Shocking report about welfare and health in Norwich is “very concerning” for scrutiny committee

Norwich City Hall. Photo: Nick Butcher. Norwich City Hall. Photo: Nick Butcher.

Thursday, November 8, 2012
8:42 PM

City councillors have expressed concern at a report which has revealed dramatic differences in health and welfare between Norwich’s most deprived and most affluent areas.

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A report to go before councillors this week details scale of deprivation and inequality facing people in Norwich.A report to go before councillors this week details scale of deprivation and inequality facing people in Norwich.

On Monday the Evening News revealed some of the shocking statistics in the report, such as men in the least affluent areas dying 10 years, on average, before those in the most affluent and a more than three-fold increase in unemployment rates between wards.

Last night Norwich City Council’s scrutiny committee held its monthly meeting at City Hall and discussed the findings of the report, which it requested following a review of the Norwich Foodbank in September.

Committee chairman Claire Stephenson, Green councillor for the Nelson ward, said the issues should be “top of the agenda” and referred to them as “very concerning”.

It was explained to the committee by NHS Norfolk and Waveney’s public health consultant, Dr Augustine Pereira, and James Elliott from the NHS Norwich Clinical Commissioning group.

They explained that the report had been prepared using The Marmot Review, which was published by the Institute of Health Equity in February 2010, before going on to talk about how the council is working with organisations such as theirs to improve these issues in Norwich.

Mush of this talk focused on the Norwich being a member of the UK Healthy Cities Network, a scheme aimed at preventing problems such as obesity, teenage pregnancy and drug abuse.

Norwich became one of the 19 cities involved with the network in July and councillors on the scrutiny committee asked that they are given regular updates on its work.

Catton Grove councillor Michael Stonard, speaking on behalf of the city council Labour group, said: “The report is extremely helpful because it provides an up-to-date picture of poverty and inequality in the city and enables us to review the broad range of work that we are already doing to tackle the causes and the effects, and to consider whether there is more that we could do.

“The report reminds us of some disturbing facts about the realities of life for many people.”

The committee finished by asking council officers to provide them with the best way to scrutinise the Healthy Cities work and to look into an accreditation scheme for businesses who pay the living wage rate of £7.20 an hour.

- For more about the report, see the link to Monday’s story at the top-right of this page.

- What do you think? Write to Evening News Letters, Prospect House, Rouen Road, Norwich, NR1 1RE or email eveningnewsletters@archant.co.uk

8 comments

  • Whilst the report gives figures for the relative levels of 'poverty', 'deprivation' and unemployment across Norwich, they do not provide information about what the first two actually mean. Poverty and deprivation indicators are constants; those receiving the lowest 25% (or somewhere close) of income. There will always be people in this position!What are the adults in this situation doing to improve their situation - and that of their children? What price personal responsibility and accountatbility? (Or is it the council's fault?)

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    Normal bloke

    Thursday, November 8, 2012

  • Yes Lynn has deprivation, but so it did years ago in the St James and All Saints and North Lynn areas, Yarmouth had the Rows and Norwich had the overcrowded Yards.All places where people lived in homes in multiple occupation or in tiny cramped homes working for minimum wage. A few decades of "slum" ( or heritage) clearance, some council houses and full employment took our eyes off the ball. Now we have parts of our towns descending again to their former states with little immediate prospect of full employment or better wages for the growing population of unskilled workers, be they home grown or newly arrived. The health figures are going to look bad, because some of those who live in the worst wards do not have the wit nor the will to look after their health. Those with drug and alcohol problems and disfunctional lives gravitate to where housing is cheapest. An upturn in the economy would be the best cure.

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    Daisy Roots

    Friday, November 9, 2012

  • Oh give it up John, there is nothing wrong with the air in Lynn, it was kerbside monitors on a busy road which gave the readings all the Lynn Nimbys keep spouting-anyone could take a reading at any random road and comeup with that. The readings from other monitors were ok.

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    Daisy Roots

    Friday, November 9, 2012

  • I am surprised by this reaction - West Norfolk has 3 of the top 10 most deprived areas of Norfolk and some of the highest existing pollution levels in the county, and NCC simply followed the national trend and waste industry advice and proposed to build an incinerator there. I didn't hear of the scrutiny committee discussing this or show any concern, and NHS Norfolk certainly didn't give a hoot either - people are paid vast sums of money and there is no accountability when they fail to do their jobs. Why is Norfolk looking to join up with Suffolk when the west of the county is so badly neglected?

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    Honest John

    Thursday, November 8, 2012

  • If the city councillors were up to the job they would know exactly what was going on within their areas.

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    John L Norton

    Thursday, November 8, 2012

  • Oh give it up John, there is nothing wrong with the air in Lynn, it was kerbside monitors on a busy road which gave the readings all the Lynn Nimbys keep spouting. Yes Lynn has deprivation, but so it did years ago in the St James and All Saints and North Lynn areas, so has Yarmouth but so it did in the Rows years ago, just as Norwich had the overcrowded Yards.All places where people lived in homes in multiple occupation or in tiny cramped homes working for minimum wage. A few decades of "slum" ( or heritage) clearance, some council houses and full employment took our eyes off the ball. Now we have parts of our towns descending again to their former states with little immediate prospect of full employment or better wages for the growing population of unskilled workers, be they home grown or newly arrived. In the case of GY of course the health figures are going to look bad, because some of those who live in the worst wards do not have the wit nor the will to look after their health, even if they had plenty of money. Those with drug, alcohol and disfunctional lives will congregate where housing is cheapest. An upturn in the economy would be the best cure.

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    Daisy Roots

    Friday, November 9, 2012

  • @ "John L Norton", how about you stand for election rather than whinging and whining (under various names) on every article where the word council is mentioned?

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    Ariana

    Thursday, November 8, 2012

  • Daisy Roots, why not try reading some of NCC's own published reports, carried out by costly consultants, even they highlight the problems with air quality in the west of the county, but then choose to ignore it. On top of that, incinerator companies, CW included, choose areas of existing high pollution so that they can claim their additional pollution makes an insignificant contribution. CW wouldn't even use the true ambient pollution levels in their application, just those from the 2 companies next door, even then they had to dismiss the power station's input to keep below thresholds for sulphur on Roydon Common. For someone who constantly tries to put across how well informed you are on the incinerator issues your vast gaps of knowledge are increasingly evident, try doing some research of your own, like those in the west have done.

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    Honest John

    Friday, November 9, 2012

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