Map of Norfolk’s richest and poorest areas reveals huge inequality
- Credit: Archant
A map has revealed huge differences in income between neighbouring areas of Norfolk and prompted calls for the county to "level up".
The Office for National Statistics (ONS) has published figures ranking every neighbourhood by the proportion of people on low income.
It divides the county into 538 neighbourhoods and gives each area a rank from one to 10, with one being the poorest and 10 the wealthiest.
People on low income include workers earning tax credits and the unemployed.
The government is currently focusing on investing in the north of the country in a process it has called “levelling up”, but business leaders said the maps showed the need for the east of England to “level up” too.
In Norfolk, 15 areas are among the richest 10pc in the country while 32 are in the poorest 10pc. Those neighbourhoods are in Norwich, Great Yarmouth and King's Lynn.
Some of the biggest differences in income are in places next to one another. Eaton ranks the highest in Norfolk, while nearby Lakenham is among the poorest.
Brenda Jones, who represents Lakenham at Norfolk County Council, said they had set up the area’s first food bank last year and lots of initiatives were underway to help.
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“It is a really good community,” she said.
The Avenues area of Earlham is one of the wealthiest in the county but on the other side of Earlham Road streets around Marl Pit Lane and Cadge Road rank among the poorest.
Hannah Worsley, from Norwich Foodbank, said this year they had seen the biggest demand for parcels coming from Earlham, Mile Cross and Lakenham. They gave out almost 4,000 food parcels from January to April.
Ms Worsley said more people were needing long-term help, rather than just emergency food parcels.
“It is entrenched,” she said. “It is not just a crisis such as losing a job or having no savings.”
She said debt was one of the biggest factors driving people to foodbanks.
A study by the IPPR think-tank this week found property prices and childcare costs meant the UK’s relative poverty rate was increasing among working households.
Great Yarmouth, meanwhile, is home to the three poorest neighbourhoods in the county. The Middlegate neighbourhood has the lowest income in Norfolk and is among the 75 poorest places in England.
Mick Riley, 57, a community representative on the estate, said one of the biggest problems was the poor state of the homes. “You notice the poverty every day,” he said. “I see people rifling through the bins. It is such a sad sight.”
Great Yarmouth Council said in April the area would be regenerated with hundreds of homes being demolished and rebuilt with “much nicer homes”, but it is awaiting funding and the timeline for the project has not been published.
Mr Riley said his car had been vandalised and he regularly smelt drugs in the area.
“I came here from south London thinking it would be like the seaside," he said. “I keep hearing about the regeneration of the Middlegate but I don’t have faith in the council.”
Councillor Andy Grant, chairman of the housing and neighbourhoods committee, said: “The reasons for deprivation are often complex."
He said the council was investing in the area and residents would be updated on progress to regenerate.
Broadland and South Norfolk, meanwhile, were ranked as the wealthiest council areas of the county with no neighbourhoods classed by the ONS as “income deprived”.
In North Norfolk, one area of North Walsham was among the poorest, while in Breckland areas of Thetford and Swaffham were “income deprived”.
West Norfolk had nine neighbourhoods in the lowest ranks, which were all in King’s Lynn.
In East Suffolk, there was the biggest gap between the poorest and wealthiest neighbourhoods, with areas of Lowestoft the poorest and Woodbridge the richest.
Chris Starkie, from the New Anglia Local Enterprise Partnership, which has been given tens of millions of pounds by the government to boost economic growth said its investments were helping areas of deprivation.
“We have made significant investments in Great Yarmouth, Norwich, Lowestoft, King’s Lynn and Ipswich, as well as market towns such as North Walsham and Haverhill,” he said.
Examples include £6m for a Digi-tech Factory at City College Norwich, £10m for an energy skills centre in Lowestoft and money from a £32m pot for regenerating Great Yarmouth and North Walsham.
He added: “One of our concerns about the government’s levelling up agenda is an overemphasis on the North and the Midlands, at the expense of the South and the East.”
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