The Welsh Government is absolutely committed to improving outcomes for Wales’ most deprived communities and supporting opportunities for economic prosperity.
This is the message from Economy Minister, Ken Skates as latest statistics showing relative deprivation across Wales are published.
The Welsh Index of Multiple Deprivation (WIMD) 2019 is the Welsh Government’s official measure of relative deprivation for 1,909 small areas in Wales. It identifies locations with the highest concentrations of several different types of deprivation and is used to inform policymaking, allocation of resources, and services for local areas.
WIMD measures eight separate types of deprivation – income, employment, health, education, access to services, housing, physical environment and community safety – with the index for 2019 showing pockets of high relative deprivation in South Wales cities and valleys, and in some North Wales coastal and border towns.
WIMD 2019 shows that Newport is the local authority with the highest proportion of small areas in the most deprived 10% in Wales. Monmouthshire has no areas in the most deprived 10%, and Powys has 1.3%.
The index also reveals that St James 3, which contains a large part of the Lansbury Park estate in Caerphilly and was the most deprived area in WIMD 2014 is now the third most deprived area, behind two separate small areas of Rhyl.
Speaking as the index for 2019 was released, Economy Minister Ken Skates said:
The Welsh Government is absolutely committed to taking a cross Government approach to tackling poverty.
Through our Economic Action Plan we are working to turbo charge the Welsh economy, spread opportunity and tackle inequality so we can ensure the benefits of sustainable economic growth are felt as widely as possible.
We are also using our Employability Plan to provide tailored support for people, including those furthest from the jobs market in order to increase skills and help people enter employment and progress their careers.
Our programmes such as Flying Start, Communities for Work, the Pupil Deprivation Grant and Families First are also vital in narrowing the gap between our most deprived and thriving areas.
Spreading prosperity and tackling poverty is a priority commitment for this Welsh Government but we are working against the severe and unhelpful backdrop of a decade of austerity. There is no doubt that challenges remain but we will continue to fight tirelessly for a more equal and prosperous Wales where everyone has the opportunity to thrive and succeed.