Shocking figures have been released, revealing high levels of poverty and deprivation in Chichester.
Profiles for Chichester district’s 29 wards show more than 1,200 people living in Chichester East ward are experiencing deprivation relating to low income, compared with 268 in Chichester’s North ward.
The figures highlight a contrast within the district, with the east ward having the highest level of multiple deprivation – measured by income deprivation, employment deprivation, health deprivation and more.
Donnington and the North ward rank as the least deprived in the district.
Further results were compiled by splitting each of the district’s 29 wards into small geographical areas, a total of 72.
The figures reveal Chichester north is ranked the least deprived in the district (ranking 72), with the South and East wards the most deprived.
And campaigners in the city have welcomed the statistics for highlighting the poverty on our doorstep.
“People living comfortably can be right next door to someone struggling with debt, living a life of isolation and fear, often forced to respond to pressure from creditors so there is no money left for the essentials of food and rent for their family,” said Colin Clark, centre manager for charity Christians Against Poverty.
A newly-established foodbank launching in September shows the need for support to those in and around the Chichester district.
“There is certainly a difference in the demographic make-up of the city depending on where you live. Areas like the North ward show very little deprivation, whereas areas to the east show about 20 per cent of the population is on some form of benefits,” said manager Joanne Kondabeka.
“One of the main reasons for this is the type of housing found in these wards, the north of the city is owner-occupier whereas the east ward provides a lot more social housing. The deprivation statistics certainly prove there is poverty in the city.”
The figures rank the East ward as the most deprived for employment out of the 72 areas: the most deprived areas for employment are Barnfield Drive, Bradshaw Road, Story Road, Homebase Superstore and Chichester Park Hotel.
The feelings of a divide between wealth and poverty in Chichester is one echoed among a number of residents.
“I’d say there is a wealth divide in the area. I think in general Chichester isn’t a cheap place to live and it should be made more accessible for those with different levels of means,” said Louise Howard, 28, from Bracklesham.
Mrs Bhimao, 61, from Tangmere, said: “I think that nothing is being done to bridge the gap between the two levels of wealth in the area.
“The problem just gets wider, I do think it’s a problem wherever you go and no change will happen.”
Councillor Tony Dignum, for Chichester North ward, also acknowledged the gap – but said work was being done.
“The job of the district council is to get behind the numbers and help those people who are in difficulty.
“It is the responsibility of all the authorities to do their bit to help all the community and I think the district council does a thoroughly good job as its share,” he said.
Behind the figures
-The information is based on 2010 data which splits Chichester’s 29 wards into 72 small geographical areas – one being the most deprived and 72 being the least deprived in the Chichester District.
-There are five Lower Super Output Areas which make up Chichester East ward, compared to four areas in Chichester North ward.
-Multiple deprivation is measured by income deprivation, employment deprivation, health deprivation and disability, education, skills and training, barriers to housing and services, crime and living environment
-The least deprived areas of the North ward’s small geographical area includes Norwich Road, Exeter Road, Lincoln Green, Warren Farm Lane, East Broyle Copse and Brandy Hole Lane.