me repeat what I said at the end of my post Ranking Cornwall. Looking at aggregated data for the whole county, or an entire primary care trust or council district, is not particularly helpful. What counts is the position on the ground for individuals and parcels within those areas and we can look at LSOA parcels. For people who live here Cornwall is not one place but many and the circumstances of life vary vastly, and knowing this variation empowers us to meet need effectively and efficiently.

The indices of deprivation are published by the Department of Communities and Local Government.You can access them here.

You might like to look at Poverty and deprivation in Cornwall (published 2006).

EDIT 2013
Ther are now new web addresses for the indices of multiple deprivation. See the IMD 2007 here. The IMD 2010 are here.