Liz Pitt, Research & Business Intelligence Manager, was welcomed to the meeting to give a presentation on the most recent data for the area, linked to the Area Priorities.
A caution was given highlighting issues with using data at a very small level; due to low numbers there could be considerable variation.
Members were made aware of current population estimates within the area and the proportion of residents who were ethnic minorities. Also considered was the deprivation in the area using data from the Indices of Multiple Deprivation, noting that 16% of the North Area was within the 10% most deprived area in England. Changes in deprivation between 2010 and 2015 were discussed, noting that the two sources of data were not directly comparable.
Members noted the changes over time and also the significance of health deprivation and disability in the overall figures.
The meeting was presented with information relating to poverty in the area, and it was noted that 21% of children aged under 16 in the North Area lived in low income families, compared to 24% in Barnsley. However, there was significant variation within the North Area itself.
With regards to environmental data, the meeting considered the number of dog fouling and litter incidents, recognising that these were only those that had been recorded by Neighbourhood Services. It was noted that incidences of fly-tipping had increased in all Area Councils apart from North, though Members said that this did not resonate with their experiences locally.
Presented were the causes of death between 2009 and 2013, and it was noted that cardiovascular diseases and cancer figured highly. The risk factors for health were noted, with smoking, high blood pressure and high cholesterol being the three main risks. With regards to smoking prevalence it was noted that rates were lower in the North Area than was average in Barnsley. However, Members acknowledged the high rates of smoking in pregnancy in the St. Helen’s ward.
Excess weight in children was discussed and it was noted that there was a general upward trend in 4-5 year olds, but no consistent trend in 10-11 year olds, though rates were thought to be generally high.
Members went on to consider data relating to the economy in the area, and heard how the percentage of working age population had generally reduced over the past two years, however the number of new business starts had been declining year on year since 2010.
The meeting received information on the academic performance of young people both resident and in schools in the area, and went on to consider levels of NEETs in the area, noting a decrease in Barnsley as a whole, and in each of the Wards of the North Area.
Thanks were given for the presentation, and it was agreed to share the contents of the presentation with Ward Alliances in the area. It was also suggested that more information at a Ward level would be useful for Members.