The first stage in planning power being taken from Salford and handed to a future elected Greater Manchester Mayor is currently happening, with AGMA, or the Association of Greater Manchester Authorities, having finished its `scoping' consultation on what it calls an `Integrated Assessment of the Greater Manchester Spatial Framework'.
While the title is a gobful, and the document is preparing planning for housing and employment land to be decided at a Greater Manchester level, the 181 page Framework sets out demographic and deprivation statistics that show the state of Salford in comparison to other Greater Manchester areas and England as a whole. And it's not pretty reading...
For women, Salford has the second lowest life expectancy in Greater Manchester, with 80.5 years, compared to Trafford with 83.7 years and the England average of 83 years. Men also have the second worst life expectancy in Greater Manchester (GM) at 76.1years, compared to Trafford with 79.6 and an England average of 79.2 (figures are for 2012; for an example of the wide differences between wards see previous Salford Star article – click here).
Salford is the fifth worse area in the whole country, and second worst in Greater Manchester, for `health and disability' rankings which measure `premature death and impairment of quality of life by poor health'.
Salford also has the second lowest percentage of people who are buying or own their home with 50.3% (GM average 60.1%) and the second highest number of those living in social rented homes (28.8%) and private rented homes (18.8%).
These are all indicators of poverty and there's even a national table of `barriers to housing and services' in which the lower the number, the more deprived the local authority area is in relation to housing and services. Salford, with its score of 191, is the second most deprived in Greater Manchester.
In the Index of Multiple Deprivation (2010), Salford is ranked 26th most deprived area in the whole country, and second worst in Greater Manchester. Salford also has almost 7% of its ward areas, or LSOAs, within the 1% most deprived in England, and is ranked 8th worst in the country.
The poverty indicators go on and on, with the city's unemployment rate up from 5.2% in 2004, to 7.3% in 2014. Salford is the top area in Greater Manchester (2014) for young people who are NEET, or Not in Education, Employment or Training, with 8.1% compared to a GM average of 5.5% and an England average of 5.2%.
Pollution-wise, Salford has the second highest `per capita' emissions (Trafford is top), with the second lowest area of Green Belt land in Greater Manchester.
On virtually every single table in the Framework document's statistics, Salford is second worst in Greater Manchester, only to Manchester itself which comes top in most deprivation indicators much to the shame of its own Council.
It all adds up to a picture of Salford as an unhealthy, deprived city, despite all the regeneration and despite all the hundreds of millions of pounds of public money that have been pumped into the place. Serious questions need to be asked about where that money has gone and the impact it is having.
Meanwhile, the Greater Manchester devolution process rolls forward, planning for housing and employment land affecting many of the poverty indicators soon to be in the hands of an elected and distant Greater Manchester Mayor...