Estate is one of most deprived in country – report

A NATIONAL study into deprivation has highlighted some of Dewsbury and Mirfield's poorest areas.

According to new figures, the most deprived neighbourhood in Kirklees is Dewsbury Moor's Pilgrim Estate, which falls in England's worst 0.6 per cent of areas.

The study has also revealed Kirklees is now the 12th worst district in England for low income levels.

The Government's Index of Deprivation 2007 replaced a similar study from 2004 and looked at 38 factors affecting people's quality of life.

These included income, living environment, education, health and employment.

The report divided England into areas with about 1,500 residents and highlighted the ones with typically low incomes, high crime figures, housing problems, health deprivation and unemployment.

Dewsbury West Pathfinder neighbourhood manager Roger O'Doherty said some of the latest deprivation figures were disappointing.

The 3.5million, seven-year Pathfinder pilot project was set up in 2002 to help improve life in deprived areas of Dewsbury West.

Mr O'Doherty said Pathfinder had helped set up a range of schemes, including youth services, community groups and adult learning, but that progress was slow.

He said: "We have been very successful in our work with the local community but it is a long, slow job."

Mr O'Doherty said the Index of Deprivation was useful to the Pathfinder team to help them identify priority areas and plan schemes as it went into its final year.

And he said that while he was proud of Pathfinder's achievements, he warned that more work was needed to help people out of poverty.

He said: "I think the neighbourhood management approach has been proven to work in Dewsbury West but it is a slow process and unless there is work in the future the most deprived areas will remain the most deprived areas."