Lansbury Park no longer the most deprived area in Wales
News | Rhys Williams | Published: 16:06, Wednesday November 27th, 2019.
Last updated: 16:07, Wednesday November 27th, 2019
Lansbury Park in Caerphilly is no longer the most deprived area in Wales, according to Welsh Government figures.
The St James Three area, which includes a large part of the estate, is now the third most deprived area of Wales, having been ranked top in 2014.
The findings come from the Welsh Index of Multiple Deprivation (WIMD), which have been released today (Wednesday, November 27).
The WIMD is the Welsh Government’s official measure of relative deprivation across 1,909 ‘small areas’ in Wales.
The WIMD, which aims to identify where the highest concentrations of deprivation are, is used to inform policy making and allocation of resources.
Income, employment, health, education, access to services, housing, physical environment and community safety are all used to measure deprivation.
St James ward councillor Elaine Forehead, who used to live on the estate, said: “This is good news today. I’m pleased we’ve moved off the bottom.
“Investment from Caerphilly County Borough Council and Welsh Government has helped. The community has made a massive difference.
“More work is needed. I personally feel we would have moved further if it wasn’t for austerity and Universal Credit.
“We’ll fight for more investment for Lansbury. This isn’t the end of it.
“We need to continue the fight – it would be devastating if Lansbury went back to the top of the rankings.
“We need to recognise the work and spirit of the community. They’ve raised the potential of Lansbury and should be incredibly proud.
Cllr Forehead, who thanked Caerphilly AM Hefin David for his involvement and “hard work from the sidelines”, said: “Let’s keep the momentum going. It’s like a little village where everyone knows everyone.
“The reputation does not reflect the personalities that live there. It’s a lovely community and people should take a leaf out of their book.”
Dr David AM said: “I give a very cautious welcome to the news that Lansbury Park has made steps in the right direction according to the WIMD figures.
“The local authority and the Welsh Government have invested millions into Lansbury Park with the recent improvement works to upgrade every council house on the estate.
“The residents of Lansbury have also taken positive action to improve their community and I would like to praise local people for their efforts. It’s clear that the impact of welfare reform and nine years of austerity continue to pose challenges.
“More investment and an end to austerity is badly needed to ensure further progress can be made.”
South Wales East AM Delyth Jewell said the statistics make for “stark reading” and described it as a “lamentable consequence of nine years of Tory austerity coupled with twenty years of failure by successive Labour governments in Wales to get to grips with the problem”.
Ms Jewell added: “Poverty has real consequences for the lives of children in Wales, leading to problems in later life including increased risk of homelessness, lower earning potential and greater likelihood of limiting illnesses.”
Speaking as the index was released, Welsh Government’s economy minister Ken Skates AM said: “The Welsh Government is absolutely committed to taking a cross-government approach to tackling poverty.”