Nottingham is third-worst city for poverty, says report
NOTTINGHAM has been ranked as the third most poverty-stricken place in England in a new study.
Statistics released by Nottingham-based credit reference company Experian show the city is ahead of only Middlesbrough and Kingston-upon-Hull.
But the figures have been rubbished by city leaders, who say they are misleading.
Experian's study, published this week, used data from all 326 local authorities in England.
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It also places Nottingham as 14th worst for teenage pregnancies, and the 16th worst place for child poverty.
The scores are given after looking at factors including income, employment levels, education skills and health.
A spokesman for Experian said: "Our data shows that Nottingham does not score very highly for a number of factors. "It seems to have a large number of its population working on a below average wage.
"Our data in some ways goes a lot further to represent a truer picture than other tests carried out to measure poverty in England we look things like the quality of housing, how many households own a car, and teenage pregnancies."
In April last year the Post reported that Nottingham was ranked as the 20th most deprived area of England according to official figures released by the Government. These figures are released every four years, and at the last count Nottingham was up seven places, having previously been ranked at 13th most deprived.
Councillor Graham Chapman, deputy leader of Nottingham City Council, recognised that there was a large number of the city's population working on low wages and admitted this was a problem, but questioned the statistics' accuracy.
He said: "Firstly, these figures put out for the first time by Experian cover a range of factors and contradict the official findings of the Government into this matter.
"At the last check Nottingham made good progression climbing from 13th place to 20th.
"It is difficult to know how much weight the company has given to certain factors to come up with their final rankings. For example, the fact that not that many people in this city own cars could be seen as a testament to the city's public transport service."
Graham Allen, MP for Nottingham North, said that the statistics were based on a false indicator, as the city of Nottingham has a very tight boundary which excludes large parts of greater Nottingham.
He said: "I think the figures are always distorted when you look only at Nottingham city. The geography of the city boundary is situated very tightly around the inner core – which excludes the green belt, suburbs and rural areas.
"If the boundary was drawn around greater Nottingham then our place in this poverty table would rocket up."
He added: "Of course we have our problems in Nottingham, but these figures do not pay credit to all the great work people in Notts do to bring down pregnancy levels in teenagers, which have fallen for 14 quarters in a row, or the improvements in our exam results. They are a false indicator."
George Cowcher, chief executive of the Derbyshire and Notts Chamber of Commerce, said: "When you look at the figures in relative terms, they show Nottingham is where you would expect it to be – performing slightly better than places like Manchester and on a par with other major inner city areas in England."
The least poverty stricken area in England, according to Experian, was the Scilly Isles.