Updated national report shows an increase in deprivation in Worthing
The recent release of Government figures that measure deprivation on a national scale show that deprivation in Worthing has worsened in the last four years.
Several areas in Worthing: Central, Heene, Broadwater and Northbrook have repeatedly featured among the list of the 20 per cent most relatively deprived areas in England when factors such as income, employment, crime and the living environment are taken into consideration. However, Worthing Labour Councillors are appalled to find out that figures show that Castle is also now listed among the most 20 per cent of deprived areas for the first time.
Labour leader Beccy Cooper expressed her deep concern at the figures, saying that they reflect the impact of years of austerity on coastal communities; “It is clear from these figures that the local Conservative council has continued to neglect large parts of our town. Years of unnecessary austerity has left many of our coastal areas in real need. These figures show that things are getting worse rather than better. It’s now time for a council that invests in our town rather than just watch it deteriorate“.
“These figures represent a long term problem both for Worthing and nationally. 88 per cent of neighbourhoods that were most deprived according to the Index of Multiple Deprivation in 2015 are also the most deprived this year. This lack of improvement shows that the government and our council are not doing enough to make the changes needed“.
Prospective Labour local election candidate for Castle Ward Sam Theodoridi said “The Tories have taken our town for granted for years, and wards like Castle in particular. The latest figures showing that Castle has moved into the bottom 20% of the most deprived areas in the country are testament to that.“
This news follows on from the very recent release of a report on health inequality showing that England had experienced “a lost decade” in which time inequalities in life expectancy have widened. Councillor Cooper said “This decade of austerity has had an unforgivable impact on the health of the most vulnerable people in our Communities. Life expectancy for people in the UK has stopped improving for the first time in 100 years. The new deprivation scores in Worthing highlight a desperate need for our Conservative led Council to call out the failures of their own National Government. It is also time for Worthing Council to change its approach to development and regeneration in the town. We must learn lessons from other local authorities who, in spite of the cuts and deteriorating outcomes, have established effective approaches to tackling the health inequalities associated with deprivation. As the main opposition group in the Council, we look forward to presenting an alternative approach to our local Communities next month.“