SINePost newsletter - June 2016
In this issue ...
- Joint Strategic Needs Assessment (JSNA) Annual Summary
- Population Projections
- Housing Affordability estimates
- Housing Benefit claimants
- Mortgage and Landlord Possession statistics
- Internet User statistics
- Value of Tourism estimates
- Local Health Inequalities tool
- Road Traffic volumes
- Traveller Caravan Count
- Census Transformation Conference
- What's New on the Somerset Intelligence website?
- Forthcoming Statistical Releases
1. Joint Strategic Needs Assessment (JSNA) Annual Summary
Somerset’s JSNA summary for 2015/16, focussing on the needs of vulnerable children and young people, is now available on the Somerset Intelligence website: www.somersetintelligence.org.uk/jsna/
The JSNA is intended to inform the strategic direction of health and social care in Somerset. Its evidence and implications inform the Somerset Health and Wellbeing Strategy.
Key findings from the 2015/16 summary include:
- Between 5,000 and 10,000 children are in particular need, with the majority of those living in the most deprived wards in the county’s towns.
- Those children in need living in rural areas face particularly difficult issues with less contact with existing services.
- Evidence shows us that a renewed focus centred on these deprived areas would benefit those in need.
- The more that information and signposting is made easily accessible, the more individuals, families and communities can help themselves.
2. Population Projections
From its current estimate of 548,000, Somerset’s population is projected to increase by 37,000 over the next ten years, according to latest projections released by the Office for National Statistics. The population is projected to pass the 600,000 mark by 2031, based on current trends.
The major component of the increase is a projected rise in the number of older residents. By 2026 there are anticipated to be an additional 27,000 Somerset residents aged 75 or over. By comparison, the size of Somerset’s ‘working age’ population will be broadly unchanged. The number of child residents (aged 0-15) is projected to increase by 7,000 over the next ten years.
At a district level, Sedgemoor is projected to have the biggest overall population increase over the next decade (up 9.7%), followed by Taunton Deane (up 7.4%). By comparison, the anticipated increase in West Somerset is a modest 1.8%.
For the full dataset, see: www.ons.gov.uk/peoplepopulationandcommunity/populationandmigration/populationprojections
3. Housing Affordability estimates
House prices in Somerset remain high relative to earnings, according to latest affordability estimates from the Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG). The ratio of lower quartile house prices to lower quartile earnings provides a measure of how affordable it is for households to get onto the property ladder: www.gov.uk/government/statistical-data-sets/live-tables-on-housing-market-and-house-prices (Table 576)
In 2015, the ‘affordability ratio’ was higher than the national average in all Somerset districts. West Somerset was least affordable, with house prices at the lower end of the housing market at 10.2 times lower quartile earnings. By contrast, South Somerset was most affordable, with a ratio of 7.6. Nationally, the affordability ratio was 7.0.
Compared to the previous 2014 estimates, Mendip, South Somerset and West Somerset appear to have become relatively less affordable to first-time buyers, while Sedgemoor and Taunton Deane have become relatively more affordable.
Please note that averages can hide considerable variations within each district.
An interactive ‘affordability’ map is also available at: https://communities.maps.arcgis.com/apps/MapSeries/index.html?appid=92675dad41214a52afcdb1c9fce71783
4. Housing Benefit claimants
The number of Housing Benefit claimants in Somerset is at its lowest level since 2010 in figures published by the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP). There were 33,931 claimants in February 2016, down from a peak of 36,622 in January 2013.
Two thirds (66%) of claimants in February 2016 were in the social rented sector and one third (34%) in the private rented sector. A total of 2,389 claimants in the social rented sector received a reduced payment due to the Spare Room Subsidy Reduction (also referred to as the ‘bedroom tax’). Numbers of households subject to the reduction continue to (slowly) decline, linked to downsizing.
5. Mortgage and Landlord Possession statistics
Possession claims issued by landlords in Somerset increased by 3% in 2015/16, while possession claims issued by mortgage lenders fell by 46%, according to latest annual figures from the Ministry of Justice.
In 2015/16, there were 747 claims submitted by landlords to repossess a property, and 101 claims submitted by mortgage lenders. Taunton Deane saw the highest number of possession claims made of any Somerset district.
Since the economic recession, possession claims issued by mortgage lenders in Somerset have fallen steadily, while possession claims for landlords have been on an upward trend.
