1. Personal Well-being estimates
Levels of happiness, life satisfaction and feeling that things done in life are worthwhile have all improved in Somerset, while anxiety has fallen, according to latest annual figures from the Measuring National Well-being programme. Based on the results of the Annual Population Survey (APS), the programme aims to measure people’s ongoing quality of life and complement other national indicators.
Average ratings for Somerset in 2017/18 were 7.9 out of 10 for life satisfaction; 8.2 out of 10 for ‘worthwhile’; 7.7 out of 10 for happiness; and 2.9 out of 10 for anxiety. Somerset was better than the national average in respect of all four indicators of subjective well-being. At a district level, Taunton Deane ranked highest in terms of all four measures.
In terms of the distribution of scores, 77% of adults in Somerset rated their happiness as ‘high’ (a score of between 7 and 10), while 7% of residents rated their happiness as ‘low’ (a score of between 0 and 4).
For the full dataset, see: www.ons.gov.uk/peoplepopulationandcommunity/wellbeing/datasets
Previous analysis identified three groups of people at particular risk of having the poorest personal well-being. These were:
- unemployed or inactive renters with self-reported health problems or disability
- employed renters with self-reported health problems or disability
- retired homeowners with self-reported health problems or disability
2. Household Projections
The Office for National Statistics has taken over responsibility for publishing household projections for England and have recently released new statistics based on 2016 household numbers.
There were around 238,000 households in Somerset in 2016, with numbers projected to rise to 285,000 by 2041, an increase of 47,000 households. This breaks down as a rise of around 12,000 households each for Taunton Deane, Sedgemoor and South Somerset districts; 10,000 for Mendip; and 2,000 for West Somerset.
The vast majority of this increase will be in older households headed by someone aged over 65. By 2041, 47% of Somerset households are projected to be headed by someone aged over 65, compared to 36% in 2016. This rise mirrors the national trend, however, across England households headed by someone over 65 are projected to rise from 28% in 2016 to 37% in 2041.
Mendip and Sedgemoor are projected to have the lowest proportions of households headed by someone aged over 65, at 45% of all households (up from 34%), while West Somerset will have the highest proportion, at 60% (up from 47%).
3. Council Tax Stock of Properties count
At the end of March 2018, there were a total of 257,020 domestic properties in Somerset, according to the Valuation Office Agency’s (VOA) administrative database.
Sedgemoor continues to have the highest proportion of properties in the lowest Council Tax Band (A), accounting for 24% of all properties in the district (compared to 14%-16% in all other districts). Meanwhile, West Somerset continues to have the highest proportion of properties in the higher Council Tax Bands (F, G and H), accounting for 11% of all properties.
Note that this count is not the same and as a count of ‘households’, as some properties may be empty, or second homes, for example.
4. Indices of Deprivation update announcement
An update to the English Indices of Deprivation, including the Index of Multiple Deprivation (IMD), has been scheduled for Summer 2019. OCSI (Oxford Consultants on Social Inclusion) have been commissioned to update the Indices on behalf of the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG).
The Indices of Deprivation provide an official measure of deprivation for all small areas (Lower-layer Super Output Areas, LSOAs) in England. The 2019 update will retain and replicate the model of multiple deprivation used in 2015.
5. Working Age Armed Forces Veterans statistics
The Office for National Statistics has published detailed local data on working age armed forces veterans (using responses provided in the 2011 Census) with the aim of helping government departments, local authorities and charities meet their commitments under the Armed Forces Covenant:
The figures reveal that at the time of the last Census there were an estimated 10,389 UK Armed Forces veterans of working age in Somerset, making up 3.2 % of the working age population (nationally, the proportion was 2.0%).
Other findings included:
- 14% of working age veterans in Somerset had a long-term health problem or disability which limited their day-to-day activity.
- Around three-quarters (74%) owned their own property.
- More than four in five (85%) were employed.
- Around one-third (31%) were currently, or had previously worked, in skilled trades or as process, plant and machine operatives.
