Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Should tackling deprivation be at the forefront of community activity in Nairn?

Regular readers that have been following the articles detailing the ideas expressed at the joint meeting of the Nairnshire, Croy and Ardersier Community Councils last week might have noticed that Cllr Simon Noble of River CC stated: "There are parts of Nairn which are in the top 10% of deprivation in the Highlands". Simon's comments were reported in this Gurn article.

Subsequently a question was asked in the comments thread: "According to Simon Noble "There are parts of Nairn which are in the top 10% of deprivation in the Highlands". Can he give any more details on this? What is meant by "deprivation" and where is it in Nairn?" 

Simon has replied to that question, he told the Gurn this morning: " I just spotted a question put by one of the Gurn’s readers about what I said on deprivation in Nairn at the joint councils meeting. Sorry I didn’t pick it up straight away.

The quick answer is to recommend that the person goes onto the Highland Council website where they can access Scottish government figures, published annually. The significance of these figures is that they are collected by statisticians who have no reason to interpret the facts or to focus on one area rather than another. These figures record what’s called the Scottish Index of Multiple Deprivation. Deprivation is measured in relation to income, employment, health, education, housing, geographical access to services and crime. Nairn doesn’t figure in the worst 10% for all of these factors, but thanks to notable problems like unemployment, it makes that grade overall. Published in December, these measures show that Nairn South and Moss-side are having a particularly bad time of it.

You don’t have to look at the statistics – there’s been plenty in the press over the last couple of years, for instance about the rise in demand for charity food parcels – but if you do look at the facts, it’s hard not to ask questions about priorities in ideas for the town."   

Readers can find a Highland Council document detailing " The Scottish Index of Multiple Deprivation 2012" here which further outlines the details mentioned by Cllr Noble above. 

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