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News - 3 June 2011

State of the City report 2011

The State of the City summary published this week provides the ‘big picture’ in terms of the city’s characteristics and key issues providing an evidence base for future decisions about commissioning services.

The report demonstrates how far the city has come in the last two decades but also highlights how far it has to go before it becomes the supercity it is capable of being [see earlier report].

On the positive side, Brighton & Hove boasts a young, well-educated population that has access to a rich cultural experience such as theatres and festivals and further benefits from living close to the South Downs National Park as well as 11 kilometres of coastline.

A high proportion of residents make use of the city’s sports and leisure facilities while parks and open spaces, although in short supply, are enjoyed regularly. Public transport use is high and rising as is satisfaction with the city’s bus service.

The city’s economy boasts a healthy entrepreneurial spirit together with a high number of businesses per head of population with significant numbers of private sector jobs being created. Brighton & Hove was in the top three UK locations for private sector job creation between 1998 and 2008.

Nursery and primary education is at the national averages or above and a historic problem with high rates of teenage pregnancy is being successfully addressed while more city mothers are breastfeeding.

On the negative side, longstanding problems remain. Deprivation is an issue across several areas in the city and there are high levels of poverty while housing is unaffordable for most residents and many are in need of housing.

There are higher than average levels of unemployment with many areas deprived of ‘employment options’ with wages lower than the regional average and a shortage of graduate level positions to accommodate the large graduate level workforce [over 40% qualified to NVQ Level 4]

The city has an unhealthy drinking culture and many residents drink more than recommended guidelines or binge drink, while the rate of drug–related deaths is a serious problem and appears to be getting worse although it is the subject of a pilot project for intelligent commissioning that may change that.

Although the population is “young”, there is a growing cohort of older residents putting pressure on adult social care services; the numbers of residents aged 90 or over is set to rise by more than 40 per cent over the next decade.

Click here to download State of the City summary

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