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Communities in the Westcountry 'are among UK's poorest'

By Western Morning News  |  Posted: August 02, 2013

By ANDY GREENWOOD

Comments (5)

Communities across the Westcountry are among some of the country's most deprived, according to a new database.

The information from the Church Urban Fund comes from new online software which tracks England's most disadvantaged places. It combines statistics from Government research into poverty and living standards.

Based on Church of England parishes, it identified areas of Penzance, Truro, Falmouth, Plymouth, Torquay, Exeter and Barnstaple as being in the top 10% of the most deprived.

St Aubyn parish in Devonport, Plymouth, had the highest child poverty rate in Devon at 45% while people of working age in poverty was 28%.

In Cornwall, the highest figure for children living in poverty was 34% in Penwerris parish, Falmouth. Its working age poverty rate was put at 16%.

The Church Urban Fund said coastal areas were shown to be suffering disproportionately, with 17% of England's most deprived communities living in seaside towns and cities.

The charity, which was established in 1987, also said the analysis demonstrated just how close some of the most affluent areas are to communities suffering from extreme deprivation.

It highlighted child poverty in Rock, on the North Cornwall coast, was only 7% while just 13 miles away in Bodmin, it was 23%.

Debbie Croucher, development coordinator at Transformation Cornwall which supports faith groups that are running or setting up community work, said: "This years' figures show that deprivation is particularly concentrated along England's coastline and in Cornwall, but what people will find when they use the tool is that poverty is everywhere.

"For people who rely on seaside tourism or England's traditional coastal industries, it feels like the recession hit in the 1980s and never really went away.

"We think of these and other communities as 'neglected', but we've seen that people in our towns really look out for each other.

"People in the poorest areas are running debt counselling services, donating to foodbanks and supporting their vulnerable neighbours. I hope everyone reading will play with our app, explore deprivation where they live and help us to tackle poverty."

The updated online tool and app was launched this week by the fund, a Church of England charity working to tackle poverty. It can be found at www.cuf.org.uk/poverty-in-numbers2013.

Maps allow anyone to find out their local community's level of deprivation as well as its regional and national ranking.

The system uses a combination of Government poverty indicators, including life expectancy and child poverty, many of which have recently been updated.

The fund's new internet analysis was released as another report warned Westcountry families were just 16 days away from the breadline, on average, if they lost their usual source of income.

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5 comments

  • miniman1  |  August 03 2013, 12:01PM

    Generally the further away from London the less well off you become. UKIP have a policy of involving local people in local decisions, hopefully this could help bring more wealth to the outlying regions. As Brixham Des says, we need a revolution. We have a choice vote LIB/LAB/CON and bury our heads in the sand or vote UKIP for a change.

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  • BrixhamDes  |  August 02 2013, 1:35PM

    Isn't it about time we had a Revolution to prove "We are all in it together"?

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  • BradleyJJS  |  August 02 2013, 12:30PM

    What do they mean by Communities, none rich people in other words the poor any look at local wages would confirm this.

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  • ArtfulDodger  |  August 02 2013, 11:29AM

    Idiotic article in my opinion, go and walk the streets of lets say Georgetown, Guyana for example(I could have picked thousands more places) and you will see what real poverty is...

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  • youngcornwall  |  August 02 2013, 9:53AM

    When have Cornwall been any different? If all that can be done is sitting around moaning don't be disappointed if things do not change. The Cornish like others are renowned for going far and wide to get what Cornwall has never been able to provide, and I cannot see any immediate change coming soon.

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