Dramatic inequalities in health, employment, financial stability and even life expectancy have been revealed in Norwich.

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In the city’s least-affluent areas, four in 10 children live in poverty; men die 10 years before those in the most affluent; and unemployment is three times higher than elsewhere in the city.

Now councillors will set about redressing the balance and ensure a brighter future for people living in Norwich’s most disadvantaged parts.

A report due to go before councillors on Thursday shows the difference in prospects between the city’s most and least affluent wards, and reveals:

Four in 10 children live in poverty in Norwich’s most deprived parts;

Men in the least affluent wards die 10 years before those in the most affluent;

The more than three-fold increase in unemployment rates between wards.

The report also shows full-time earnings in Norwich are a sixth lower – and falling faster – than the regional average, support services are under greater pressure than ever, with many at full capacity, and the city is “significantly” worse off than the rest of the county in key indicators.

It identifies the most vulnerable people as the young, single parents, the disabled, the elderly and those on benefits.

The report was commissioned by Norwich City Council’s scrutiny committee following a presentation in September from the Norwich Foodbank, which expects to feed 5,000 people in need this year.

It draws the connection between deprivation and health inequalities, concluding that Norwich fares “significantly worse” than England and the rest of Norfolk in relation to deprivation, the proportion of children in poverty and GCSEs achieved. It has more violent crime and long-term unemployment, fewer physically active children and adults, more teenage pregnancy and more hospital stays for self-harm, drug misuse and more early deaths as a result of cancer.

The report highlights the image of Norwich as a “dynamic, contemporary city” with a prestigious university and teaching hospital, world-class research park and skilled workforce, but says that, nevertheless, it is “the second most deprived local authority area in the east of England”.

It adds: “A range of data reveals the different levels of need across the city, with Mile Cross, Mancroft and Catton Grove wards showing the greatest level of need but with significant issues also present in Sewell, Thorpe Hamlet, Crome, Wensum and Bowthorpe.”

Claire Stephenson, chairman of the scrutiny committee, said the findings demanded action.

“The report shows the challenges for the council, and we need to deal with them. There is a lot of work to be done.

“High unemployment and benefits being reduced are going to make the problem more difficult and put more pressure on the council as well.”

Ms Stephenson acknowledged the divide between fortunes in areas of the city had been known “for years” and said the council had not managed to bridge the gap.

“There has not been any great improvement: things have not changed much,” she said.

“The council needs to accept responsibility for some of that situation and put in place measures which will make a difference.”

For more on this story see today’s paper.

33 comments

  • What's so surprising about this? Street after street of council housing dominate these areas, along with a high proportion of benefits dependency lifestyles. Why would anyone expect single mothers in council flats to be affluent? If you looked hard enough you'd probably find lower than average levels of intelligence & educational qualifications.High levels of tobacco consumption and alcohol dependency would push up the figures for poor health.The fundamental change needed is to the benefits system - remove the option of a life on welfare , it's only right that people who want to work & be self-sufficient are rewarded with a higher standard of living than those who do not.

    Report this comment

    Tudor Bushe

    Monday, November 5, 2012

  • I am appalled by the comments I have read so far. I live in one of the areas mentioned and there is a mix of property and family units here - some properties are owner occupied, others privately rented. The majority of people in these areas do in fact work, although they may only be working part-time or in low paid occupations. Others would like to work but cannot find jobs. Yes, there are many residents of these areas claiming benefits such as state pensions, disability benefits, JSA etc. I would never claim that people on benefits should be able to enjoy a better lifestyle than those in full-time work but to deny there is deprivation or claim the poor are undeserving of better support because their circumstances are entirely their own fault is simplistic, crass ignorance, and prejudice by people with no understanding of the vagaries of life and no compassion for others less fortunate than themselves.

    Report this comment

    Cwmraeg

    Monday, November 5, 2012

  • Four children in ten , in these areas , live in poverty . What rubbish . Sky TV , parents smoke and drink , social housing with central heating , car outside . Biggest problem is how to spend all the money that the State lavishes on them . They`re laughing at the rest of us mugs , who end up paying to keep them in the style to which they`ve become accustomed .

    Report this comment

    dragonfly

    Monday, November 5, 2012

  • could somebody please define "poverty" ill best most of these deprived children live in a house with a plasma tv,a game console,mobile phones and satelitte tv. There is always money for tatoos and cigarettes and the kids will be wearing the latest trainers. Poverty???? i dont think so.

