Index points finger at deprived Bannerfield
BANNERFIELD has been listed inside the top 10 most deprived areas of the Borders, writes Kenny Paterson.
But across Selkirk, the southern area of the town was the third least deprived in the region. And the Ettrick and Yarrow valleys have been named among the most geographically difficult to access in Scotland.
These results were included in a Scottish Index of Multiple Deprivation report issued this week. The Scottish Government paper split the country into 6,505 areas and rated them against seven factors – income, employment, crime, geographic access, education, housing and health.
The area covering Bannerfield, as well as Philiphaugh and part of Buccleuch Road, was ranked the eighth most deprived in the region, although it was only 1,305th for the whole of the country. Employment deprivation in the district was marked at 19 per cent, above the Scottish average of 12 per cent. Unsurprisingly, income deprivation was close behind at 17 per cent, again above the national norm of 13 per cent.
In contrast, the Ladylands and Sentry Knowe area in the south of Selkirk was one of the least deprived in the Borders and Scotland, ranked 5,843th.
Selkirkshire councillor Michelle Ballantyne said: “We need to find out the specific reasons why Bannerfield has less employment and tackle them. We have to make sure it is worth people going to work rather than staying unemployed.
“Bannerfield is not a terrible place to live and since becoming a councillor I have met a number of people who want to live there and see it as their community.”
She is all too aware of the transport issues associated with living in the Ettrick Valley – rated the 52nd most difficult to access in Scotland – and Yarrow Valley, close behind in 59th spot.
The councillor, an Ettrick resident, told us: “If you live in a remote area such as Ettrick and Yarrow valleys, you are more likely to have no mobile phone or broadband coverage, and have to use roads which can be dangerous or impossible to use at times. For a young person looking for work, it means owning a car and paying a lot for petrol.
“I know Julie Nock (valleys regeneration officer) is doing work on the concept of employment in the valleys to enable people to work from where they live.”
Fellow Selkirkshire councillor Gordon Edgar said a report would be submitted to Scottish Borders Council in the new year proposing improvements to bus services in the region to help areas such as the valleys.
He explained: “What we are trying to do is redefine bus services in the Borders. If someone is out of work and they don’t have a car, then public transport is a must.
“It is all about connectivity, whether it is by bus, car or electronic. We have to push for better broadband and the council is investing in that.”
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Weather for Selkirk
Sunday 26 May 2013
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