SINePost newsletter - August 2015
In this issue ...
- Welfare Reform impact monitoring
- Children in out-of-work benefit households
- Homelessness Prevention and Relief
- NEET Scorecard
- Recorded Crime rates
- Volunteering statistics
- Greenhouse Gas estimates
- Birth and Fertility rates
- End of Life Care profiles
- Female Genital Mutilation (FGM)
- What's New on the Somerset Intelligence website?
- Forthcoming Statistical Releases
1. Welfare Reform impact monitoring
Latest analysis of the impact of welfare reform in Somerset presents a mixed picture, with improving trends in some areas set against increasing concern in others.
Positives in 2014/15 include overall falls in numbers of court summonses and liability orders for council tax, while council tax collection rates have risen. Fewer Somerset households are now subject to the Spare Room Subsidy Reduction (‘bedroom tax’) and the Benefit Cap, while the use of Discretionary Housing Payments to mitigate shortfalls in housing costs have declined.
Nevertheless, the data reveals consistently high demand for citizen’s advice services, particularly in relation to benefit delays and administration problems. The use of food banks in Somerset has increased dramatically, with many referrals being linked to welfare benefit problems.
For the full summary report, see: www.somersetintelligence.org.uk/welfare-reform-impact-monitoring/
2. Children in out-of-work benefit households
Overall numbers of children living in out-of-work benefit households in Somerset continue to fall according to the latest annual snapshot from the Department for Work and Pensions: www.gov.uk/government/statistics/children-in-out-of-work-benefit-households-31-may-2014
As at 31 May 2014 there were 13,460 Somerset children (aged 0-18) living in out-of-work benefit households, a decrease of 1,240 children on the previous year. There were a total of 7,240 households claiming at least one out-of-work benefit, a decrease of 630 on the previous year. These falls mirror trends seen nationally.
At a local (ward) level, the largest falls in numbers of children in out-of-work benefit households were in Taunton Halcon and in Bridgwater Sydenham. Meanwhile, increases were seen in Frome Keyford, Crewkerne and in Taunton Blackbrook and Holway. Note that the figures are based on ‘old’ (pre-2013) electoral ward boundaries.
3. Homelessness Prevention and Relief
A total of 1,605 Somerset households were prevented from becoming homeless during 2014/15 through positive action by local authorities (that is, action outside the homelessness statutory framework) according to the Department for Communities and Local Government, an increase of 7% on the previous year. The figures show wide variations at a district level, likely to be the result of differing local practices.
An additional 81 cases of homelessness ‘relief’ were recorded in 2014/15 (where an authority was unable to prevent homelessness but helped secure alternative accommodation).
Nationally, around half of cases of homelessness prevention and relief involved the household remaining in their own home, while half were assisted to find alternative accommodation. Of those who remained in their own home, the most common action was assistance to resolve problems with Housing Benefit.
4. NEET Scorecard
The Department for Education has launched a new local authority ‘scorecard’ looking at numbers of young people not in education, employment or training (NEET): www.gov.uk/government/publications/young-people-neet-comparative-data-scorecard
At the end of 2014, around 4.4% of 16-18 year olds in Somerset were NEET, below the national benchmark (of 4.7%). According to the scorecard, Somerset performs better than average in terms of the September Guarantee (guaranteeing a place in education or training by the end of September) but below average in terms of the proportion of 16-18 year old NEETs re-engaging in education, employment or training.
Most of the information in the scorecard has been published previously but is now brought together in one place.
5. Recorded Crime rates
Recorded crime in Somerset continues to fall, with a total of 25,093 crimes recorded in 2014/15, a decline of 2% on the previous year. Nationally, police recorded crime increased by 3% over the period.
There were notable falls in Somerset in numbers of recorded drug offences and public order offences, while violent and sexual offences increased (the latter mirrors national increasing trends, which have been attributed to changes in recording practices).
