A report disclosing rates of poverty, welfare, housing, cancer, dementia and crime in Rugby has been released this week.
The Warwickshire Quality of Life 2014 report has been compiled using data from the recent census and the Office of National Statistics by Warwickshire Observatory, which collects data for local authorities.
Compared to Nuneaton and Bedworth, where some indicators have signified a drop in the quality of life, an overview of the data shows no significant changes in Rugby except for a significant drop in the number of young people not in employment, education or training, which has dropped to 76, 2.2 per cent, the lowest in the county.
In the borough child poverty remains at 13.1 per cent and homes in fuel poverty, a home that spends over ten per cent of its income on heating, is 23 per cent.
The report also revealed that one in five unpaid carers provide 50 or more hours of unpaid care a week in Rugby. There are 677 young carers in the town, 102 providing between 20 and 50 hours, and 63 providing more than 50 hours a week. The majority of young carers in Warwickshire are aged between 10 and 14.
The impact of welfare reforms including Universal Credit in the borough will save the government £24m in payments, however this also means £24m could be taken out of the local economy each year. Good news for Rugby includes “significantly lower” rates of obese children than the England average.
Since February 2010 the Job Seekers Allowance claimant count has been falling. Warwickshire has experienced a fall of 38 per cent in JSA claimants from June 2009 to June 2013. Rugby’s clamant rate of 2.3 per cent, 1,431 people, is a drop of 0.5 per cent on last year and compares to a Warwickshire average of 2.1 per cent.
The report’s foreword, by Cllr Colin Hayfield, said: “The long period of growth in the early 1990s, the financial crash of 2008 and the subsequent deep recession has fundamentally changed many aspects of the way we all now live our lives. And the impact of those changes will continue to be felt well into the future. However, despite more uncertain times, Warwickshire has good prospects for further improvements.”
To find out more, see warwickshireobservatory.org.