Fenland JUMPS 16 places in ‘league table’ of most deprived areas that reflect housing, crime, education health, income and employment

PUBLISHED: 12:24 23 September 2016

Waterlees, Wisbech. Picture: Steve Williams.

Waterlees, Wisbech. Picture: Steve Williams.

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A national index that measures health, education, crime, income, employment and barriers to housing and services, shows Fenland is worse off than it was six years ago.

Waterlees, Wisbech. Picture: Steve Williams.Waterlees, Wisbech. Picture: Steve Williams.

Rob Bridge, corporate director and chief finance officer of Fenland District Council, says the top eight most deprived areas in Cambridgeshire are in Fenland centred on Wisbech and March East.

In a foreword to the council’s annual statement of accounts, Mr Bridge says the Indices of Multiple Deprivation (IMD) measures the relative deprivation of each small area in England. It compares them to each “by looking at factors such a health, education, crime, income, employment, barriers to housing and services and living environment.

“The 2015 IMD results for Fenland have stated that the district is the 80th (out of 326) most deprived local authority in the country.

“This is worse than the 2010 IMD results which stated Fenland was the 94th (out of 326) most deprived local authority in the country”.

Entrance to the Spinney play area.Picture: Steve Williams.Entrance to the Spinney play area.Picture: Steve Williams.

Mr Bridge says four of the top eight most deprived areas are in the top 10 per cent most deprived areas nationally – all in Wisbech. Two wards in Waterlees, Staithe and Medworth make up the top four on the deprived list.

He writes: “It is important that we continue to work with our partners including Cambridgeshire County Council, Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Clinical Commissioning Group, the police, education providers, local business and local communities to improve the quality of life within the district.”

He says some examples of partnership work includes the delivery of the Wisbech 2020 Vision, the £2 million heritage lottery bid to improve Wisbech High Street, designation of community actions areas to tackle anti social behaviour and Operation Pheasant to improve housing conditions and exploitation.

But he adds that Fenland “like all places has it challenges; however it is a great place to live, work and visit. With the lowest house prices in Cambridgeshire there is a great choice of properties and leisure activities.”

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