SINePost newsletter - May 2014
In this issue ...
- Health and Wellbeing: Joint Strategic Needs Assessment (JSNA) summary
- New data on INFORM Somerset
- Levels of Personal Debt
- Somerset Financial Inclusion Strategy 2014-18
- Economic Factsheet: Town Centres
- Economic Competitiveness Index 2013
- Jobs Density
- Broadband Speed and Access
- Local Alcohol Profiles (LAPE) 2014
- Opinions and Lifestyle Survey: Illness and Disability
- Sex Workers and Social Exclusion review
- Forthcoming Statistical Releases
1. Health and Wellbeing: Joint Strategic Needs Assessment (JSNA) summary
A JSNA Summary for 2013/14 has now been published on the Somerset Intelligence website. The summary provides a snapshot of topical facts and figures and overview of the key issues currently facing Somerset: www.somersetintelligence.org.uk/jsna.html
A hard-copy edited version will shortly be published and made available for libraries, GP surgeries and other public buildings.
The Somerset Intelligence website forms an evidence base for the JSNA and is constantly updated with latest reports and briefing papers. New content on the following subjects was added in April:
- Cancer; Circulatory diseases; Respiratory disease
- Pregnancy and Maternity; Healthy diet and Physical activity; Smoking and Tobacco Control
2. New data on INFORM Somerset
A number of updates have been made to the INFORM Somerset data hub, providing latest available local data on some key indicators, including:
- Benefits claimants – including Jobseekers Allowance (JSA), Income Support and Disability Living Allowance.
- Housing – numbers of applicants on the Homefinder (social) housing waiting list, housing affordability ratios, and counts of gypsy and traveller caravans.
- Crime – burglary, violent crime and criminal damage statistics.
Information is presented in the form of maps, charts or tables, at district, ward and LSOA level (as applicable). INFORM Somerset is available at: http://informsomerset.org.uk/
3. Levels of Personal Debt
Around £265 million is owed by people in Somerset by way of unsecured personal loans according to latest data from the British Bankers’ Association; equating to around £500 per head of population. Aggregate figures are available for each postcode sector: www.bba.org.uk/news/statistics/postcode-lending/lenders-set-out-levels-of-borrowing-from-across-the-country/
The TA5 2 postcode sector (encompassing Cannington and parts of the Quantocks) has the highest level of personal loans per person in Somerset, an average of £752 per head. The lowest average personal debt is in the Hinton St George area of South Somerset (£259).
Personal loans only give a partial picture of debt. In fact, the BBA data covers around 60% of the personal loan market. Credit unions, payday loans and overdrafts are not included in the figures.
4. Somerset Financial Inclusion Strategy 2014-18
An updated Financial Inclusion Strategy for Somerset has been launched, following on from work done through the inaugural 2011-2013 strategy:
The report identifies that a significant number of Somerset residents experience financial hardship, debt and a range of other challenges which are exacerbated by the rural nature of the county in relation to transport and access to services. It is set against a national background of welfare reform, public sector budget reductions and a growth in short term loans and problematic debt.
5. Economic Factsheet: Town Centres
Somerset County Council’s Economy Group has produced a data profile of retail and leisure units across the county, with associated vacancy rates. See: www.somersetintelligence.org.uk/files/Economic%20Factsheet_Town%20centres%20April%202014.pdf
According to the factsheet, 9.7% of retail/leisure units in Somerset were standing vacant as of March 2014, which is lower than regional (10.3%) and national (12.0%) averages. Of Somerset’s main centres, Yeovil had the highest vacancy rate (18.0%) and Taunton the lowest (11.2%).
6. Economic Competiveness Index 2013
The 2013 UK Competitiveness Index assesses the economic competitiveness of localities through a single indicator, combining factors such as research and development expenditure, business start-up rates, imports and exports, productivity, and pay. Data is compared across all UK local authorities: www.cforic.org/downloads.php
According to the index, Mendip currently has the most ‘competitive’ economy in Somerset (ranked 170th of 379 local authorities nationally). This is followed by West Somerset (ranked 172nd), Taunton Deane (177th), South Somerset (197th) and Sedgemoor (283rd).
