Map of richest and poorest areas reveals huge income divide
- Credit: ARCHANT/OPEN STREET TILES/OPEN STREET MAP
Huge gaps in income across Suffolk and north Essex neighbourhoods have been laid bare in a new map, as charity bosses warn more people in deprived areas are turning to foodbanks.
The Office for National Statistics (ONS) has published figures ranking every local area by the proportion of people on low income.
It divides Suffolk and north Essex into 916 neighbourhoods and gives each one a rank from one to 10, with one being the poorest and 10 the wealthiest.
People on low income include workers earning tax credits and the unemployed.
Across Suffolk and north Essex, 76 neighbourhoods are among the richest 10% of the country - while 30 areas are in the poorest 10%.
The map shows pockets of income deprivation mainly in urban areas within Ipswich, Clacton, and Lowestoft.
Worst-hit neighbourhoods include Golf Green in Jaywick, Lowestoft Harbour, and Rush Green in Clacton.
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Some of the starkest differences in income are in places next to one another. Pinewood near Ipswich is ranked among the highest in Suffolk, while a neighbouring area of Stoke Park is among the most-deprived in England.
Other parts of Ipswich, such as Whitton and Gainsborough, also ranked among the poorest areas.
Maureen Reynel MBE, who runs FIND Foodbank in Ipswich, said: “We’re continuing to see problems in those (poorer) areas, particularly with single people. It seems to be men in their 30s and those 50 and over who are really struggling.
“I don’t see this getting better for some time. Businesses that are opening up are probably opening on a smaller staff, there are many reasons for lower incomes.
“Whenever it comes to referrals (to the foodbank), it all comes down to lack of a job, or no income.”
A study by the IPPR think-tank last month found property prices and childcare costs meant the UK’s relative poverty rate was increasing among working households.
Overall, Tendring was the most income-deprived council area in the region - and was also ranked 40th in England. Within the district, there are huge economic differences.
In Lawford, 4.4% of people are estimated to be on low incomes - compared with 56.9% in St Mary’s ward in central Clacton.
That gap, called an internal disparity, is one of the biggest in the country.
Carlo Guglielmi, deputy leader of Tendring District Council, said: “In Lawford, for example, you’ve got links to Colchester and Ipswich and London, in Clacton and Harwich, you have the sea as a neighbour.
“Clacton has always been a very seasonal town and economic problems have always existed.
“Educational attainment is a lot lower, there are far fewer opportunities for quality jobs compared to northern parts of the district.”
Essex County Council recently carried out a deep dive study into alcohol, drug and domestic abuse in the Clacton area - issues which Mr Guglielmi described as "particularly rife”.
He said that through an 18-month, £560,000 pilot, public services have been working with families to target neighbourhoods most in need.
“We are trying to break the mould,” he added. “It’s about trying to intervene when the time is right so you can come up with meaningful solutions rather than having to react.”
Babergh and West Suffolk, meanwhile, were ranked as the wealthiest council areas of the county with no neighbourhoods classed by the ONS as “income deprived”.
Mid Suffolk had two areas among the poorest in England, which were northern and southern areas of Stowmarket.
Colchester had 11 neighbourhoods in the lowest ranks, which were mostly in the town centre and suburban areas such as Greenstead.
In East Suffolk, there was the biggest gap between the poorest and wealthiest neighbourhoods, with areas of Lowestoft the poorest and the likes of Woodbridge and Rushmere the richest.
Chris Starkie, from the New Anglia Local Enterprise Partnership, which has been given tens of millions of pounds by the government to boost economic growth said its investments were helping areas of deprivation.
“We have made significant investments in Great Yarmouth, Norwich, Lowestoft, King’s Lynn and Ipswich, as well as market towns such as North Walsham and Haverhill,” he said.
Examples include £10m for an energy skills centre in Lowestoft and £5m to transform Ipswich’s Winerack from an empty shell in 2018.