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Towards an understanding of the changing nature of deprivation in east London

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Organised by the Centre for East London Studies (CELS)

The London Boroughs of Newham, Hackney and Tower Hamlets have consistently ranked as having some of the highest levels of deprivation (based on the Index of Multiple deprivation) in the country. The most recent Index of Multiple Deprivation 2015 indicates that the London boroughs of Newham, Hackney and Tower Hamlets have all seen improvements, but poverty remains high and the boroughs continue to have the highest levels of Income Deprivation for Older and Young People.

How do we explain these trends? Is the substantial investment in Urban Regeneration resulting in a reduction in deprivation or is it simply evidence of gentrification or increasing deprivation elsewhere. This seminar will bring together academics and policy-makers to shed light on these trends and consider the implications for policy.

Towards an understanding of the changing nature of deprivation in East London

Thursday, 9 February 2017, 2– 5pm
University of East London, Docklands Campus, Room EB.G.08


Stephen Timms, MP for East Ham
John East, London Borough of Barking and Dagenham
Liz Fenton, Growth Boroughs
Alasdair Rae, University of Sheffield
Mark Fransham, University of Oxford

Chaired by Penny Bernstock, Director of CELS

To book a place please follow this link

Abstracts and Biographies

Stephen Timms is a Member of Parliament for East Ham and also the Labour Party Faith Envoy. He entered Parliament as Labour MP for Newham North East through a by-election on 9th June 1994, and was re-elected to the new constituency of East Ham in May 1997.  In the 2010 General Election he secured the biggest majority in the House of Commons.  He was a Minister from 1998 until 2010, serving for example as Financial Secretary to the Treasury, Minister for Digital Britain and Minister for Pensions.  He was in the Cabinet as Chief Secretary to the Treasury in 2006-7 and the Shadow Minister for Employment between 2010 and 2015.

Having grown up in Hampshire and studied mathematics at Emmanuel College, Cambridge, Stephen moved to East Ham in 1978 and married Hui-Leng in 1986. Before entering parliament he worked for eight years for the software company Logica, and then for another eight years for a small firm, Ovum, started up by former colleagues at Logica.   

John East is the Strategic Director for Growth and Homes for the London Borough of Barking and Dagenham.

Liz Fenton has worked in social policy and economic regeneration in east London boroughs for over 25 years. Managing local government services ranging from regeneration to equalities to youth services she has always worked with research and evidence to underpin policy and strategy. Since 2006 she has worked as an independent consultant on a range of projects including with Newham on economic development, with Redbridge on policy and research, with Waltham Forest on anti-social behaviour and with the Growth Boroughs Partnership on employment projects, the Convergence Strategy and annual reports to measure the long term impact of the Olympics.  

Alasdair Rae is a senior lecturer in urban studies and planning at the University of Sheffield. His work focuses on the manipulation, analysis and visualisation of large geographic datasets in relation to urban planning, neighbourhoods and policy issues. More generally, he is a proponent of open data and in his work seeks to make use of the wide range of new datasets that have become available in recent years to advance knowledge in policy-relevant areas. His work has appeared in a variety of media outlets, including The Economist, Huffington Post, CityMetric, WIRED, The Guardian, The Royal Statistical Society magazine and the BBC. He tweets at @undertheraedar and blogs at 

Deprivation and 'disconnected neighbourhoods'
This presentation looks at the issue of deprivation at the neighbourhood level and the extent to which some areas remain 'disconnected' in relation to housing and jobs. I report on the results of a recent study for the Joseph Rowntree Foundation, with a focus on those areas considered 'most deprived' according to the Indices of Deprivation. The results suggest that there are considerable differences between areas and that not all 'poor' areas are the same. An obvious finding, perhaps, but one too often overlooked.

Mark Fransham is in the second year of studying for a doctorate at the School of Geography and the Environment, Oxford University. Previously, he spent 15 years working as a researcher in criminology, health and local government. His research is exploring the dynamic processes which maintain and change the spatial concentrations of poverty in the UK.  He is also interested in the relationship between poverty persistence, geography and local labour market conditions.  Mark is a member of the UK Population Theme Advisory Board, a group which provides advice to the Office for National Statistics and Government Statistical Service about improving the quality of population statistics and demographic analysis.  
The effect of population change on deprivation in East London – exploring the official statistics
In most parts of the UK the geography of poverty has been remarkably consistent over the last decade, despite the Great Recession of 2008/09 and social policy initiatives including New Labour’s National Strategy for Neighbourhood Renewal. In contrast, according to the 2015 Indices of Deprivation, the London Boroughs of Newham, Hackney and Tower Hamlets had significant declines in poverty between 2008 and 2012. This presentation will unpick the official statistics on deprivation and poverty in order to understand the contribution of population change to this decline. It will also draw upon the 2011 Census to understand who was moving in and who was moving out of these London boroughs in the years following the recession. 

Thursday, 9 February 2017