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    timmy_two_sheds

    Tuesday, November 6, 2012

  • It's important to remember that the "divided" Norwich isn't a new phenomenon, although it might be hardening over time. Nearly twenty years ago I worked with a Swedish friend and colleague who lived in Norwich for some weeks. He was amazed even then that you could sit in a cafe like Expresso outside St Andrew's Hall -- then you could walk just a few hundred yards to Anglia Square and have another coffee there and find yourself in a completely different world, inhabited by different people. This report -- important as it is -- is probably not telling us much we don't know already.

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    Trevor Ashwin

    Tuesday, November 6, 2012

  • could somebody please define "poverty" ill best most of these deprived children live in a house with a plasma tv,a game console,mobile phones and satelitte tv. There is always money for tatoos and cigarettes and the kids will be wearing the latest trainers. Poverty???? i dont think so.

    Report this comment

    timmy_two_sheds

    Tuesday, November 6, 2012

  • I agree with with you Noah....obviously not enjoying "true word's" of how the vast majority of people are feeling in this current climate

    Report this comment

    Sidney

    Saturday, November 10, 2012

  • @ Steve Lepper - You really do need to get a true perspective on life in this country in the 21st century. The comments may not please you but people here are telling it as it is. Like them I see the abuse of the benefit system on a daily basis and its hardly surprising there is deprivation and poor health when you see have they live their lives first hand. No one is being a fascist or a bigot - they are just telling it as it really is.

    Report this comment

    BG

    Tuesday, November 6, 2012

  • daisy roots, of course it's happening now. From the guardian - facts are sacred. 354,000 are the social housing waiting list of London boroughs, with family members this swells to 886,000. Newham who have the largest waiting list of 27,000, wrote to every council-HA in England for deals on deporting folk from their list. Newham council would pay the whole rent for the first year, plus 60 squid on top as a carrot or pocket filler.

    Report this comment

    nrg

    Tuesday, November 6, 2012

  • The young parents on benefits can still afford to smoke and drink, they are never without a mobile phone in their hands and their kids wear designer gear and they push buggies costing about £400. Something's wrong somewhere!

    Report this comment

    samphirelover

    Monday, November 5, 2012

  • Well PaulH and 'I was just saying' I am sure you will be relieved when 1) IDS slashes benefits for non-working families with 'unsustainable' numbers of children (less money for booze, fags and Sky dishes) 2) Eric Pickles scraps the requirement for social housing in new developments, and allows a fast track direct to his department for anything controversial, to stop silly misguided local people trying to frustrate 'progress'. When we see the sort of development in Norwich that EP would approve of - I think it was called gerrymandering in Westminster - you will get your wish of privilege for all, or rather privileged only. Was it the same Dave Cam speech where he conned a few more gullible voters about the, er, was it 'Little Britain', nope, what about 'The Big Idea', no that wasn't it...I know, the big society, oh yes, and 'localism'...where local people were promised a bigger say! Instead we are going to see greater centralisation of power than ever before via the Growth and Infrastructure Bill. Perhaps the most disappointing aspect (of this article) is the complete absence of soundbites from Chloe or Simon.

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    Police Commissioner ???

    Monday, November 5, 2012

  • Our Prime Minister David Cameron in his great Conference speech stated privilege should be for all in this country. Pity the lefties at City Hall with their council house social doctoring do not get it. An absolute disgrace you people who voted for them.

    Report this comment

    PaulH

    Monday, November 5, 2012

  • nrg-you suspect that too? I think it is already happening but it is being kept quiet. I wonder who would dare now to buy a new home on a new development which is selling slowly-purchasers could find themselves surrounded by social housing tenants from the less salubrious areas of London.

    Report this comment

    Daisy Roots

    Tuesday, November 6, 2012

  • There will always be irresponsible people who work the systems (that includes businessmen, bankers, politicians, farmers) and who take out more than they give. On the other hand, I know decent people in Norwich who work very hard, and for little pay, relative to the rest of the country, and who bring up their families at some considerable sacrifice to themselves. It makes me laugh when I see "average earnings" quoted at £26k pa, as that's wealth in Norwich. Also, the days when Norwich Union employed the whole secondary school years of leavers have gone, as have many other industries and retailers (e.g. Rowntree, Lawrence Scott, NU, pubs, shops and the rest). As long as Norwich is a centre for unstable, low-paid jobs, it will stay as it is. No amount of social engineering will change that, nor will it turn sows' ears into silk purses, where silk is unknown.

