A third of 10 and 11-year-olds obese in two areas of London

shutterstock_291654485-2London’s record on childhood obesity has been poor and getting worst for some time. But data for small areas released by Public Health England raise new levels of concern as in two neigbbourhoods a third of the 10 and 11-year old children are now obese.

In the electoral ward of Camberwell Green, Southwark 34% of Year 6 children are obese. In Hoxton West in Hackney its 33%.  Only one other area of England has a higher level – 35% in Sutton-on-Sea in Lincolnshire.

The Public Health England data covers nearly 7,500 electoral wards in England and it shows that six of the ten worst areas for childhood obesity among Year 6 children are in London.

Obesity Year 6 wards-2

It’s a similar pattern for children in Reception, aged 4 and 5, where Woodberry Down ward in Hackney has the worst record in the country and a rate that is double the England average. Six other neighbourhoods in the capital are also among the worst ten in England for this age group.

Obesity reception ward-2

This small area data is gathered by Public Health England to help target resources to combat child weight problems.

The poor record on obesity for primary school children is reflected more broadly at borough level and underlines that London has one of the most severe problems in the country.

At Reception age,  six of the ten local authorities with the highest rates are in London.  The highest level local authority average rate in the England is nearly 14% in Barking and Dagenham. Greenwich, Newham, Hackney, Southwark and Tower Hamlets all have rates of 12% or above.

The obesity rates in these boroughs doubles for Year 6 children. Enfield and Westminster also have more than a quarter of Year 6 children classified as obese.  Eight of the ten local authorities in England with the highest obesity rates for 10 and 11-year olds are in London.

Source data

See also

How the obesity rate doubled for the class of 2007

Childhood obesity highest in London

Thousands of children sent to hospital because of tooth decay

 

Borough Profile: Southwark

People

Southwark has a population of 310,642, that’s 3.6% of the 8.6 million people living in London

The average age of the population is 34.2 years old, that’s 1.7 years younger than the London average. There are more children in the borough than pensioners. Children and young people under 16 make up 18% of the population compared to 8% for the over 65s.

People who are black, Asian or of minority ethnic origin, BAME, represent 46% of the residents. 36% of the people living in Southwark were born abroad. The largest migrant group according to the last census is from Nigeria and makes up 5% of the population. The second largest group, based on the census is from Jamaica. More recently the largest number of migrants have come from Spain and Italy.

Housing

The median house price in the borough is £420,000.   Those who rent outnumber owner occupiers with 10% owning their home outright and a further 26% with a mortgage compared to 26% who rent privately and a further 37% living in social housing rented from the council or a housing association.

The council tax on a Band D property (the mid-tier cost in most local authorities) is £1,207.

Crime

The crime rate in Southwark is 101 crimes per 1,000 residents, which is higher than the London average of 84 and is among the highest in the capital.

The Area

Southwark covers an area of 2,886 hectares compared to the biggest borough, Bromley, which covers more than 15,000. The smallest borough, not counting the City of London, is Kensington and Chelsea, which covers around 1,200 hectares.

Some 25% of the area is classified as green space. The average for London is 38%.

Work

The employment rate in the Southwark is above the national average with 74% of people in work. The median annual salary for men is £36,004 and for women it is lower at £32,058.  The median income for a household in the borough is £48,000.

The workforce is among the highest qualified in London with 57% of workers who are educated to degree level or above. 8% have no qualifications and 2% of young people under 25 are listed as NEETS (that’s not in education, employment or training).

Transport

There are 60,438 cars in the borough, which equates to 0.5 cars per household.  Southwark is rated as above average for public transport, based on an index compiled by Transport for London. According to Government data on physical activity, 15.6% of people cycle each month.

Health and Well-being

Men living in Southwark can expect to live until they are 79, for women life expectancy is 84 years. The borough has a death rate from what are considered to be preventable causes of 207.5 per 100,000 people. The national rate for England is 182.

Other health indicators show that 6% of people over 17 suffer from diabetes and 28% of children are classified as obese.

When asked in a Government survey to rate their satisfaction with life the average score of people in the borough was 7.5 out of 10, which is above average for London.

See other borough profiles

Source Data

Growing diabetes problem in Southwark will place strain on NHS

Southwark will be home to an additional 9,181 diabetes sufferers in the next 20 years, placing huge pressure on local health services, according to Public Health England.

There are currently 22,577 people with diabetes in the area, up by 529 on last year. That’s 8.8% of all the people living in Southwark , which is above the national rate of 8.6%. But forecasts by PHE, a government agency, show that by 2020 the rate will have gone up to 9% and in 2035 will hit 10.2%.

Diabetes 2035

The agency based its predictions on health surveys carried out over three years and focused on people over the age of 16. PHE says that around 90% of the new cases will be Type 2 diabetes, which is caused by lifestyle factors and linked to obesity. It says these cases are preventable and tackling the problem is fundamental to the future of the health service.

