‘Poverty measure will focus policies’

Changes to the way the government measures deprivation were
released last week.

Minister for regeneration Jeff Rooker said the new system would
provide greater detail and allows the government to identify small
pockets of deprivation within an area. It offered “a great insight
into the geographic pattern of deprivation in England as never
before, ” he added.

“From the government and local authorities to practitioners at the
grassroots level, the new indices will help focus our efforts to
tackle disadvantage and create sustainable communities,” he

Instead of listing the poorest wards, which can have a population
up to 35,000, the new system will pinpoint more than 32,000 areas,
each covering between 1,000 and 3,000 people.

Under the changes, crime and environment will become indicators of
deprivation for the first time, joining those on income,
employment, health and disability.

A spokesperson for the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister said
that it had not yet been decided if the new system would be used to
determine where Neighbourhood Renewal Fund money should be

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