- Bath and North East Somerset is one of the least deprived authorities in the country, ranking 247 out of 326 English authorities (where 1 = most deprived).
- At a small area level there are differences in deprivation within B&NES.
- Approximately 12% of children in Bath and North East Somerset lived in poverty during Q3 2013/14, increasing to approximately 19% when housing costs have been taken into account
- There are wide variations in the child poverty figures across different wards and LSOAs in Bath and North East Somerset
- Despite a range of excellent outcomes, Bath and North East Somerset is one of the more expensive places to live in the country. This creates a potential cost of living challenge, as residential wages are below the national average.
The impacts of Socio-economic inequality
Locally, we have seen that this issue is related to a wide range of factors across the life-course1 including Life Expectancy, Childhood Obesity, Employment, Crime and Disorder and a number of ill-health conditions.
Health gaps between occupations
Health gaps are the differences in self-assessed health experienced between socio-economic groupings of occupations. They are measured as the percentage point difference in the rates of "Not Good" health, reported in the 2011 Census, between the most and least advantaged socio-economic occupations. Occupations are classified by the Office for Nataional Statistics against seven groups.
In Bath and North East Somerset2 this health gap presents as a difference of
- 20% for men (greater than the figure for England and Wales)
- 18.5% for women (lower than the figure for England and Wales)
Compared to other Unitary authorities (those composed in a similar way to Bath and North East Somerset), the gap for men is ranked 10th highest (out of 55), while for women the gap is ranked 24/55.
Fig 2 - Health Gap 2011 between Class 1 and Class 7 (M/F) B&NES compared to Unitary Authorities
There are four dimensions of poverty captured under the 2010 Child Poverty Act:
- Relative low income poverty - below 60% median household income
- Absolute low income poverty - below 60% of median household income held constant at 2010/11 level
- Persistent low income poverty – below 60% of median household income for three years or longer
- Material deprivation – combined with relative low income below 70% median household income and suffering from inability to afford essential spending needs
The UK government primarily uses relative low income poverty as the definition of child poverty.
End Child Poverty Campaign 3
The End Child Poverty Campaign (made up of about 150 organisations from civic society) published a follow on report in October 2014 on the level of child poverty in each parliamentary constituency, local authority and ward in the UK. This data seeks to overcome methodological problems with published HMRC data, which overcounts families in receipt of IS and JSA and undercounts working households in receipt of working tax credits 4
Approximately 12% of children in Bath and North East Somerset lived in poverty during Q3 2013/14, increasing to approximately 19% when housing costs have been taken into account.
Figure 2 demonstrates the breakdown by local government ward of child poverty (including housing costs) against this model as at Q3 2013/14.
Figure 2: Percentage of children estimated to be in poverty, After Housing Costs, in Bath and North East Somerset by Ward as at Q3 2013/14 5
The Wards in B&NES with the highest and lowest percentage of children in poverty as at Q3 2013/14 After Housing Costs (AHC) were:
- Twerton - 38%
- Radstock - 35%
- Southdown – 27%
- Keynsham East – 6%
- Bathwick – 7%
- Saltford – 9%
Cost of Living
Affordability in context
The key cities network provides a means to compare Bath and North East Somerset with some of the other smaller and medium sized Cities and city regions. By comparing metrics with these cities it is possible to demonstrate an affordability challenge for the local area in the context of excellent health and Wellbeing outcomes for the area 6
Minimum income Standards
The Joseph Rowntree Foundation have conducted research on minimum income standards for the UK7. Between 2008 and 2013 this has increased by 25%. Based on this analysis a wage of £8.62 an hour is needed for a single person and £9.91 an hour each for a couple with dependent children.
Based on 2012 residental wages and current benefit levels then it is possible to calculate that
Which is between 21,000 and 36,000 residents8
Wage Levels and Cost of Accommodation
In 2012 average workplace earnings for Bath and North East Somerset were £385per week and residential earnings were £392 per week 9. Both are below average for Unitary Authority areas in England. The disparity in wage levels suggests a notable degree of commuting takes place in the area which can also contribute to travel cost demands.
Household Income after housing costs 10
Figure 1: NET household income (£) after housing costs (equivalised) by local middle super output areas
Figure 1 demonstrates the comparative differences in weekly household NET income, after housing costs. It highlights comparatively lower levels of NET income in South Bath, South Keynsham and parts of the Somer Valler (MSN and Radstock).
Note: This measure is the sum of the NET income of every member of a household. It calculates income after NI, council tax, pensions, rent, mortgages and other housing costs. For further details of the methodology see the ONS release notes
Most major financial lending organisations have started to publish data to a postcode sector (e.g. BA1 1) level of unsecured personal loans.11. Postcode sectors contained within Bath and North East Somerset had at Q3 (Oct-Dec) 13/14 unsecured loans to the value of over £78 million (As postcode sectors do not fit exactly to local authority areas, this number is likely to be an overestimation).
Levels of borrowing were at just under £1000 per household across the district with significant variation by postcode sector (table 1)
Table 1 - Unsecured personal loans by postcode sector, total amount and average amount per household, B&NES postcodes.
Per capita, the BA1 9 postcode sector had a balance of £2,311, making it the highest per capita rate in the country. This postcode sector is in the Bathavon North area and contains a relatively small number of properties in villages to the north west of the City of Bath.
- 1. Bath and North East Somerset Council (2013) JSNA - Socio-Economic Inequality: Presentation to Wellbeing Policy Development & Scrutiny Panel http://www.bathnes.gov.uk/sites/default/files/soci-oeconomic_inequality_presentation_jan_2013.pdf(accessed 16 Apr 2013)
- 2. Office for National Statistics (2013) Health gaps by socio-economic position of occupations in England, Wales, English regions and local authorities, 2011 http://www.ons.gov.uk/ons/rel/census/2011-census-analysis/health-gaps-by-socio-economic-position-of-occupations-in-england--wales--english-regions-and-local-authorities--2011/rpt-health-gaps-2011.html (Accessed 08/11/13) local analysis
- 3. End Child Poverty (2014), Child Poverty Map of the UK, available from: http://www.endchildpoverty.org.uk/poverty-in-your-area/
- 4. https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/683403/Commentary_CiLIF_2015.pdf - page 9
- 5. End Child Poverty (2014), Child Poverty Map of the UK, available from: http://www.endchildpoverty.org.uk/poverty-in-your-area/
- 6. Bath and North East Somerset Council (2013) Public Services Board: Delivering our vision (In-house analysis)
- 7. Joseph Rowntree Foundation(2013) A Minimum Income Standard for the UK http://www.jrf.org.uk/sites/files/jrf/income-living-standards-full.pdf (Accessed 02/12/13)
- 8. Bath and North East Somerset Council (2013) Average Residential Wage Levels, Out of Work Benefits and Minimum Income Standard (In-house analysis
- 9. ONS (2012) Annual Survey of Hours and Earnings http://www.ons.gov.uk/ons/publications/re-reference-tables.html?edition=tcm%3A77-280149 (Accessed 14/11/13), local analysis
- 10. ONS Small Area income estimates 2011-12
- 11. British Bankers Association (2014) Lenders set out levels of borrowing from across the country https://www.bba.org.uk/news/statistics/postcode-lending/lenders-set-out-levels-of-borrowing-from-across-the-country/#.U0QP01ePMec (Acccessed 22/05/14), local analysis