Wiltshire Uncovered Report

The most far-reaching study into life in Wiltshire in the last 20 years.

 

‘Wiltshire Uncovered’ is an objective statement of facts which goes beyond the statistics to the people themselves.  We believe it is the first report to give a comprehensive view of issues facing local communities across the entire county of Wiltshire.  What are the ‘needs’ in Wiltshire? Are we funding the right projects in the right places and where should we be advising those who care to invest their support? These are some of the questions that lie behind this publication.

 

 

The key findings show that Wiltshire is a great place to live if you can afford it:

  • Significant areas of Wiltshire are in the 5% most deprived in England
  • The worst child poverty is in Swindon
  • Child wellbeing is lowest in Swindon and West Wiltshire. Rates of teenage conception, obesity, mental health problems and alcohol and drug misuse remain stubbornly high
  • We have a large and ageing older population. Our population of 65+ and 80+ year-olds is expected to double by 2035. 31% of Wiltshire’s population will be over 65 by 2035, 11% will be over 80 years old. This will result in a significant increase in demand for services related to ageing and the need for care at home
  • Housing in Wiltshire is unaffordable for many.  The average house costs approximately 8.6 times the average wage of low income people. Rural poverty is hidden but significant. The cost of living in rural areas is significantly higher than in urban areas.  Housing is less affordable and services are harder to access. The distance to the nearest shop is often much further and the cost of basic services often higher
  • Transport networks don’t work for those without private transport. In rural Wiltshire, 10,900 people do not have access to a car or van, 6,810 of these are pensioners.  Journeys can take over two hours by bus to reach amenities in some areas
  • People with a learning or sensory disability have little to occupy them after the age of 18, although the provision of services for them up to the age of 18 is very good, especially in Swindon
  • The military population in the county will increase by 4,000 soldiers plus their families by 2018.  They will be housed in areas with poor infrastructure and an underdeveloped voluntary sector
  • Raising the aspirations of our young people to achieve their academic and working potential is the key to a thriving economy.  Our median academic performance, which is significantly lower in deprived areas, remains a challenge for the future wealth and prosperity of our county
  • Deprived people do not necessarily live in deprived areas.  The majority of people claiming benefits do not live in areas identified as disadvantaged.  Pockets of serious deprivation exist within apparently wealthy communities, but are statistically invisible and therefore services and facilities are not provided for them
  • There are 7,800 voluntary groups across Wiltshire and Swindon.  Their strength is their independence.  Their weakness is fragmentation, each a specialist in their own area, competing for funding. We will continue to support people to build strong and resilient  communities – wherever they are in Wiltshire

Click here to read the full report and here to read the Executive Summary.  We welcome your comments in the space below.

To hear Rosemary on BBC Radio Wiltshire, click here and listen at 1hr 20