    Report this comment

    T Doff

    Tuesday, November 6, 2012

  • norwich city council have just told us something we know already and can read every day in the national papers . They have just wasted a lot of money on a report . We know why people are suffering hardship . We had a labour goverment for thirteen years who ruined this country financially who just didnt have a clue

    Report this comment

    milecross

    Monday, November 5, 2012

  • In some States in the USA they will not support children if you have them whilst on benefits. The idea being that you obviously can't expect the state to provide for your kids if you can't. If we stopped providing incentives to have more kids for people on benefits we would see an entirely different society.

    Report this comment

    oldowl

    Monday, November 5, 2012

  • I think the research is valid and we are tempted to generalise because the obvious instances of fecklessness catch our eyes more than concealed acts of coping with hardships. Employers play fast and loose with those who do have jobs, cutting hours, paying minimum wages because there is always an immigrant waiting to do the job, offering jobs with very low hours to avoid paying employers contributions etc. and living costs don't get any lower. But Mad Brewer has probably stood on GY Market Place at the end of the school day and seen those who we can be pretty sure are not in employment with their two or three little tots, the big expensive buggies, the staffies or the huskies on leads, the mobiles and the fags-and their little kids will be in plastic shoes, thin clothes and looking dragged up. The poor and the sluttish have always been with us but a bit of education and lecuturing on priorities for those on benefits might not go amiss. Right now the spectre of unemployment and empty pockets looms over a much wider spectrum of society than the ill educated and idle. Hard Times.

    Report this comment

    Daisy Roots

    Tuesday, November 6, 2012

  • Real poverty is not truly experienced in this country. The benefits system and welfare set up makes sure that no one does not have to live in "real " poverty. Unfortunately I know of people who think all the benefits going are a god given right to them and have no intention of ever working, expect the state to continuously provide after their numerous children and pretend that they are too ill to even consider looking for a job. Whilst there are always going to be genuine benefit cases, the trend is towards scrounging because it's there and too easy to get. I run a very small business with just 2 employees and they work so very hard and sometimes have a bit of a struggle financially even though their wages are competative.They have been informed by the DWP that if they go on benefits they will have all their rent and council tax paid, have income support and would end up better off than if they were working. They choose not to do this as they are proud that they work for a living, and we're proud to employ them. But whatever sort of society is this that anyone who actively chooses to take every benefit under the sun can be better off than working people? I agree with someone elses comments on here that these people seem to be able to afford cigarettes (which are horrendously expensive) mobile phones, Sky tv, big flat screen tv's. Where's the poverty in that? There is something very warped about all this and common sense has flown out of the window.

    Report this comment

    fudgey

    Tuesday, November 6, 2012

  • Stop giving money and give them vouchers which can be exchanged for food or household essentials only. Stop paying for each additional child which they manage to pop out without having partners You make your own choices and make your own way in life its a shame that the benefit system in this country makes the choice easier

    Report this comment

    graze69

    Wednesday, November 7, 2012

  • @ Cwmraeg - glad to see the back of you.

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    Tudor Bushe

    Tuesday, November 6, 2012

  • The Socialists have done their untmost to secure power by having a record amount of Council Houses ,sorry Social housing,built in the city since the 2nd World War many based on compulsory purchase of private stock,breeding welfare dependancy

    Report this comment

    Albert Cooper

    Monday, November 5, 2012

  • graze69: ive thought about the vouchers idea and i really cannot see any disadvantage at all. I would also only pay any type of benefit for the first 2 children and no benefits at all for children born into families currently out of work. People need to grow up and take respncibility for their own actions. The state owes you nothing.

    Report this comment

    timmy_two_sheds

    Wednesday, November 7, 2012

  • Our Prime Minister David Cameron in his great Conference speech stated privilege should be for all in this country. Pity the lefties at City Hall with their council house social doctoring do not get it. An absolute disgrace you people who voted for them.

