Most deprived neighbourhoods in Barking and Dagenham revealed as council chiefs slam years of austerity
PUBLISHED: 12:00 28 October 2019 | UPDATED: 14:39 28 October 2019
Sixty neighbourhoods in Barking and Dagenham are among the 20pc most "deprived" in England, according to government figures.
A total of 55 per cent of the borough's neighbourhoods have ranked 6,500 or lower out of 32,844 in the country and are classed as struggling with high levels of deprivation.
The leader of Barking and Dagenham Council said the figures were no surprise after years of austerity, but added: "We are a poor community with aspirations."
The statistics, compiled every four years by the Ministry of Housing and Local Government, take into account levels of low income, unemployment, education, health, crime, barriers to housing and the quality of the local environment.
Our interactive map and postcode tool shows how deprived your area is, compared to the rest of England.
The Thames View Estate in Barking was ranked 2,669 - and according to the government living conditions have worsened since 2015, when it was ranked 3,154.
Parts of the Gascoigne Estate Becontree Heath and an area of Dagenham encompassing Blackborne Road, Rectory Road and Vicarage Road were also classed as some of the most hard-up areas in the country.
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Almost no part of Barking and Dagenham was considered comfortably-off. Just eight roads in the entire borough, southeast of Longbridge Road, were found to be enjoying below-average levels of deprivation.
Mr Rodwell said: "We've had austerity strapped across our back and the government is still giving us problems.
"We know there are 215,000 people in this borough but we've got funding for 185,000 from the government.
"Universal credit is a way of starving vulnerable people. It only really supports buy-to-let landlords; rent gets taken into account before feeding your children. It has done a lot of damage."
But he added that a mass of council-backed initiatives aimed to improve prospects for people in the borough, including planned redevelopments of some of the most deprived areas.
Barking and Dagenham Council has also set up local authority-owned housing companies and an advice service for residents, the Home and Money Hub.
Mr Rodwell said: "We are also the sixth safest borough in London and the safest borough in east London.
"The aspirations of young people in this borough are up there with anyone else in the country. We are tryig to put the right infrastructure in place to allow them to aspire."