8. Objective 2 - Strengthening families and communities, including supporting groups of people that are more likely to experience poverty
While many areas of East Devon are comparatively affluent, there continues to be concentrations of poverty and deprivation in particular communities in the district.
According to the Government’s Index of Multiple Deprivation (IMD), a small number of East Devon’s Lower Super Output Areas (LSOAs) were in the most deprived 20% of LSOAs in the country in 2019. Each LSOA represents an area with a population of around 1500 people. The two most deprived LSOAs are in Littleham, Exmouth and St. Pauls, Honiton ward.
The concentrations of poverty and deprivation in particular localities suggests that there is a need for collaborative area-based work in the most deprived neighbourhoods and communities in the district to identify and address the underlying issues that lead to persistent deprivation. Through this Anti-Poverty Strategy, the Council will work with partner organisations to develop area based approaches, building on the County Council’s approach, and other multi-agency initiatives.
As well as supporting geographical communities where there are higher levels of poverty and discrimination, key local stakeholders have suggested that there is a need to support particular communities or groups of people that are more likely to experience poverty. Available national and local data shows that older people, children, disabled people, BAME people, LGBT people and women are more likely to experience poverty.
Actions for 2021- onwards
The key actions the Council will take from 2021 onwards to strengthen families and communities are set out in detail in the action plan that accompanies this strategy. They include:
District Council actions
- Reviewing the needs of the community and voluntary sector in building stronger communities, and identify where the Council can best provide support.
- Supporting and promoting volunteering, including holding events to increase the number of people volunteering for local community and voluntary groups.
- Funding and supporting events which increase community pride and cohesion.
- Providing a programme of ‘community days’ in low income areas.
- Using planning policy to ensure that new developments promote permeability, connectivity and accessibility.
- Ensure that the Council’s community development and environmental programme includes schemes in more deprived wards in the district.
- Highlight the issue of rural isolation and poverty.
- Develop a collaborative, area-based approach to support communities with high levels of deprivation in partnership with a range of organisations.
- Support an annual programme of events which celebrate diversity and promote community cohesion, in partnership with local equality and diversity organisations.
Influencing and lobbying actions
- Greater recognition of the need for building resilience and to support households get back on their feet.
- Funding local authorities to undertake this work and greater recognition of the benefits by central government.