ALMOST two-thirds of Barnsley are now classed as ‘deprived’ according to new statistics - prompting a local councillor to call for more to be done to support residents.
Following analysis from the latest 2021 census results, households in England and Wales were classified in terms of four different ‘dimensions of deprivation’, which are based on certain characteristics.
The first is where any member of a household, who is not a full-time student, is either unemployed or long-term sick, and the second covers households where no person has at least five or more GCSE passes or equivalent qualifications, and no 16 to 18-year-olds at the home are full-time students.
The third dimension is where any person in the household has general health that is ‘bad’ or ‘very bad’ or has a long-term health problem, and the fourth where the household’s accommodation is either overcrowded or is in a shared dwelling, or has no central heating.
Office for National Statistics data shows 57.2 per cent of households were deprived in at least one of these areas when the most recent census was carried out.
It meant that the area stood above the average across England and Wales.
In Barnsley, the five areas with the highest deprivation rates were Athersley, 69.4 per cent, Thurnscoe, 67.4 per cent and Kendray at 66.5 per cent.
Worsbrough Common and Worsbrough also make up the top five with rates of 66.6 per cent and 63.5 per cent respectively.
By contrast, the neighbourhoods with the lowest level of deprivation were Silkstone, Hoylandswaine and Cawthorne, at 41.4 per cent of households.
Coun Jake Lodge, who represents the Worsbrough ward, told the Chronicle the new figures aren’t ‘surprising’.
He said: “It’s no surprise to me that we’ve fallen in that category.
“I think we need more investment locally - but we also need it across the borough.
“We need to have more opportunities for local people.
“Over the last six years we have been supporting families with children who are on free school meals through the Healthy Holidays programme.
“We’ve also put measures in place with the Worsbrough Community Pantry which is supporting residents to get food.”
The Chronicle recently revealed that more than 8,000 people are currently on a waiting list for a council house, another aspect which Coun Lodge believes needs to be targeted.
“Recent figures show the amount of people that are on the waiting list with Berneslai Homes,” he added.
“People can’t afford to get into private renting so we need to be investing to help more people.
“My fear is that it’s going to get worse.
“I’ve seen the number of people who are dependent on foodbank parcels.
“There’s always more that needs to be done.”