London is rubbish at recycling and many boroughs are getting worse


The rate of recycling and composting of household rubbish in London is well below the average for England and in nearly half the boroughs in London recycling levels are down.

Latest data from the Department of Food and Rural Affairs shows that in 2013/14 across England 43% of the waste collected went for recycling or composting.  In London it was 34%. And the performance of some councils falls well below that.  The lowest rate is in Lewisham and Newham with just 18% of rubbish recycled.  Wandsworth also performed poorly and is one of 15 councils that has seen its rate fall.

Recyling map

In 2011/12 Wandsworth was recycling 28% of collected waste.  In 2013/14 that was down to 20%. Over the same period recycling has dropped in Hammersmith and Fulham from 30% to 21%.

A few boroughs are showing London the way.  Bromley has achieved 50% and in Bexley is has climbed to 55%.

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

Fine homes in Kensington and Chelsea,  where well-being is high

Fine homes in Kensington and Chelsea, where well-being is high

The happiest and most contented people in London live largely in the well-to-do South West of the city. The area where more people are unhappy or feel they are struggling is Enfield.

That is the finding from the Greater London Authority’s well-being index, and data just released shows how residents rate their well-being across 625 wards, the neighbourhoods within boroughs. Perhaps predictably people in the wealthier areas of London rate their well-being as high, those in poorer neighbourhoods do not.

The GLA defined well-being by identifying 12 criteria for people to rate across the categories of health, economic security, safety, education, childcare, families, transport, environment, and happiness

The results show that the happiest, most secure and contented people in London live in the up-market Knightsbridge/Belgravia ward in the borough of Westminster.

The top 20 wards included 15 in affluent South West London, including wards in Kensington and Chelsea, Richmond, Merton and Kingston. Bromley in the South East featured strongly with 4 wards in the top 20. West London scored 1 top 20 place with Northfield ward in Ealing.

The top 5:

Position Ward Borough
1 Knightsbridge and Belgravia Westminster
2 Campden Kensington and Chelsea
3 West Wickham Bromley
4 South Twickenham Richmond upon Thames
5 East Sheen Richmond upon Thames

The lowest sense of well-being was recorded in Edmonton Green in Enfield. Enfield scores high in the unhappiness stakes with 3 other wards in the bottom 10. The bottom 20 are concentrated in  North and North East London and include wards in Haringey, Barking and Dagenham, Newham, Hackney, Brent, Tower Hamlets, Havering, plus Croydon in the south.

The bottom 5;

Position Ward Borough
621 Upper Edmonton Enfield
622 Northumberland Park Haringey
623 Harlsden Brent
624 Fieldway Croydon
625 Edmonton Green Enfield

The ward map underlines how people in South West and West London have a high sense of well-being which is not shared by their fellow Londoners in the poorer areas in the North.  The green areas represent high scores, the orange and red, low scores on the index.

well being map 9

While East London gets lower scores, the corridor along both banks of the Thames between Canary Wharf and Thamesmead has shown a marked improvement since 2009.

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Baby booming Wandsworth is the city’s kiddie capital

Mum wiht baby in buggie-1Anyone who has walked down the Northcote Road in Battersea on a Saturday morning will tell you that there are a lot of children in the neighbourhood.  It is pretty self evident from the numbers of buggies that you need to navigate as you take in the area’s cafe culture.

The area which lies between Clapham Common and Wandsworth Common has been dubbed Nappy Valley and the epithet is certainly supported by the data.  Analysis by Urbs of child benefit data shows that Wandsworth, where Nappy Valley is situated,  has the highest proportion of children under 4 in London.  37% of the children in the borough are babies and pre-school kids. That’s a third higher than the national average of 20%.  The rate for London is 31%.

under 4s in London map

While Wandsworth has the highest proportion of tiny Londoners, for sheer numbers of children Croydon takes the prize. The borough has 95,000 under 18s, beating Barnet with 90,000 and Newham with 85,000.

If you want to avoid children then head to the City of London.  The high proportion of under 4s on our map, while accurate, may be misleading as the square mile is home to just 885 kids.

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Self employed map shows huge rise in parts of city

hMore and more people are working for themselves and in some parts of London it has gone up by over 50% in the past 5 years.

Data from the annual population survey done by the Office for National Statistics shows a 16% increase in people who are self employed across London since 2010.  In Barking and Dagenham it has gone up by 59% in the same period.  In Harrow the rise is 52%.

The figures for 2014 show that 18% of Londoners are working for themselves, a slightly higher rate than the national average. In Barnet 25% of the working population is self employed. Camden and Kensington and Chelsea are just behind.  It is half that rate in Tower Hamlets, Bexley and Hillingdon.

Self employment

According to the Bank of England the record growth in self employment across the UK is a long-term trend and largely fuelled by older people continuing to work, and choosing to work for themselves.  In its recent quarterly bulletin the Bank says there is little evidence that the rise hides people who are looking for jobs or that people are under-employed in working for themselves.

Part time working has seen a more gradual rise over the pst 10 years. 22% of London’s workers are now part time, which is slightly below the national average.  But again the figures vary.  Enfield and Haringey have the highest proportion of part time workers, closely followed by Redbridge and Brent.  Hounslow and Wandsworth have the lowest.

Part time working map


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Sexual infection map shows problems for Lambeth and Southwark

Lambeth and Southwark have the highest rates of sexually transmitted infections in London.  Data from Public Health England shows the two south London boroughs have substantially more cases of both syphilis and gonorrhoea than other areas.

Lambeth has 91 cases of syphilis per 100,000 people. Southwark has 82.  In neighbouring Wandsworth it is 22 and in Merton 11.  The lowest incidence is in Havering and Harrow with just 2 cases per 100,000.  The darker colours on the borough map of London represent the highest rates of infection.

The picture is similar for cases of gornorrhoea.  In Lambeth there are 155 cases per 100,000 people.  In Southwark it is 398 and in Hackney 351. The average for London is 155 but some boroughs have a fraction of that number.

The rate of STIs is 3 times higher in London that it is for England as a whole.

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Private school? Depends where you live

School Library copyMore than half the children going to school in Kensington and Chelsea are educated in the independent sector. Of the 78 schools in the borough 40 are fee paying.

Only the City of London has a higher proportion of children in private education. There it’s a staggering 90% but there is only 1 state primary school in the borough and 4 independents.

The data from the Department of Education reveals that across London private schooling features strongly with half of the boroughs exceeding the England average for pupils outside the state sector. In the affluent boroughs of Richmond, Camden, Westminster, Hammersmith and Fulham, and Wandsworth it’s between 24 and 29%. Across the capital the average is 11% with 7% the average for England.

London has more children in private education than any other region of England except the South East.

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