The overall crime rate in Somerset in 2014/15 was 47 crimes per 1,000 people. This was higher than the rates in neighbouring Devon and Dorset, but broadly in line with Wiltshire, North Somerset and BaNES. The rate for Bristol was more than double that of Somerset.
6. Volunteering statistics
One in four adults (25%) in the South West participates in formal volunteering (that is, through groups, clubs or organisations) at least once a month according to the Cabinet Office’s Community Life Survey 2014/15. If applied to Somerset’s population, this would equate to around 110,000 residents.
Nationally, levels of formal volunteering were the same as in the previous 2013/14 survey, although in the South West region the proportion fell. Due to the relatively small sample size, figures are not published below regional level.
Levels of charitable giving in the South West continue to rise, with 84% of adults having given to charity in the previous four weeks, the highest proportion of any English region.
7. Greenhouse Gas estimates
The rate of Carbon Dioxide emission in Somerset continues to fall according to latest annual estimates from the Department for Energy and Climate Change: www.gov.uk/government/statistics/uk-local-authority-and-regional-carbon-dioxide-emissions-national-statistics-2005-2013
Overall carbon dioxide emissions in Somerset have steadily declined from 8.0 tonnes per person in 2005 to 6.6 tonnes per person in 2013 (mirroring a national downward trend). The latest annual fall is largely attributable to declines in industrial emissions.
Around 40% of emissions in Somerset in 2013 related to industry and commerce, 31% to transport and 29% to domestic energy use.
8. Birth and Fertility rates
The number of births in Somerset increased in 2014 following two years of decline according to the Office for National Statistics. There were 5,588 live births in the county, representing a fertility rate of 63.2 births per 1,000 women aged 15-44. This rate was above both regional and national averages.
Within Somerset, Sedgemoor saw the highest fertility rate (65.4 per 1,000 women) and West Somerset the lowest (59.3 per 1,000). The rate in Sedgemoor was one of the highest in the South West.
Meanwhile, the average age of mothers in England and Wales has now risen to 30.2 years, having increased every year since 1976.
For the full dataset, see: www.ons.gov.uk/ons/rel/vsob1/birth-summary-tables--england-and-wales/2014/index.html
9. End of Life Care profiles
The proportion of deaths in Somerset occurring in hospitals is significantly below the national average and the proportion occurring in care homes significantly above the national average, according to latest End of Life (EOL) Care profiles from Public Health England: www.endoflifecare-intelligence.org.uk/end_of_life_care_profiles/ccg_profiles
The profiles find that between 2011 and 2013, 42% of people in Somerset died in a hospital and 28% in a care home (nationally the proportions were 49% and 21% respectively). Within Somerset, 22% of deaths were at home and 5% of deaths in hospices, in line with national averages.
The newly published National Survey of Bereaved People 2014 found that the majority of people (who expressed a preference) wished to die at home. See: www.ons.gov.uk/ons/rel/subnational-health1/national-survey-of-bereaved-people--voices-/2014/index.html
10. Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) estimates
There are an estimated 54 women in Somerset with FGM according to modelled estimates produced by City University London, as part of a wider national report. An estimated 644 women permanently resident in Somerset (at the time of the 2011 Census) were born in FGM-practising countries.
Since September 2014, acute hospital providers in England have been required to provide monthly data on the incidence of FGM. There are no reported cases by either of the two hospital trusts in Somerset (but there may be instances not known to either the police or NHS).
For further information, see: www.somersetintelligence.org.uk/sexual-health.html#FGM
11. What’s New on the Somerset Intelligence website?
The following pages have been updated in the last month:
The following datasets have been added to the INFORM Somerset data hub:
12. Forthcoming Statistical Releases
The following are due for release at sub-regional geographies during August:
- Parents' country of birth, England and Wales: 2014 (ONS)
- Local area migration indicators suite: 2014 (ONS)
- Health Profiles: August 2015 data update (PHE)
- Local tobacco control profiles for England: August 2015 data update (PHE)
- Who and Where are the Self-Employed Working at or from Home? Census 2011 (ONS)
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