‘More to do’ to tackle deprivation among old and young in Islington

There is 'more to do' to tackle deprivation among the young and old in Islington, Councillor Andy Hu

There is 'more to do' to tackle deprivation among the young and old in Islington, Councillor Andy Hull has said. Photo: Jens Kalaene/DPA/Press Association Images - Credit: DPA Germany

A senior councillor has accused the government of “balancing the nation’s books on the backs of the poor” in response to recent figures on deprivation.

Islington Cllr Andy Hull was speaking after it emerged the borough ranked third and fifth most deprived local authority in England for poverty levels among children and older people respectively.

“Good progress has been made, but there is more to do, especially for the borough’s children,” said the executive member for finance and performance.

The proportion of Islington children living in deprivation has decreased by almost 15 per cent in the last five years, with the proportion of older people falling by just over 5pc.

Overall, Islington has improved, in relative terms, from being the 14th to the 26th most deprived area in England, the ONS study shows.

Deprivation levels among the disabled and unemployed were also down, Cllr Hull added.

“We have been working on these forms of deprivation since 2010, which is all about tackling inequality.

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“The big focus is on jobs, and we have had some real progress in that area,” he explained, commenting on the clear link between deprivation among children and employment deprivation.

“As a council we want to tackle poverty and tackle inequality, and we have a range of initiatives to do just that.

“But it’s not easy to do with heavy cuts, and the government balancing the nation’s books on the backs of the poor.”

The figures do not reflect changes in the absolute levels of deprivation in the borough, only the relative level of deprivation when compared to other authorities.

It is possible for an authority to record greater levels of deprivation among its population in 2015 than there were in 2010, but for their league table ranking to improve – because other authorities have performed even worse and recorded even bigger increases in deprivation.

To find out more, go to gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/465791/English_Indices_of_Deprivation_2015_-_Statistical_Release.pdf

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