Friday, 16 December 2011

Deprivation in Sheffield

This summer I was asked to write a report about deprivation in Sheffield. I finished this in September and the reaction since then has been quite positive (i.e. people have actually been reading it!). So, I thought I'd link to it directly here and also pull out a few of the main findings from it. Click on the image below to see the pdf - or just click here.

In the report I look at how patterns of deprivation in Sheffield compare to 13 other cities in England. Sheffield is not as deprived as many other cities (e.g. Liverpool, Manchester) but the geography of deprivation in the city means that it is one of the most divided - spatially at least. In one sense this might have something to do with the boundaries of local authorities and how wide an area they cover but, ultimately, it is at the local government level that issues associated with deprivation are most acutely felt so the boundary issue is only part of the problem.

I also look at the differences between areas that seem to be similar in terms of how deprived they are. In doing so I draw upon some previous work I did with colleagues at the University of Manchester. The bottom line here is that there there is a need to think more deeply about the different roles and contexts of areas and how they differ from each other - particularly in relation to how policies are formulated.

There is also a need to think about issue of social and spatial inequality more widely rather than simply focusing on the 'most deprived' locations, though of course this will remain a policy priority in many cities.