Calderdale Council in the top quarter of most deprived authorities in England

Calderdale is in the top quarter of most deprived local authority districts in England, latest Government figures have revealed.

Twenty neighbourhoods in the borough are in the top ten per cent of the most multiple deprived in England, according to statistics published by Government in the autumn, using seven measures – income, employment, education and skills, health and disability, crime, barriers to housing and services, and people’s living environment.

View of Halifax, from Beacon Hill

View of Halifax, from Beacon Hill

The figures, which concerned councillors discussed when Calderdale Council’s Strategy and Performance Scrutiny Board met this week, place Calderdale as the 66th most deprived local authority district in England out of 317.

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Councillors were shocked by the figures as Calderdale is doing well among 20 comparable northern boroughs – but Performance Officer Steph Jones, presenting the figures, said all the top five districts in the Index of Deprivation (IoD) are in the north.

She told councillors that as well as the ten neighbourhoods – there are 128 in Calderdale and 32,844 in England – in the ten per cent most deprived another 19 are in the top 11 to 20 per cent and a further 13 are in the top 21 to 30 per cent.

Since the index was last published in 2015, when it was 89th, Calderdale’s position had worsened, the figures show.

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A series of maps for each of the seven measures highlighted the most severely affected neighbourhoods with parts of Central and North Halifax, Todmorden, Sowerby Bridge, Elland and a pocket in Brighouse most impacted across each category.

Ms Jones said: “The main takeaway is that Calderdale’s relative deprivation compared to other local authorities has worsened.”

Board chair Coun Paul Bellenger (Lib Dem, Greetland and Stainland) said the presentation opened eyes to the issues and should be monitored by councillors.

Coun Mohammad Naeem (Lab, Park) said the index clearly had implications for resources, with figures for crime and people’s living environment ranking heavily in terms of deprivation.

“I think we have got major challenges. This is not just about locally it is about what we get nationally and I hope we can make a compelling case for targeted resources where they are necessary,” he said.

Coun George Robinson (Con, Hipperholme and Lightcliffe) said it was concerning as was the disparity, and agreed with Coun Naeem that targeting was an issue.