    Report this comment

    PaulH

    Monday, November 5, 2012

  • Judging by the comments here, I'm really glad I made the decision to move out of Norwich. I never wanted to live amongst a bunch of bigots.

    Report this comment

    Cwmraeg

    Monday, November 5, 2012

  • You can either get up at 6am and work for a living. Or churn the kids out like shelled peas and ring up the social. No one starves in this coutry and never should. Some people and families put 'baccy, a new tattoo or £5 worth of lucky dips before food.

    Report this comment

    Tone the moan

    Monday, November 5, 2012

  • Noah Vale, that's rubbish. There was a record number of council houses then, about 45%, in Norwich which were built to house the working class. I was brought up on one of those estates, and everyone living there worked full time. Benefits were not an option then as they were minute and brought a stigma with them. It all changed in the 80s and 90s, with high unemployment, and the right to buy. Those streets of former council houses contain many privately owned houses now in the hands of owneroccupiers and buy-to-let landlords. The situation today, which is as you describe, is the aftermath of the policies of the Tory government of the 80s, who allowed our key industries to go to the wall, and greatly increased benefits for the unemployed, all financed by the North Sea oil money. That was when the foundations of the benefit dependency society were laid, and the later Labour government continued those policies. It's hard to see a way back now that most of our low skilled jobs have been exported. We can not afford that level of benefits now that the flow of North Sea oil money into the treasury has diminished to a trickle. Remember that Thatcher stated that we don't need manufacturing industry to make a living in the world, and Blair believed that too. Germany is doing so well now because they kept their manufacturing industry.

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    Derek Colman

    Monday, November 5, 2012

  • Daisy Roots - Let`s just hope it`s not a return to the days of the London overspill in Thetford. Our councils need reminding that local people need housing first, not incomers. However much London boroughs may wish to offer them to do so.

    Report this comment

    BG

    Tuesday, November 6, 2012

  • I think the biggest crucial thing about being on benefits is not how many kids you have or whatever, it's having your rent paid for you, get that paid and you should be laughing, then with a bit of free grub from the food bank and it's happy days.

    Report this comment

    John L Norton

    Monday, November 5, 2012

  • Noah Vale is probably party right in his assumption, although we shouldn't tar everyone with the same brush. But it is well known that a large proportion of these food bank customers are on benefits and it's also well known that many of them waste a large part of their benefits meant for food on tobacco, alcohol, drugs as well as mobile phone and Sky television subscriptions etc. So what I would suggest is that instead of giving them cash, something most of them can’t handle, pay part of their benefits in food coupons, which can only be redeemed for food.

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    Cuthbert J. Twillie

    Monday, November 5, 2012

  • I have known a couple, quite well for some 20 years, they live in a council house and have been on benefits for the last 35 years or so. In this time they have brought up a family and generally lived a reasonable life and never gone short of anything. For most of this time they have both smoked, had regular holidays, (often abroad) and run 2 cars as they do today. I would say they probably eat as well as anyone and probably more than most. They have had everything done for them from new windows, cavity wall insulation, new kitchen, free prescriptions and so on and never paid a penny. They would be aghast at the thought of visiting one of these food banks and can’t understand why anyone would need to. They even refer to them as scroungers who waste their money; and do you know what? They may well have a point.

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    John L Norton

    Monday, November 5, 2012

  • What a nasty set of anti-intellectual bigots (Cwmraeg excepted). Why bother with any sort of research when we can just air our prejudices, trade anecdotes and be so incredibly smug and judgemental behind the anonymity of a pseudonym? I see the same names trading the same nonsense time after time, bringing a new dimension to NFN. The most depressing part of these comments is the insight it gives as to how fascists manipulated their support in the thirties.

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    Steve Lepper

    Monday, November 5, 2012

  • Derek Coleman, top $ comments sir, our friends the Germans, should be admired for not falling for the service economy trick..unless of course.. they were part of the plan for it to happen.

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    nrg

    Tuesday, November 6, 2012

  • With probably reached a time when most benefits should be paid in food and energy vouchers, the 'safety net' has been abused for a couple of generations and worklessness of great areas of Britain is considered the norm. This great divide map of Norwich will of course increase, as other councils in London decide to off-load 1000's tenants to the many new homes promised for Norwich.

    Report this comment

    nrg

    Monday, November 5, 2012

The views expressed in the above comments do not necessarily reflect the views of this site

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