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News - 9 September 2010
How will we fare when the summer ends?

Will Brighton & Hove be affected by public sector spending cuts?

New research conducted by Experian for the BBC ranks 324 unitary and district councils in terms of their resilience to survive the looming cuts in public spending to be announced in October. Where does Brighton & Hove come in the league table?

The researchers looked at four broad areas - business, people, place and community and considered a range of factors including reliance on public sector employment, available office space, crime, house prices and green space.

The final results for the city’s rankings in each category are quite variable. In the Business category which looked at office space, vulnerable job sectors, business birth rate and insolvency rate Brighton & Hove ranked 79th [St Albans was 1st].

In the People category which included workforce qualifications, household earnings, unskilled workers and working age population Brighton & Hove was 51st [Camden was 1st].

The city scored much less well in the Community category coming 251st [Eden was 1st]. This category considered claimant count, long-term unemployment and vulnerability to declines in disposable income and social cohesion. The city performed comparatively badly in terms of "community resilience". The data suggests that social cohesion, where respondents were asked if neighbours "look out for each other", is low. Also the rate of people claiming benefits is comparatively high, and there are pockets of real deprivation.

Similarly Brighton & Hove’s high house prices [see earlier story], lack of green space and crime rate [despite recent declines] saw the city rank 259 in the Place category [South Cambridgeshire was 1st]. 

Overall Brighton & Hove comes 140 out of 324. Elmbridge in Surrey is the most resilient to public sector cuts and Middlebrough in Teeside the most vulnerable.

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