South Acton Ranked as Area of High Deprivation

Locals differ on figures which show ward in bottom 10% nationally

South Acton flats
South Acton flats. Picture: Ged Cann

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South Acton ward has been rated as one of the most deprived areas in Ealing borough, receiving the lowest rank on the government’s most recent deprivation index.

It scores a 1, meaning it is in the bottom ten per cent for deprivation in England in general based on data published this September.

The Local Democracy Service visited the area, to talk to locals about what it’s like to live there, and what could be improved.

Anita has lived in the area for 34 years and she says she’s never really had any trouble there. Sitting in a local park five minutes’ walk from South Acton Station, the 80-year-old said things were slowly changing for the better, with wealthier new arrivals starting to move in.

Other locals, however, say things are getting worse. Enjoying a pint at the local South Acton Members Club is Alex Smith, a resident of 22 years. The 26-year-old said the deprivation rating had it right, although many residents’ housing had improved in recent times with the intense regeneration going on in the area.

He said: “The devil makes work for idle hands around here, you just have so many people hanging around doing nothing.

“You have the youth club down there, but quite often you see kids over there just idling around, doing nothing.”

“A few months ago we had a whole load of police called because some gang from North London came down to knock around a gang down here. That wasn’t fun.”

Alex Smith.
Alex Smith. Picture: Ged Cann

Joseph Watson has lived just outside South Acton since 1973.

He said South Acton was at risk of becoming worse, with a series of large housing association flats going up, and not enough amenities being brought in to service them.

He said: “It’s going to be a very attractive ghetto, let’s put it that way.”

Joseph Watson
Joseph Watson. Picture: Ged Cann

Ealing overall is ranked 88th out of 317 Local Authorities in England on the deprivation scale, this is one position worse than in 2015.

The Index of Multiple Deprivation (IMD) is the official measure of relative deprivation in England and is produced by the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government.

It looks at a wide range of an individual’s living conditions, involving 39 separate indicators across seven categories – income, employment, education, health, crime, barriers to housing and services, and living environment.

Map showing deprivation levels with darker blue indicating higher levels
Map showing deprivation levels with darker blue indicating higher levels

The IMD uses a scale of 1-10, with 1 being the most deprived and 10 being the least.

The IMD is purely a place-based insight into deprivation and does not apply to every person living there. 

All neighbourhoods in England are ranked according to their level of deprivation relative to that of other areas, so a neighbourhood ranked 100th is more deprived than a neighbourhood ranked 200th, but this does not mean it is twice as deprived.

According to the 2015 report, Norwood Green was the most deprived ward in terms of the overall Index of Multiple Deprivation, followed by Northolt West End, Southall Broadway, and Southall Green.

More recently the rankings suggest Norwood Green and Northolt West End were still ranked high for deprivation, but Southall Broadway and Green both showed improvement, ranking around four or five on the deprivation index.

As well as parts of South Acton, eastern parts of Greenford Broadway and south-eastern areas of Northolt West End are now rated as among the highly deprived. South-eastern parts of Hobbayne are also ranked high on deprivation.

Acton is the site of huge redevelopments, with the largest being the Acton Gardens, a project to create 3,000 new homes.

The £600 million regeneration project is currently seven years into a 15-year master plan, which was started in 2012 and is intended to be completed in 2027.

Two weeks ago a community hub, which will house a new doctor’s surgery and nursery was completed.

Acton Gardens has also already delivered a new community centre, youth club, local supermarket, dental surgery and neighbourhood office.

Ealing Council has been approached for comment for this article.

Ged Cann - Local Democracy Reporter

October 22, 2019

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