One in six Ashfield areas amongst most deprived in England

Sutton Town Centre
Sutton Town Centre

One in six neighbourhoods in Ashfield are among the most deprived in England, according to official statistics.

Social inequality charity the Joseph Rowntree Foundation says large portions of the country have been “locked out” of jobs and opportunities, after Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government figures revealed pockets of deprivation across England.
Government officials ranked each local authority from one to 317, with low numbers indicating higher levels of deprivation.
The rankings use the most up-to-date data on income, employment, education, health and crime, as well as housing services and the environment, to assess more than 32,800 small areas or neighbourhoods across England.
Ashfield was placed 68th in the table nationally, and seventh for the East Midlands.
About 16 per cent of the area’s neighbourhoods appear among the 10 per cent most deprived nationally.

Mike Hawking, policy and partnerships manager at the Joseph Rowntree Foundation, warned that poor communities were "tired of being overlooked".

"The lack of well-paid jobs, affordable housing and access to reliable transport links are holding people back from achieving their full potential," he said.

"Tackling the fundamental injustice of regional inequalities in our society must be a top priority for the Government.

"Voters on low incomes are frustrated at the consistent failure of all political parties to take decisive action to address this issue.

"Ministers must urgently bring forward a bold plan of regional investment through the UK Shared Prosperity Fund and target funding to provide the jobs and skills that people need to succeed."

An MHCLG spokesman said: "The Government is committed to levelling across the country and with unemployment levels continuing to fall and wages rising at their fastest in over a decade, we're committed to supporting families with their cost of living.

"We're providing more support to the most deprived authorities, which now have a spending power 16% higher per home than the least deprived."

Gloria De Piero, Ashfield's MP said investment was needed to bring skilled jobs to the area in a bid to address the inequality.
Ms De Piero said: “Parts of Ashfield have consistently been named among the most deprived areas of the country for some time now and this situation has certainly not been helped by Conservative austerity measures and the introduction of universal credit, which have both left people really struggling to pay for the essentials.
“What we need is real investment to bring skilled jobs to the area, and in education and training, so people have the chance to lift themselves out of poverty.
“We also need the introduction of a proper living wage and improvements to housing and transport infrastructure which are both barely fit for the 21st century.
“Former coalfield areas like this have been ignored for too long at the expense of big cities, and that has to change."

Mark Spencer, Sherwood's MP said government investment for Ashfield's High Streets shows how committed they are to supporting the district.

Mr Spencer said: "I think the Government have made big strides for former coalfield communities.

"In Ashfield specifically, the Government has just awarded £25 million to Sutton, and £25 million to Kirkby as part of the Future High Streets Fund, which I think shows how seriously this government is committed to help support areas like Ashfield.”

“The Government has also launched it’s new £1.6 billion ‘Stronger Towns Fund’, which was created to help support places like Ashfield, Mansfield and Sherwood.

"So the money is coming from Government, the challenge is to try to make sure it’s spent right on the ground. I’m happy to work with the local council to make sure that we can use that Government money to get the best outcome for places like Hucknall.

“It’s statistics like these that show exactly why we need to get Brexit done by the 31st October – so we as a country can move on and tackle these issues, making sure that places like Hucknall receive the support they need to flourish."

Councillor Jason Zadrozny, Leader of Ashfield District Council said: “Our vision is to help people improve their health and happiness by developing pride and aspiration in our communities, developing and strengthening partnerships, focusing on prevention, and improving health service provision.

“This vision is supported by our award winning parks and leisure centres across the district along with our events programme and targeted health activities including free swimming and activities for young people.

“We also aim to support economic growth and develop a greater sense of place, maximising the area's assets to support business growth and investment.

“We are committed to making Ashfield a location and destination of choice for business and visitors and a desirable place to live for all residents.

"This is supported by the number of exciting projects across the district, including 1,800 new skilled jobs set to come to Summit Park in the near future. Working together with the Discover Ashfield board, we are looking forward to soon welcoming millions of pounds of investment for our town centres, making them even better places to live, work and visit.”