SINePost newsletter - February 2015
In this issue ...
- University take-up
- Adult Participation in Sport and Recreation
- Benefits Expenditure
- New Labour Market Ward Profiles
- Review of LGBT Sexual Health Services
- Smoking among Young People estimates
- Local Health Inequalities Tool
- Small Area Domestic Electricity and Gas estimates
- Household Solar Energy statistics
- SINePost Reader survey
- What’s New on the Somerset Intelligence website?
- Forthcoming Statistical Releases
1. University take-up
Around 37% of pupils in state-funded mainstream schools and colleges in Somerset attended a UK higher education (HE) establishment the year after Key Stage 5, according to latest (2012/13) figures from the Department for Education. This represents a notable fall on the 44% of Somerset pupils going to HE in 2011/12, a year before the increase in tuition fees.
The proportion of Somerset pupils going to HE in 2012/13 remained well below the national average (of 48%) and was the 11th equal lowest of any local authority area in England. The South West continues to have the lowest rate of pupils going to university of any region in England.
For the full dataset, see: www.gov.uk/government/statistics/destinations-of-key-stage-4-and-key-stage-5-pupils-2012-to-2013
2. Adult Participation in Sport and Recreation
Adult participation in sport and active recreation continues to increase in Somerset according to latest results from Sport England’s annual Active People Survey (APS): www.sportengland.org/research/who-plays-sport/local-picture/
Around 26% of adults in the county regularly participate in sport or active recreation (equivalent to 30 minutes on 3 or more days a week) according to the 2013/14 survey, up from 22% at the time of the first Active People Survey in 2005/06.
District level data - aggregated over two years due to a relatively small sample size - suggests that participation is highest in South Somerset and Mendip (27%), followed by West Somerset (26%), Taunton Deane (25%) and Sedgemoor (24%).
The results continue to highlight wide socio-economic variations in participation rates, with 32% of adults in NS-SEC (National Statistics Socio-Economic Classification) 1 or 2 participating (typically professional and managerial occupations), compared to just 21% in the lowest NS-SEC, 4 to 7.
3. Benefits Expenditure
Overall benefit expenditure in Somerset fell for the first time in more than a decade in 2013/14 according to figures published by the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP), mirroring a national trend. A key factor in the (marginal) fall was the devolvement of Council Tax Benefit from the DWP to local authorities in April 2013.
The major component of Somerset’s benefits ‘bill’ is the State Pension, accounting for 62% of all costs in 2013/14 (nationally the State Pension accounts for around 50% of expenditure). Housing Benefit represents the second biggest component in Somerset (11% of total) and continues to increase, although at a slower rate than in recent years. Jobseekers Allowance (JSA) expenditure is falling and accounts for around 1% of costs.
4. New Labour Market Ward Profiles
The Office for National Statistics (ONS) has added new electoral ward profiles to its NOMIS labour market statistics website. The profiles are based on latest (2011) ward boundaries and provide key official data covering population, employment, unemployment, qualifications, earnings, benefit claimants and businesses. Comparisons can be made between all wards within a local authority (district) area. See: www.nomisweb.co.uk/reports/lmp/ward2011/contents.aspx
The new profiles have been introduced as part of a revamp of the NOMIS website, intended to improve its overall look and feel.
5. Review of LGBT Sexual Health Services
The Diversity Trust has published the findings of a review of sexual health services in Somerset, commissioned by Somerset Partnership NHS Trust: www.diversitytrust.org.uk/system/assets/102/original/SP_2.pdf
The review considers the experiences of local LGBT (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender) young people in accessing services, and makes a number of recommendations. The review finds that LGBT young people have unique and complex needs that are hard to meet through generic support services.
6. Smoking among Young People estimates
New figures published by Public Health England (PHE) estimate smoking rates among young people in local areas for the first time. The figures are modelled estimates of youth smoking rates for every local authority, ward and local NHS, based on factors known to predict smoking in young people.
In Somerset it is estimated that 15.0% of 15 year olds are regular or occasional smokers, higher than the national average of 12.7%. At a local level, the Somerset wards with the highest estimated prevalence are in Bridgwater (Westover, Eastover, Victoria and Hamp) and Taunton (Halcon and Eastgate).
Overall figures closely mirror adult smoking rates, with rates considerably higher in deprived communities. Public Health England identifies smoking as the single biggest cause of the difference in life expectancy between the richest and poorest in England.
For further details, see: www.gov.uk/government/news/new-tool-models-youth-smoking-variation-across-england
7. Local Health Inequalities Tool
Public Health England (PHE) has updated its Segment Tool for assessing health inequalities at a local level. The tool aims to highlight causes of death that are driving inequalities in life expectancy. See: http://www.lho.org.uk/viewResource.aspx?id=18505
By way of context, the tool indicates that male life expectancy at birth in Somerset is 5.0 years lower in the most deprived areas of the county than in the least deprived (comparing the 20% most deprived with the 20% least deprived). Female life expectancy is 3.9 years lower in the most deprived areas.
8. Small Area Domestic Electricity and Gas estimates
Latest estimates from the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) demonstrate wide variations in household energy consumption. The estimates are available for every LSOA (Lower-layer Super Output Area) and are aimed at supporting local energy efficiency and carbon reduction schemes.
Areas with the highest average electricity usage are predominantly rural. In 2013, overall mean domestic electricity consumption was 46% higher in Somerset’s villages and hamlets than in urban areas (5,554kWh per electricity meter compared to 3,812kWh per meter). Similarly, mean domestic gas consumption was around 39% higher in rural villages and hamlets than in urban areas of Somerset (15,452kWh per meter compared to 11,096kWh per meter).
For the full datasets, see: www.gov.uk/government/statistics/llsoa-electricity-and-gas-2013
9. Household Solar Energy statistics
Around 1 in 25 households in Somerset now have photovoltaic (solar energy) installations according to figures from the Department for Energy and Climate Change (DECC). The Feed-in-Tariff scheme (FITs) pays households a tariff for the electricity they generate and a tariff for the electricity they export back to the national grid: www.gov.uk/government/statistical-data-sets/sub-regional-feed-in-tariffs-confirmed-on-the-cfr-statistics
As at December 2014, there were 9,611 domestic photovoltaic (solar energy) installations in Somerset, an increase of around 2,000 on the figure a year earlier. At a district level, West Somerset has the highest rate of installations (at 450 per 10,000 households) and Taunton Deane the lowest (374 per 10,000). The South West benefits from by far the highest rate of installations of any region in England, linked to the (relatively) favourable climate.
10. SINePost Reader survey
Thank you to those who responded to the online survey in December’s newsletter. We had 50 responses in all, from a wide range of organisations. The results indicate that the great majority of people were happy with the frequency of the newsletter, and we were encouraged that around two-thirds regularly used SINePost as a springboard to access further information though the Somerset Intelligence website. We will aim to take forward your individual comments, ideas and suggestions over the coming months.
11. What’s New on the Somerset Intelligence website?
The following resources have been added or updated in the last month:
12. Forthcoming Statistical Releases
The following datasets are due for release at sub-regional geographies during February:
- Household projections in England, 2012 to 2037 (DCLG)
- House price statistics for small areas: 1995 to 2013 (ONS)
- Benefit cap: number of households capped to November 2014 (DWP)
- Rough sleeping statistics: Autumn 2014 (DCLG)
- Local tobacco control profiles for England: February 2015 data update (PHE)
- Public health outcomes framework: February 2015 data update (PHE)
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