Government deprivation figures for England show a pretty horrific picture for Salford. The latest statistics - for 2013 even though freshly released – break the whole of the country down into LSOAs, or Lower Layer Super Output Areas, and there's 32,844 of them which go geographically smaller than electoral wards and thus give a better picture of actual neighbourhoods.
Each of these LSOAs figure in an Index of Multiple Deprivation (IMD), where 1 is the most deprived and 32,844 is the least deprived. The Index combines seven measures and comes up with the placing - Income Deprivation, Employment Deprivation, Education, Skills and Training Deprivation, Health Deprivation and Disability, Crime, Barriers to Housing and Services, and Living Environment Deprivation.
According to this Index, the area around Athole Street at the side of the Langworthy Cornerstone is rated 57th most deprived in the whole country, followed by the Whit Lane area at 137, the Pendleton area around Broadwalk opposite Salford Precinct at 204, the Duchy Estate area at 212, areas of Winton at 220 and areas of Little Hulton at 275.
Since 2013, the year on which the figures are based, the houses around Athole Street have been bulldozed and are being replaced with mostly private market property; while houses on Whit Lane have been tinned up and left, waiting for plans this year for more unaffordable housing, courtesy of Keepmoat.
The pattern seems to be that, rather than solving its economic and social problems, Salford Council has a policy of diluting them by bulldozing the area or adding houses for wealthier people. It's a policy that the Salford Star showed in great detail in the latest print issue (Social Cleansing in Salford pages 18 and 19 – click here).
In Higher Broughton, for instance, where four hundred affordable houses once stood, there are just 25 left following demolitions, with replacement new houses fetching up to £240,000. In Lower Broughton, Countryside Properties put the policy in black and white... "It was a key aspiration of the Development Agreement to significantly reduce the proportion of affordable housing" it stated. And again, in its original planning application the developer insisted: "By introducing more market housing, which is generally occupied by a greater proportion of economically active people, there is likely to be an improvement in the health of the residential population of the area."
Neither Higher nor Lower Broughton now figure amongst the worst areas of multiple deprivation in Salford. Indeed, median household income for Ordsall, another area of massive redevelopment, is £30,479 according to latest Council figures.
While bulldozing, socially cleansing and diluting the population of the most deprived areas of the city, Salford's problems still very much remain. Almost one third (28%) of the city's areas, or LSOAs, remain within the ten per cent most deprived in England.
On the individual measures within the Index of Multiple Deprivation, the Broadwalk area of Pendleton is the eighth worst area in the whole country – out of 32,844 areas – for Employment Deprivation, a measure of the proportion of the working-age population `involuntarily excluded from the labour market'. It also comes in 18th worst for Health Deprivation and Disability and 72nd for Income Deprivation. Winton (43), central Eccles (80) and Whit Lane (85) also figure badly for Health Deprivation and Disability.
That Whit Lane should rank so highly in deprivation statistics shows, yet again, the abject failure of the £53million ten year Charlestown and Lower Kersal New Deal for Communities (NDC) project, which was supposed to make things better. Many of the people who led the flopped NDC are still either working for the Council or social enterprises leading the further `regeneration' of Salford.