Figures show Petworth doesn’t avoid deprivation

New figures for housing, income and employment in the Chichester district have shown that despite being an affluent housing area, Petworth has the third-highest levels of overall deprivation out of all the district’s 29 wards.

Chichester District Council has collated data from a range of sources including national government, county council, police and social services, to produce profiles of life in all its 29 wards.

Petworth ward consists of the five parishes of Ebernoe, Fittleworth, Petworth, Stopham and Tillington and is divided into three ‘lower super output areas’ out of a total of 72 similar special areas across 
the district.

The latest 2009 figures gave the population of the ward as 4,637 and said, the report: “It has higher levels of properties in the top three council tax bands than the average for the district. The percentage of properties that are detached in this ward is higher than national levels with over 60 per cent of properties having two or more rooms than required.”

But figures for multiple deprivation put Petworth close to the top of the ‘most deprived’ ward league table.

However, the data reveals that two of the special areas making up the ward which include the Ebernoe area to the north and Tillington and Fittleworth further south, rank 29 and 32 out of the 72 lower super output areas.

In stark contrast the area which centres on the town of Petworth itself features fifth in the ‘most deprived ranking.

There are seven categories used to compile multiple deprivation. The most significant weighting is given to income and employment figures.

The tables place Petworth town seventh-highest in terms of the proportion of the population experiencing deprivation due to low income. It includes families who are out of work or who have low earnings.

In contrast the two areas outside the town lie 32nd and 42nd.

Employment statistics put the area including Petworth town 23rd out of 72 equating to 7.71 per cent of the population of 1522 out of work.

In the area centered around Ebernoe the ranking drops to 56 out of 72 equating to 3.98 per cent of the 1585 population out of work and south of the town the employment deprivation ranking is shown to be 47 with 4.5 per cent of the 1,515 population employment deprived.

Figures gathered from a census last year showed the percentage of people who said they had no qualifications was 27.7 per cent, slightly higher than the average for the district, the county and the south east region.

GCSE results in the Petworth ward as a whole last year, show significantly lower numbers of pupils achieving the standard five Cs and above at 32.8 per cent compared with the district average of 50.4 per cent.

Criminal damage, car and other thefts were lower than the district average, but rates for burglary and domestic violence were higher.