Report reveals areas of deprivation in borough

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The third installment of an important research initiative has revealed significant inequalities in deprivation across Calderdale.

The Community Foundation for Calderdale’s Vital Signs report, conducted in partnership with Huddersfield University, revealed Calderdale has the lowest levels of overall deprivation across West Yorkshire, but higher than the national average.

But there are also significant inequalities in deprivation wthin Calderale, with Park ward having a score twice that of the national average. On the other end of the spectrum, Northowram and Shelf is the ward with the least deprivation in Calderdale, scoring half the national average. The data analysed revealed 27,648 people in Calderdale are living in the most deprived 20 per cent of areas in England.

This means Calderdale has a deprivation level 9.3 per cent higher than the national average.

Steve Duncan, CEO of the foundation said: “The figures are shocking and we must strive to change this in Calderdale. We will be calling on businesses and philanthropists to help us tackle this issue. We know there is a huge need for support in Calderdale. Many of the organisations we currently fund are working in some of the hardest communities to reach. With more resource and support from the Community Foundation we believe we really can make a difference to many local people’s lives.”

The report reveals at least 10,050 children and young people are growing up in poverty, a figure above the national average. It also looked at the living environment of people living in Calderdale and found the rate of children killed or seriously injured in road traffic incident in Calderdale is 11.5 per cent higher than the national average. And the percentage of people living in fuel poverty is 19 per cent greater than in West Yorkshire and four per cent greater than the national average.

The foundation supports Happy Days Cycles, based in Park ward. It received a grant to develop its weekly bicycle recycling project and it is now using the money to grow ideas which can help provide opportunities in a deprived area.

Dave Fawcett, CEO of Happy Days, said “The funding has helped us employ a bike workshop supervisor. It has helped the bike workshop improve its customer service and increase sales, helping to make the charity more sustainable.

“We have also been able to employ one of our volunteers Frank Dunn, a family man and single father, who has been long term unemployed since 1991. He now acts as senior bike mechanic.”