- One-third (33%) were currently, or had previously worked, in professional, or associate professional and technical occupations.
6. Business and Employment Survey (BRES) results
The total number of employees in Somerset increased by approximately 500 between 2016 and 2017, to a total of 222,900, according to provisional estimates from the Business Register and Employment Survey (BRES):
Between 2016 and 2017, in Somerset, the largest increase in employees by broad industrial grouping was in accommodation and food services and in business administration and support services. The largest decrease was in manufacturing.
Provisional results also indicate:
- Between 2016 and 2017, the number of full-time employees in Somerset declined by 900, while the number of part-time workers increased by 1,400.
- Between 2016 and 2017, the number of private sector employees increased by approximately 1,500, while the number of public sector workers declined by 1,100.
7. Early Years Profile
Public Health England has updated early years profiles for 2018, bringing together a range of indicators on the health and well-being of children aged 0 to 5 by local authority area:
Somerset is similar to the national average benchmark in terms of the majority of measures. Indicators for which Somerset appears better than the national average benchmark include A&E attendances (in those aged 0-4) and tooth decay. Areas where Somerset appears worse than the national benchmark include hospital admissions caused by injuries and smoking status at time of delivery. Data is based largely on the 2016/17 period.
8. Fire Statistics incident level datasets
The Home Office has published small area (LSOA) data on incidents attended by Fire and Rescue Services, from 2010/11 to 2016/17, as part of its transparency agenda. As well as every incident attended, the dataset contains records of false alarms and non-fire incidents covering a wide range of activity including flooding, lift releases, and co-responding to medical incidents.
The data indicates that in the financial year 2016/17, a total of 5,041 incidents were attended in Somerset. False alarms due to apparatus (i.e. alarm systems) accounted for the highest proportion of incidents (24%), followed by non-fire medical incidents (13%), road traffic/transport incidents (9%) and primary dwelling fires (9%).
At a small area level, Yeovil Town Centre accounted for the highest number of incidents in 2016/17. This was followed by Williton, Cheddar South and Taunton Town Centre. The Sampson’s Wood area of Yeovil was the only area not to see any incidents recorded.
9. Total Energy Consumption statistics
Total energy consumption in Somerset declined by 2% between 2015 and 2016 to 1,093 ktoe (thousand tonnes of oil equivalent) in final estimates published by the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS).
Overall, 41% of energy consumption in Somerset in 2016 was attributed to transport (up from 39% in 2015), 29% to domestic usage (up from 27% in 2015) and 28% to industry and commercial use (down from 30% in 2015).
Petroleum products accounted for more than half (51%) of all consumption; gas accounted for 24%; electricity, 19%; bioenergy and wastes, 3% and coal, 3%.
10. New Office for National Statistics Centres
The Office for National Statistics (ONS) has announced the formation of five new ‘Centres’ focussing on filling evidence gaps and producing analysis on key policy challenges of the age. The five areas of focus are:
- Ageing and Demography – assessing the needs of an ageing population
- Equalities and Inclusion – addressing questions about fairness and equality in society
- Crime and Justice – improving the understanding of the nature of crime
- Subnational Analysis – to help local areas design their own policies
- International Migration – understanding migration’s significance in our population and economy
For more details, see: https://blog.ons.gov.uk/2018/10/04/new-ons-centres-to-focus-on-the-public-policy-issues-that-matter/
11. Forthcoming Statistical Releases
The following are due for release at sub-regional geographies during October:
- Small area population estimates in England and Wales: mid-2017 (ONS)
- Revised small area population estimates in England and Wales: mid-2012 to mid-2016 (ONS)
- Hate Crime, England and Wales, 2017 to 2018 (Home Office)
- National Child Measurement Programme, England - 2017/18 (NHS)
- Measures from the Adult Social Care Outcomes Framework, England - 2016-17 (NHS)
- Destinations of KS4 and KS5 pupils: 2017 (DfE)