The increased prevalence of the condition coincides with a rise in the population of the capital in the coming decades. There will be 895,489 diabetes sufferers in London’s 33 boroughs by 2035, and 3.5% of them will live in Southwark .

Diabetes is caused by the inability of the body to regulate the amount of sugar in the blood. It is associated with an increased risk of stroke and heart attack. Sufferers may also develop kidney disease and foot ulcers, which can lead to amputation.

Source data

More diabetes stories

 

Drug deaths hit their highest level for 15 years

heroin

The number of people killed by drug abuse in London is at its highest level this century.

Figures from the Office for National Statistics show that 298 people died due to misuse of illegal substances in 2015, the highest number since 1999. It is also the highest death rate since the late 90s – 35 per million residents.

The rate of drug deaths has been increasing since 2012 after a downward trend this century from high points in the late 90s.  But although it has risen, the capital still has the second lowest mortality rate of all the regions in England and Wales. Only the East Midlands has a lower rate than London. The highest death rates are now in the North East, North West, Wales, and Yorkshire and Humberside.

Drug death rate regions-2

This is a turnaround from 1993, when the current data record begins.  London had the highest mortality rate and accounted for 23% of all deaths.  In 2015 that had halved to 12% of deaths as the problem of illegal drug misuse has become more widespread.

Drug death comparison-2

Across London, Haringey and central areas of Westminster, Lambeth, Southwark Camden, Islington and Tower Hamlets have that most serious problems.  The data at borough level is gathered for three-year periods due to very low numbers in some areas.  From 2013 to 2015, 43 people died in Haringey and 42 in both Westminster and Lambeth.

map drug deeaths 2015-2

There were fewer than 20 deaths in the period in most of the outlying boroughs, and in Merton, Barking and Dagenham and among the small population of the City of London the number of deaths was in single figures.

Source data

See also

Low drug-related death rates hide middle-aged heroin problem

Teenage survey finds that Richmond has highest level of cannabis use

Violence, disruption and drugs – why 20,000 pupils were excluded from school last year

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Falling numbers for free school meals but rates still among highest in country

children legsThe number of pupils claiming free school meals is continuing to fall in London. However, there is a greater proportion of children in nursery, primary and secondary schools claiming free lunches here than in many other parts of the country.

New data from the Department of Education shows that nearly 17% of London pupils are receiving free school meals in nurseries and primaries – more than two percentage points higher than the average in England.

Only the North East and West Midlands regions have a higher proportion of youngsters on the free meal scheme.  In Tower Hamlets and Hackney more than a third of under 11s are receiving free meals. The Merseyside borough of Knowsley is the only local authority with a higher rate.

In Southwark, a fifth of children are claiming free meals, a slight increase on last year.  But the numbers are down in Lewisham and Westminster, and the largest decrease took place in Islington where 29% of pupils are claiming school meal benefits, down from 38% last year, but still the third highest rate in the capital.

Free school meals primary

The trend is similar among secondary school pupils. On average, 13% of children over 11 are on the free meal scheme across England. The rate is similar in Outer London but significantly higher within inner London, with more than 40% in Tower Hamlets and 30% in Hackney and Islington. In Camden and Lambeth it is around a quarter of secondary school children.

Free school meals secondary-2

London varies hugely with outer areas pushing the capital average down.  Boroughs in the South West score as low or lower than many other parts of the country, with both Kingston upon Thames and Richmond upon Thames averaging less than 9% for students below the age of 16 claiming free school meals.

Free school meals are available to children from families who are claiming other types of benefit for unemployment or low income.  In 2013 the government extended the scheme so that all children in reception, year 1 and year 2 at state primary schools, ie all children under 8, receive free meals.  From year 3 onwards families must register and make a claim.

Entitlement to free school meals is commonly used as an indicator for children living in poverty. But many who are entitled to the benefit do not claim, a reluctance sometimes attached to social stigma. In London this year 215,000 children are judged to be eligible but only 180,000 are receiving free meals.

Source data

See also

105,000 extra secondary pupils pose huge challenge for capital’s schools

85% of children in private school in one area of West London

Schools data reveals ethnic mix with fall in proportion of white British pupils

 

Suicide rises but London still has the lowest rates in England

despairThe number of people committing suicide is at its highest this century.  The latest data from the Office for National Statistics shows that 5,122 people took their own lives in 2014, the most since 1999.

551 of them were in London, where the rate of suicide went up by 4% on the previous year.  But the longer term trend is down and the capital has the lowest suicide rates of any region in England and Wales.

Men are more than 3 times more likely than women to kill themselves.  The general rate of suicide in the London is 8.3 per 100,000 people. For men it is 13.2 and for women 3.8. For both genders, London has the lowest rates.

