It’s not just the Scots who are demanding a new financial settlement from central government. Outer London boroughs, especially Croydon, need to get more cash from Westminster for the growing needs of their rapidly growing populations.
Croydon, as we have known since the 2011 census, has undergone transformational population change over the past decade and is London’s biggest borough by population, with more than 360,000 people resident here. And that three-year-old figure is due to be revised upwards, too.
According to a report in the Financial Times, research from the New Policy Institute suggests that while inner London has undergone what Americans call the “Great Inversion”, or what longer term residents of Islington, Brixton and Camberwell know as gentrification, outer London boroughs have become more populated, less employed and generally poorer.
“The inner city has developed rapidly. Poverty is moving to the outskirts of the capital,” the report in the FT stated.
“Although the poverty rate in inner London remains higher than that in the outer boroughs, the gap between the two is narrowing.”
While child poverty in inner London has fallen since 1999, in outer London it has increased. According to the NPI, the six boroughs that had the biggest increase in unemployment since the recession are all in outer London.
Where there is work, the FT reports, in the outer boroughs it is more likely to be low-paid. Approximately 20 per cent of jobs in the outer boroughs are low-paid, according to the research, which defines this as less than the £8.50 an hour London living wage. The proportion of low-paid jobs in inner London is half that amount, at 10 per cent.
And one-third of those low-paid jobs in inner London are done by outer Londoners who travel into town.
The report also identifies how the coalition government’s changes to housing benefit is driving ever more low- or no-income households out of unaffordable central London, and to outer London boroughs. “The majority of London boroughs have median rents that cost more than 50 per cent of median local full-time earnings,” Shelter, the housing charity, reports.
Thus, while central government policies heap ever more demand on local services in outer London, creating greater demand for school places, housing and health provision, meanwhile, Croydon’s new council prepares to deal with a further round of “austerity” cuts in its grant funding from Westminster of around 25 per cent.
That might be worth considering the next time a politician talks about offering tax cuts in return for your vote.
- View the NPI’s Poverty Profile report here
- Gavin Barwell and his divisive myths of the benefit cap
- Londoners being priced out of London by social cleansing
Coming to Croydon
- East Croydon community meeting, Oct 7
- The Goon Show, Spread Eagle Theatre, Oct 8-11
- David Lean Cinema: Boyhood, Oct 9
- Upper Norwood Library meeting, Oct 13
- David Lean Cinema: Grand Central, Oct 14
- Norwood Society Talk: From Fire Station to Theatre, Oct 16
- David Lean Cinema: Finding Vivian Maier, Oct 16
- Cinema Ruskin film show, Oct 18
- South Croydon business breakfast, Oct 18
- Purley War Memorial Hospital health fair, Oct 18
- David Lean Cinema: Mood Indigo, Oct 23
- This Was The World and I Was King, Spread Eagle, Oct 23-25
- Upper Norwood Library Book Club, 2.30pm, Oct 25
- David Lean Cinema: Ilo Ilo, Oct 28
- CODA’s Wind In The Willows, Charles Cryer, Carshalton, Oct 29-Nov 1
- David Lean Cinema: Belle, Oct 30
- NHS free health fair, Central Parade, New Addington, Oct 31
- St Giles School opening morning, Nov 5
- Albert Einstein – Relativity Speaking, Spread Eagle, Nov 12-15
- South Croydon business breakfast, Nov 15
- Norwood Society Talk: Lambeth’s Archives, Nov 20
- Choose Your Own Documentary, Spread Eagle Theatre, Nov 21-22
- The Last Sense of Sudden, Spread Eagle Theatre, Nov 27-29
- Ghost Stories for Christmas, Spread Eagle Theatre, Dec 3
- Fog Horn Funnies, Spread Eagle Theatre, Dec 6
- South Croydon business breakfast, Dec 13
- South Croydon business breakfast, Jan 24
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