There have been a number of posts on the Welsh blogosphere in the past few days noting the latest Welsh Index of Multiple Deprivation Statistics; as Jac 'o the North notes there aren't that many surprises in the statistics – the poor areas of Wales are still poor, although as Plaid Wrecsam notes, not all is woe, some areas have improved.
The statistics will, undoubtedly, help politicians and others to see that something should be done and attempt to offer something as an answer to those problems; good luck to them – I hope that something works.
It is easy to split large towns and cities into areas of social deprivation on a ward to ward basis; Caia Park is a poor area of Wrecsam, St Mellon's Estate is a poor area of Cardiff / Newport, the West End is a poor part of Rhyl etc. Something must be done for them!
But what about the poor in my village - Llansanffraid Glan Conwy?
Both wards in my little village are doing all right; both are in the upper percentile of Welsh communities, as are most rural wards. But this hides the fact that wards divide the rich and the poor in cities and large towns, but leylandii hedges divide them in rural communities!
A side effect of the ward based needs analysis used by the Assembly Government is that the needs of locals in my ward and similar wards thorough Wales are ignored, because the needs of the native poor of working age are masked by the wealth of incoming retirees – which makes us a statistically rich community but means that locals haven't got a hope in hell of getting any support from the Assembly or any other Government Agency to create work or leisure or community spirit in our village.
So my village becomes a place in which many sleep but few live!
Something should be done about this too!