Suicide rate national

The figures include all people over 15 who are officially recorded by a coroner to have committed suicide, or whose death has been caused by an undetermined injury.  The ONS combines these to get an accurate suicide rate as research has shown that most of the undetermined deaths are likely to be suicides.

The increase in London between 2013 to 2014 was largely caused by higher numbers in Southwark, Barnet, Haringey and Croydon.

The City of London has by far the highest rate, but this is based on a very small number of people. Outside the City, Haringey had the highest rate in 2014, followed by Islington, Tower Hamlets, Southwark and Hammersmith and Fulham.

Suicide rate map

 

Rates are a lot lower in outlying boroughs including Harrow, Ealing, Hounslow, Richmond and Kingston.

Source data

See also

Low drug-related death rates hide middle-aged heroin problem

Anxious, unhappy, dissatisfied with life? Perhaps you live in Hackney or Barking?

Well-being and wealth – how South West London soars ahead of the rest

For help and more information about suicide contact Samaritans

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Is this the beginning of the end of the council house?

Council Housing Thamesmead-2London is soon to pass a housing landmark – the amount of social housing provided by the private sector is about to overtake the number provided by councils.

There are currently 799,400 households in social housing across the capital. That’s 23% of all households, and the rate has been fairly stable for the past 7 years, falling very gradually from 24.6% in 2009. During the same period the demand has increased from a growing population, and there are more families living in social housing in London now than there were in 2009.

What has been changing more dramatically is the ownership structure. 20 years ago town halls owned 3 times the number of homes as housing associations in the social housing sector.  The latest figures on housing stock for 2015 show that they are now near parity and the trend suggests that the majority of homes will be owned by private providers this year.

Social housing chart

Council-owned housing stock has been in decline since the 1980s when the government of Margaret Thatcher introduced the Right To Buy scheme to enable tenants to buy their council property.

Housing associations have been building at a faster rate than council have been replenishing their stocks and some councils have transferred their homes to these private providers.

A number of London boroughs have done this.  Richmond owns no housing.  Bexley, Bromley and Merton have also transferred their social housing stock to private registered  landlords, although all have a very small number of homes still listed under their ownership.

In contrast, the borough of Southwark owns 36,687 homes, the largest number in London.

Council housing stock

As many people struggle to find a suitable place to live the demand for social housing remains strong.  More than a quarter of a million households are on housing waiting lists held by local authorities.  The number has gone up by 3% since last year to 263,491, the first rise in 10 years.

All local authorities have a register of people who are seeking social housing, which offers much lower rent and secure tenancies.  The criteria councils use to decide whether someone is eligible for a place on the register have changed since 2011 when they were given greater freedom to manage the lists.  This has contributed to the reduced number of people on the lists, until last year’s rise, according to the Department for Communities and Local Government.

Most councils warn people seeking a place on the register that with limited numbers of houses and few becoming available each year they are likely to have to wait a long time for a property, if they qualify to receive one at all.

Whether they are hoping for a council house or social housing from a housing association, their chances are limited. The social rent sector is under pressure.  Out of more than 17,000 new “affordable” homes built in London last year only 3,000 were for social rental, as reported by Urbs.

This means that many people on lower earnings will continue to seek an affordable option in the private rental market.  Rental price increases in recent years have made this a real struggle, as reported here, which is why it has become one of the key battlegrounds in the forthcoming elections for Mayor.

Source data

See also

Social housing rental defies location-driven pricing of private sector

Families face the biggest premiums for renting homes in the capital

Paying the rent takes up 72% of income for private tenants

 

Cycle theft declining, but it remains a problem in many central areas

Shoreditch street-2More than 90,000 bikes have been stolen in London over the past 5 years.

Data from the Metropolitan Police shows that you should keep a keen eye on your cycle in Westminster, which has the worst problem. The large number of people in this central area places it top for many categories of crime.

And having lots of fellow cyclists around seems to offer little security.  Hackney has the highest proportion of cyclists in London but there may be as many bike thieves as beards in the hipster capital of the city.  In the last financial year there nearly 1,300 thefts, althougth there has been a steady improvement since the 2011-12 financial year when nearly 1,800 were stolen.

The Metropolitan Police collates data for financial years, and this shows a reduction in thefts over 5 years across the capital, as there has been in Hackney. In 2011-12 there were 23,144 reported thefts.  In 2014-15 that had come down to 17,285. Annually there’s been a decline of up to 10%.Bike theft trend

Central areas have the biggest problem, as previously reported by Urbs.  In the financial year 2014-15 there were more than 1,000 thefts in the central ring of Westminster, Camden, Islington, Hackney, Tower Hamlets, Southwark and Lambeth.  In contrast, Harrow, Bexley and Havering all had fewer than 150 thefts.  The same pattern is emerging in the data for the first 8 months (April – November) of the current financial year.