6. Internet Users statistics
An estimated 50,000 adults in Somerset have never used the internet or have not used it in the last three months, according to latest annual estimates from the Office for National Statistics (based on the period January to March 2016). This represents a decline on the 56,000 ‘non-users’ estimated at the beginning of 2015.
National analysis continues to identify key non-users as people aged 75 or over (of which 57% have never used the internet) and people with a disability (of which 25% have never used the internet). Two-thirds of women aged over 75 have never used the internet.
7. Value of Tourism estimates
Total tourism expenditure in Somerset and Dorset (combined) was approximately £3.2 billion in 2013 according to figures from the Office for National Statistics (based on NUTS2 statistical regions): www.ons.gov.uk/peoplepopulationandcommunity/leisureandtourism
The proportion of output of all industries in Somerset and Dorset that can be directly attributed to tourism spend is 5.0%, well above the UK average of 3.7%.
Nationally, the economic importance of tourism is most profound in Cornwall (with 9.9% of output directly attributed to tourism spend). This is followed by Cumbria (6.6%), North Yorkshire (6.6%), Outer London (6.3%), Devon (5.7%), West Wales (5.7%), and then Somerset and Dorset.
8. Local Health Inequalities tool
The difference in life expectancy between the most and least deprived areas of Somerset is 4.6 years for males and 2.8 years for females, according to estimates which underpin Public Health England’s latest ‘Segment Tool’: http://fingertips.phe.org.uk/profile/segment
The figures are based on latest life expectancy at birth estimates and the 2015 Index of Multiple Deprivation, and represent a narrowing of inequalities ‘gaps’ compared to the previous release.
The tool is intended for detailed investigation of causes of death that drive inequalities in life expectancy at a local authority level.
9. Road traffic volumes
The volume of traffic on Somerset’s roads increased for the third successive year in 2015 according estimates from the Department for Transport (DfT). A total of 3,985 million vehicle miles were travelled during the year, compared to 3,899 million vehicle miles in 2014 (an increase of 2.2%). Regionally and nationally the rate of increase was lower (at 1.5% and 1.7% respectively).
Historically, traffic volumes in Somerset rose steadily between 1993 and 2008, before declining through to 2012. Overall volumes are currently just 6% higher than a decade ago but 28% higher than 20 years ago.
Meanwhile, the DfT has also published updated figures on road lengths, indicating a total of 4,206 miles of road in Somerset, the twelfth longest network in England.
Approximately 0.8% of Somerset roads are motorway, 10.5% are ‘A’ roads and 88.7% are minor roads. The county has an additional 74 miles of road compared to ten years ago, an overall increase of 1.8% (by comparison, the national increase has been 1.5%).
10. Traveller Caravan Count
The total number of traveller caravans in Somerset in January 2016 was 560, in the latest count published by the DCLG. This was 68 more than a year earlier, with the rise largely attributable to increases in numbers in Mendip and Sedgemoor. Overall, more than half of traveller caravans in Somerset are located in Mendip.
The January 2016 count indicated that 71% of traveller caravans in Somerset were on authorised land and that 29% were on unauthorised land.
11. Census Transformation Conference
The Office for National Statistics has announced a national conference to present latest research and thinking from its transformation programme, in light of a move to a predominantly online census in 2021, and increased use of administrative data in 2021 and beyond.
Further details of the event, to be held in Winchester on 28/29 June, are available at: www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/transforming-the-census-to-2021-and-beyond-registration-24099373876
12. What’s New on the Somerset Intelligence website?
Updates in the last month include:
13. Forthcoming Statistical Releases
The following are due for release at sub-regional geographies during June:
- Population estimates for UK, England and Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland: mid-2015 (ONS)
- Internal Migration by Local Authorities in England and Wales, Year Ending June 2015 (ONS)
- Statutory homelessness, England: January to March 2016, and homelessness prevention and relief, England: 2015 to 2016 (DCLG)
- Children’s Social Care data in England 2015/16 (Ofsted)
- Statistics on Women's Smoking Status at Time of Delivery: England - Apr 2015 to Mar 2016 (NHS)
- House price statistics for small areas: year ending Dec 1995 to year ending Dec 2015 (ONS)
- Fire statistics: England April 2014 to March 2015 (Home Office)
- Local authority carbon dioxide emissions: 2014 estimates (DECC)
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