Since the previous index in 2010, Mendip and West Somerset have both improved their positions in the competitiveness rankings, while Taunton Deane, South Somerset and Sedgemoor have fallen.
7. Jobs Density
New jobs density estimates for 2012 have now been released by the Office for National Statistics (ONS). Jobs density is defined as the number of jobs in an area divided by the resident population aged 16-64 in that area. For example, a job density of 1.0 means that there is one job for every resident aged 16-64. See: www.nomisweb.co.uk/articles/815.aspx
Taunton Deane has the highest jobs density in Somerset (0.87) and Sedgemoor the lowest (0.65). The figure for Sedgemoor is one of the lowest in the South West region.
Only Exeter and West Dorset in the South West have a jobs density of 1.0 or greater.
8. Broadband Speed and Access
The proportion of Somerset homes capable of receiving superfast broadband has almost doubled in the last year according to figures from Ofcom: http://maps.ofcom.org.uk/broadband/broadband-data/#
Around 40% of premises in Somerset were within superfast broadband areas in 2013, up from 21% in 2012. Nevertheless, only around 5% of broadband connections in Somerset are currently superfast.
Around 1 in 8 of Somerset homes currently experience broadband speeds of less than 2Mb per second. The proportion is declining year-on-year; two years ago around 1 in 6 homes received less than 2Mb/s.
9. Local Alcohol Profiles (LAPE) 2014
Public Health England has released an update to its local authority (district) profiles of alcohol-related harm, the first update since 2012. The LAPE tool presents data for 26 alcohol-related indicators, including mortality, hospital admissions, crime and binge drinking: http://www.lape.org.uk/index.html
According to the profiles, Somerset districts perform better (or significantly better) than the national average in respect of the majority of indicators of alcohol-related harm. However, Mendip and South Somerset are rated as significantly worse than the national benchmark in terms of rates of Under 18s alcohol-specific hospital admissions.
10. Opinions and Lifestyle Survey: Illness and Disability
The Office for National Statistics (ONS) has published results from its Opinions and Lifestyle Survey looking at people’s income, employment status, age and smoking habits in relation to long-standing illness or disability: www.ons.gov.uk/ons/rel/ghs/opinions-and-lifestyle-survey/adult-health-in-great-britain--2012/sty-lsill-2012.html
- Unemployed people are almost twice as likely as those in employment to have a limiting long-standing illness or disability (17% compared with 9%).
- People with higher incomes are less likely than those on lower incomes to have a limiting long-standing illness or disability. In 2012, just 6% of those with an income of £50,000 or more had a limiting long-standing illness or disability, compared with 30% of those with an income of up to £10,000.
11. Sex Workers and Social Exclusion review
A new review commissioned by the Department of Health explores how people engaged in sex work are subject to high levels of social exclusion: www.gov.uk/government/publications/social-exclusion-of-people-in-the-sex-industry-review-of-evidence
While the sex industry is not considered by professionals in Somerset to be a major issue, it is anticipated that numbers of sex workers could expand with increases in the Hinkley Point construction workforce over the coming years.
12. Forthcoming Statistical Releases
The following are due for release at sub-regional geographies during May:
- 2011 Census - Armed Forces Statistics for Local Authorities in England and Wales (ONS)
- 2011 Census - Workplace Population Statistics for Workplace Zones and MSOAs in England and Wales (ONS)
- Count of Traveller Caravans - January 2014 (ONS)
- Electoral Statistics for UK – 2013 (ONS)
- Local Tobacco Control Profiles for England - Data Update - May 2014 (PHE)
- Sub-national health expectancies - Disability-Free Life Expectancy at Birth and age 65 by Upper Tier Local Authority, England: 2006-08, 2007-09, 2008-10 (ONS)
- Public Health Outcomes Framework - May 2014 Data Update (PHE)
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