Bike theft 2015

Data on the prevalence of cycling in boroughs shows that the areas with the most cyclists and the most bikes are broadly the areas where most thefts occur.

cylcing map

The latest figures for April to November this year show that there have been 12,450 thefts in the 8 months. If the same pattern continues then the total will be similar to 2014-15 but the borough numbers are changing. There have been 232 thefts in Barnet in the past 8 months, more than the total for 2014-15 and at this rate the number will be up by 140 this financial year.

Islington and Tower Hamlets may see around 70 fewer bikes stolen if the current pattern continues, Kensington and Chelsea, nearly 90 fewer.

Source data

See also

Do fewer offences mean better bike behaviour or laxer policing?

Tourists biggest users of Boris Bikes

Road deaths and serious injuries down but pedestrians remain most at risk

 

 

 

 

 

 

Why where you live is affecting your gas bill

Canary wharf 2-2People living in outer London boroughs are spending more money heating their homes than those living in central areas.

Data on gas consumption over the past 10 years shows that households in boroughs such as Harrow, Barnet, Bromley, Bexley and Richmond are consistently among the highest consumers of gas.

In contrast, Tower Hamlets, Southwark and Islington have the lowest levels of consumption.

In 2014 the average domestic consumption in Harrow was 17,000 kilowatt hours.  In Tower Hamlets it was a little over half that.

Gas consumption map

The nature of the housing stock is likely to be an important factor here.  The larger number of older, bigger homes homes in outer areas need more gas to heat than the smaller flats, both council and privately owned, in inner areas.

Data analysis on areas of the capital with the most energy efficient homes, previously reported by Urbs, shows Tower Hamlets as the leading borough, largely due to the modern development of flats and houses in Canary Wharf and Limehouse.

The area that perform best for energy efficient housing in the map below tend to be the ones with the lower levels of gas consumption in the map above.

energy efficient homes

Source data

See also

Tower Hamlets leads the way for London’s greener homes

Living in the past: The old housing keeping a roof over our heads

Half the city’s homes are flats but London is low in the high-rise stakes

Sexual infection rates doubled or trebled in some areas over past 5 years

condom in handLevels of sexually transmitted infections are soaring in London with rates of syphilis rising by 45% in Lambeth in 12 months.

Across the capital there is a marked increase in the diagnosis of a range of sexual infections particularly in young people aged 16-24 and among gay men.

Figures for the diagnosis of infections gathered from genito-urinary medicine (GUM) clinics by Public Health England show that while levels of infection are up across the UK it is London that is seeing a particularly steep rise.

syphilis chart

The rate of syphilis in London has more than doubled in 5 years, with the biggest increase from 2013 to 2014, the last full year of records. In some boroughs the picture is more concerning with a rise of 140% in Lambeth and a three-fold increase between 2009-14 in Southwark.

syphilis map

Rates remain below the national rate for England of 7.8 cases per 100,000 in a number of outer London boroughs. Bexley, Sutton, and Barking and Dagenham have the lowest rates of diagnosis.

Syphilis is a bacterial infection that if left untreated can cause significant health problems and even death. It can be effectively treated with antibiotics and remains relatively rare. Gonorrhoea is a much more common and has also increased dramatically, rising 47% in 5 years.

Once again it is Lambeth and Southwark that have the highest levels. Rates for the City of London are high, though based upon a small population. Most central areas have a rate well in excess of the London-wide average of 190 cases per 100,000 people. Only 5 London boroughs, Sutton, Harrow, Havering, Bexley and Bromley have rates below the England average of 63 cases per 100,000.

gonorrhoea map

The rate in Southwark went up by 172% between 2009-14, while is Lambeth it rose by more than 200%. Lambeth has the highest rate of gonorrhoea in England.

Gonorrhoea is easily transmitted during sex and many people, particularly women, do not show any symptoms. It is treated with antibiotics, though there is concern about the growing resistance of the infection to some of these drugs.

Public Health England analysis shows that there is some difference in infection rates based upon ethnicity with black people having higher diagnosis rates, particularly those living in deprived urban areas.

There are also variation in the distribution of infections according to sexual orientation and gender. Men having sex with other men accounted for 81% of the cases of syphilis and 52% of the cases of gonorrhoea in England last year. Genital warts and chlamydia are nearly all in heterosexual people while 92% of the diagnoses of genital herpes are in women.

Public Health England says that rates are highest in London as the city is home to core groups of people at risk and there is greater access to clinics providing treatment.

It says the rates in gay men are particularly worrying and may be due to unsafe sex, including the decision not to use a condom by partners believed to be of the same HIV status.

Source data

See also

Some boroughs excelling at chlamydia screening for under 25s

The dating data for lovelorn Londoners

Many in caring professions negative towards LGBT people, says survey