£197 government spend per-person in ‘deprived’ estates
LIMAVADY is included in a list of the top five areas in Northern Ireland with the most money being spent on ‘Neighbourhood Renewal’ per-head-of-population, the Sentinel can reveal.
Under the Government’s People and Place strategy, 36 Neighbourhoods across Northern Ireland have been designated as Neighbourhood Renewal Areas. These communities were found to be experiencing the highest levels of deprivation after an extensive survey conducted by the Government.
Of these 36 areas, more money has been spent on Limavady per-head-of-population than all but four of the Neighbourhood Renewal Areas, at a rate of £197 per person.
The figures were requested by an MLA for the Foyle area in Londonderry, SDLP Assembly Member Colm Eastwood, who asked the Minister for Social Development in writing for details on the amount of money being spent in each area.
He asked DUP Minister Nelson McCausland to detail the level of funding allocated to, and the per capita spend in, each Neighbourhood Renewal area in the 2011/12 financial year.
Mr McCausland responded by providing the SDLP MLA with a table displaying the total spend in each area, accompanied by the population estimates for 2010 and a breakdown of the per-capita spend in each area.
The top five areas with the highest per-capita spend on Neighbourhood Renewal for the financial year 2011/12 were Limavady, Inner East (Belfast), the Triax area, Dungannon and Omagh.
These areas were closely followed by Londonderry’s Waterside, Enniskillen and Brownlow.
The Neighbourhood Renewal scheme is the result of the Government’s ‘People and Place’ strategy, launched in June 2003.
The strategy targets communities throughout Northern Ireland suffering the highest levels of deprivation. Neighbourhoods in the most deprived 10 per cent of ‘wards’ across Northern Ireland were identified by measuring levels of income, employment, the proximity to services, and the level of crime and disorder.
The Neighbourhood Renewal area in Limavady is the sixth most deprived area in the country, according to Northern Ireland Statistics and Research Agency figures.
The area itself includes the Hospital Lane estate, the Glens estate, Roe Mill Road, Kennaght Terrance, Josephine Avenue and Greystone Road. There are two community groups within the Neighbourhood Renewal Area; the Glens Community Association at Glenlea Park and Roe Valley Residents Association at Keady Way.
Examples of where the money is being spent include the salary and expenses for a Neighbourhood Renewal Officer (NRO), employed by Limavady Borough Council to provide ‘Technical Assistance, salaries for Community Safety wardens, an advice officer employed by LCDI, salaries and running costs for ‘Project Co-ordinator and Administrator’ employed by the Roe Valley Residents Association, and another employed by the Glens Community Association. Other costs include Youth Officer and Learning Mentor posts employed by the WELB, a salary for a Health Development Officer, shared with Strabane Neighbourhood Renewal Area, and projects such as ‘The Riverside Walkway Project’ and improved lighting for the Blackburn Path.
The total spend on the Limavady Neighbourhood Renewal Area for the financial year 2011/12 stands at £486,000, according to the figures released by the Social Development Minister.
A total of 5,022 areas in Northern Ireland were originally measured as part of the initial research– referred to as ‘Output Areas’.
Following extensive consultation, the ‘People and Place’ strategy resulted in a population of approximately 280,000 (one person in six in Northern Ireland), being targeted for intervention. The areas include 15 in Belfast, six in Londonderry and a further 15 throughout the rest of Northern Ireland.
Neighbourhood Renewal is a cross government strategy and aims to bring together the work of all Government Departments in partnership with local people to tackle disadvantage and deprivation in all aspects of everyday life.
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