Caerphilly MPs “outrage” as Lansbury Park named most deprived area in Wales
The MP for Caerphilly has spoken of his “outrage” that St James ward is the most deprived area of Wales.
Wayne David made his comments after a Welsh Government report revealed the ward, which houses the Lansbury Park estate, overtook an area in Rhyl in deprivation and poverty.
The Welsh Index of Multiple Deprivation is published every three years and the latest figures show St James moving from second to first in the list, calculated mainly on income and employment.
The index also considers health, education, access to services, community safety, physical environment and housing.
Mr David said: “This is truly shocking news. Lansbury Park has suffered from a whole range of problems over the past few years.
“A recent report showed that the Westminster Government’s welfare reform cuts have hit the least well-off in the estate very hard indeed.
“Huge investment is needed in Lansbury Park to improve the facilities which are available to the community. It is therefore essential that the local authority has the resources to make this investment.
“It is vital that the ConDem Government ensure that adequate resources are released to help communities like Lansbury Park and welfare reform does not hit the least well-off.”
Data from the 2011 census showed 48% of those aged 16-24 in the ward were not employed and 16% hadn’t worked for ten years.
A spokesman for Caerphilly County Borough Council said: “The council is aware of St James ward’s ranking in the Wales Index of Multiple Deprivation.
“There is already a great deal of good work being carried out in this area to tackle poverty, with the Communities First programme, Flying Start and Families First initiatives all having an active presence in this particular community.
“The Council works alongside partner agencies to engage with the community and to provide support with these issues.
“Indeed many council houses in St James ward have been earmarked for significant investment improvements as part of our wide-scale Welsh Housing Quality Standard programme.
“The council wishes to carefully consider the findings of this report before making any further comment.”
The Twyn Carno ward is ranked sixth in the index, an improvement from third in 2011.
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