Using GIS for sub-ward measures of urban deprivation in Brent, England
Recently there has been increased interest in defining and locating areas of poverty, deprivation and social exclusion in the UK. Such terms are difficult to define in any precise and apolitical sense. Nevertheless, new measures have been devised that aim to calculate deprivation and poverty rates in consistent, robust and (pseudo-) scientific ways. These measures include the Department of the Environment, Transport and the Regions’ (DETR) Index of Multiple Deprivation-IMD 2000-and also the Poverty and Social Exclusion Survey of Britain (DETR, 2000b, Gordon et al., 2000). The IMD 2000 statistics are easily accessed from the National Statistics Service (NSS), a website developed by the Office of National Statistics (ONS), in partnership with central and local government (see www.statistics.gov.uk). The aim of the NSS is to make statistical information available for small areas across the UK. Presently the service offers statistics at only the Ward (electoral district) level. However, the intention is to introduce smaller geographical units based on the 2001 UK Census Output Areas. Average household income estimates will then be assigned to those units. On the basis that better information begets better policy-making-a rationale behind the NSS-then this is an important development. This chapter highlights the need for geographically meaningful income estimates, based on flexible approaches to model building and area classification.