Britain's poorest city: The struggle to make ends meet
May 31, 2013 7:55 AM   Subscribe

"Recent statistics from the Office for National Statistics suggest residents of this city have the lowest household disposable income of anywhere in the UK. The average income per individual householder after tax, but including benefits, is £16,034 a year. In Nottingham it is £10,834. That may be only one measure of poverty, but at a time when there has been a sustained assault on living standards for everyone it is surely a difficult extreme. " [via BBC]
posted by marienbad (15 comments total) 6 users marked this as a favorite
I blame King John.
posted by leotrotsky at 8:00 AM on May 31, 2013 [3 favorites]

Maybe they need Kevin Costner and Bryan Adams to come save them again.
posted by The 10th Regiment of Foot at 8:01 AM on May 31, 2013

It hurts me to say it, but the fabric of British society is starting to rip badly.
posted by jaduncan at 8:01 AM on May 31, 2013

I blame King John.

You'd have thought Britain would have learned their lesson the last time they spent a ton of money on a crusade against the Saracens.
posted by The 10th Regiment of Foot at 8:06 AM on May 31, 2013 [17 favorites]

Yes, but which recent statistics? Nothing on the ONS website that I can see for Nottingham. Why is it such a gap? Or it is "£20,000 in London, £10-11,000 for everywhere else"? How does it relate to disposable as opposed to post-tax/benefit income? Hey, BBC, link to your sources!

However, I did find this brilliant site, which uses SVG to give you an Atlas of Deprivation. And yes, Nottingham does very badly:
2010 Atlas of Deprivation
posted by alasdair at 8:10 AM on May 31, 2013 [3 favorites]

Rachel gets paid at the end of each month. By the beginning of the following month, all her salary has already gone on rent and bills. She survives to the next payday on £140 of tax credits and £134 child benefit.

She owes £2,500 in energy bills but is slowly managing to pay that off.

Rachel does not count herself as being poor, though.
I wonder what impact self-identifying with the middle class has on poor people's willingness to fight for social change.
posted by Foci for Analysis at 8:12 AM on May 31, 2013 [9 favorites]

Hmmm. Modified rapture. The Atlas of Deprivation doesn't do Wards or identifiable geographic locations, but some Census index for areas. Matching index to geography is difficult. Ah well.
posted by alasdair at 8:16 AM on May 31, 2013

But people on welfare are living high on the hog!
The Sun tells me so!
posted by Mezentian at 8:17 AM on May 31, 2013

Nottingham (and most of Lincolnshire, truth be told) has been really poor and pretty rough for decades. Poverty is a way of life for any number of communities in the area. This isn't a new thing, and it's certainly not evidence of the UK getting poorer.

A lot of people have been living in poverty in this area for generations. It's nice when a bit of a light gets shone on it (e.g. this, and the recent channel 4 show skint), but you can't convince me that things are going to change. They haven't changed since the 70's. Maybe before that.

Nottingham's just the go-to place when someone with power wants to make a political point about the country being too poor or there being too much crime. Nobody wants to help Nottingham. Nobody wants to help Lincolnshire. These places are just posters to hang your political affiliations on.
posted by zoo at 8:24 AM on May 31, 2013

What a terrifying situation. It makes me feel we should somehow localize industry: not the sake of efficiency, but for the soul, for variety, to bring back the feeling of ownership that comes with building something. But how can we bring small local businesses about when they cannot possibly compete in the market?
posted by niccolo at 8:26 AM on May 31, 2013 [2 favorites]

Nottingham (and most of Lincolnshire, truth be told) has been really poor and pretty rough for decades. Poverty is a way of life for any number of communities in the area. This isn't a new thing, and it's certainly not evidence of the UK getting poorer.

One would have to note that soon they are likely to have less NHS provision, no legal aid in many cases, and greatly cut benefits. Surely they'll suddenly all be able to find jobs, so they can stop being so feckless and living on the dole.

PS: I used to live in Radford, so don't tell me I don't know about this.
posted by jaduncan at 8:35 AM on May 31, 2013 [4 favorites]

UK: Agent Gideon Goes Rogue

"agent Gideon has rather taken the doctrine to heart. Rather than gradually introduce Socialism, as per his original instructions, he’s trying to incite the British working class to revolution. "
posted by Jakey at 9:03 AM on May 31, 2013 [4 favorites]

What they don't mention is that you have to go through the Meadows to get to West Bridgford and Edwalton, which has the most expensive street to live on in the East Midlands.

All that separates the two is the River Trent.
posted by Katemonkey at 9:10 AM on May 31, 2013

Since moving to Notts a year or so ago I keep hearing about the poverty levels. I find it shocking because I spend the vast majority of my time between town, University Park and Beeston, and it feels not unlike where I used to live in North London. Like most cities in the UK, its amazing how people with vastly different incomes and upbringings can live side by side and never meaningfully interact.

Also, I cannot believe the stats regarding household income in general. That's an insane disparity between income and cost of living.
posted by dumdidumdum at 4:03 PM on May 31, 2013

Yeah. As an article on the traps and issues facing people on low incomes in the UK today it's OK, some clunky rhetorical flourishes aside. And yes, Nottingham does have areas of significant poverty with high income and health inequality. (St Ann's in Nottingham had the lowest life expectancy of anywhere in the UK the last time I checked).

That side, there are areas like that in pretty much every city in not just the UK, but Western Europe (and North America). The focus on Nottingham is a bit misleading, and Nottingham City Council pretty thoroughly refutes it.

(Short answer: for historical reasons, it has very tightly drawn city boundaries compared to similar places like Sheffield and Leeds, along with a high proportion of students on part-time income only).
posted by Hartster at 11:32 AM on June 1, 2013

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