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               MSIO Policy Report: 1

                  December 2004

Executive Summary                                                          2
SECTION 1:      Introduction                                               5
SECTION 2:      Methodology                                                7
SECTION 3:      Defining Social Exclusion/Inclusion and The                8
                Neighbourhood Renewal Strategy (NRS) and The Indices
                Of Deprivation
SECTION 4:      Implementing The NRS: Local Strategic Partnerships         11
SECTION 5:      Measuring Impact – Data Limitations and Improvements       39
SECTION 6:      Measuring Impact – Progress And Challenges                 54
SECTION 7:      Summary and Conclusions - Developing a                     57
                Strategic, Cross-Thematic Approach To Tackling Social
                Exclusion On Merseyside
Appendix 1 – Neighbourhood Renewal Strategy (NRS) National PSA             63
Floor Targets
Appendix 2 – Merseyside Neighbourhood Renewal Areas                        65
Appendix 3 – The 5 most deprived Super Output Areas (SOAs),                67
corresponding wards and ID 2004 rank
Appendix 4 – Progress towards NRS Floor Targets for Merseyside             68
Districts using Floor Targets Interactive (FTI) Data

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  •   Analysis of the Indices of Deprivation (ID) 2004 indicates that Merseyside
      has some of the most deprived areas in England: - over one fifth of the top
      1% most deprived Super Output Areas (SOAs) can be found in Liverpool
      and nearly a third overall can be identified on Merseyside. Such figures
      indicate the need for the successful implementation of the Neighbourhood
      Renewal Strategy (NRS) to reduce such disparities.

  •   One of the key aims of the NRS is to improve co-ordination of initiatives
      focused on addressing social exclusion.       Evidence from Merseyside
      suggests that such co-ordination has yet to be fully achieved, although
      more progress seems to have been made in areas where pre-existing
      networks were already established, as well as in areas that have a
      significant number of Neighbourhood Renewal areas designated.

  •   There have been recent moves on Merseyside to integrate and achieve
      greater synergy between the NRS and other initiatives, such as the EU
      Merseyside Objective One Programme. In this respect, it is apparent that
      conflation of ‘equalities’ with ‘social inclusion’ within the Merseyside
      Objective One Programme, as well as a lack of a cross-thematic approach
      to defining and measuring social inclusion within the NRS (as opposed to
      Objective One) is hampering progress in embedding social inclusion
      principles and fostering best practice.

  •   There appears to be some confusion amongst partners in distinguishing
      between the Neighbourhood Renewal Strategy (NRS) – in terms of
      delivery processes and structures and the Neighbourhood Renewal Fund
      (NRF) – as a funding programme. Arguably, there needs to be much
      more emphasis by partners on assessing whether processes developed

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    under NRS are having an impact on addressing social exclusion in the
    longer term.

•   LSP Performance Management Frameworks need to focus on fostering
    better linkages between policy themes to address social exclusion: - there
    is also scope for local NRF programmes to improve output analysis in
    order to more clearly demonstrate impact on priority targets.

•   In terms of expenditure of NRF and commitments to mainstreaming, there
    is only limited evidence of NRF being used to spread innovative
    approaches and learning from localised short term projects.

•   A key emphasis in respect of the implementation of the NRS is effective
    community engagement.        On Merseyside, the lack of an appropriate
    framework to integrate thematic and locally focussed engagement
    networks, coupled with difficulties in the involvement of hard-to-reach
    groups and a lack of resources to disseminate information and good
    practice are barriers that need to be addressed to foster more effective
    engagement.      Such an intervention is particularly crucial given the
    development of Local Area Agreements (LAA) and devolvement of funds
    for community engagement activities to LSPs.

•   Measuring progress towards achieving National Floor Targets set out
    under the NRS is problematic as there is a lack of readily available data
    which is both up-to-date and available for sub-district level analysis. Each
    NRS theme (and associated targets) varies in terms of the quality of
    information available to measure progress, and ‘proxy’ data needs to be
    utilised in certain instances to support analyses.

•   In terms of the progress against targets that can be identified, in general
    terms reasonable progress is being made on Merseyside towards

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    achieving employment and enterprise targets, although gaps to national
    averages are still considerable.      A similar picture can be presented in
    respect of crime targets, although good progress has been made on
    reducing vehicle crime. There is also evidence of reasonable performance
    in respect of achieving GCSE and Key Stage (KS) 2 education targets.
    Positive progress in relative terms towards achieving health targets (life
    expectancy, teenage pregnancies) can also be discerned, although in
    absolute terms, in respect of the former, the gap with national averages
    has actually widened. Finally, it is clear that decency targets for housing
    will not be met in many areas of Merseyside.

•   The development of a social inclusion cross-thematic ‘impact assessment’
    approach involving a range of ‘social inclusion’ indicators could support
    embedding principles of best practice. A strategic social inclusion and
    equality framework would support such an evaluation.

•   Quality of Life and liveability indicators are important in respect of fostering
    evaluation frameworks monitoring the impact of policy interventions,
    coupled with strategic commitment from relevant partners, the involvement
    of communities in selecting and monitoring targets, and the development
    of structures and processes to support the mainstreaming of successful

•   Practical suggestions that could be taken forward in the short term to
    strategically address social exclusion on Merseyside include the further
    development of a robust statistical profile of deprivation, exclusion and
    inequality, enabling the development of a forum of practitioners to take
    forward good practice and developing the capacity of partners (possibly
    through LSP skills and learning strategies) to understand, value and
    implement an overarching inclusion framework.

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This report by the Merseyside Social Inclusion Observatory (MSIO) focuses on a
number of key issues arising in respect of the implementation of the
Neighbourhood Renewal Strategy (NRS) on Merseyside. In particular, it explores
the extent to which the NRS is facilitating the successful co-ordination and
mainstreaming of social inclusion focussed initiatives and activities; progress
being made and challenges remaining in tackling social exclusion and disparities
across Merseyside overall; and the extent to which the NRS could offer support
to the development of a more effective approach to fostering social inclusion.

In particular, the assessment of the NRS on Merseyside will focus on those
elements that were seen as new, innovative and fundamental to successful
implementation when the NRS was launched: -

   •   An emphasis on better local co-ordination of resources and
       processes to tackle issues in the most deprived neighbourhoods: the
       extent to which local NRS delivery is mainstreaming the planning, delivery
       and implementation -
       i) of processes - through a specific focus on co-ordination between the
       NRS and other key policies and programmes such as the EU Merseyside
       Objective 1 Programme; and
       ii) of resources – with a particular focus on the implications arising from
       recent proposals to align Neighbourhood Renewal Funds (NRF) with one
       strand of EU Merseyside Objective 1 funds;

   •   The need for better intelligence about the impact of NRS in tackling
       social exclusion: this will be highlighted as appropriate and further
       developed in future MSIO work and reports;

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•   A commitment to fully engaging communities in order to develop
    effective and appropriate programmes and interventions: the
    effectiveness of community involvement mechanisms within the delivery of
    the NRS on Merseyside, in order to ensure that the experience and
    knowledge of local communities and excluded groups better informs the
    process of planning and delivery of the programme.

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Analysis of the implementation of the NRS on Merseyside was undertaken
between April and November 2004 and included:

    •   Desk based research and policy analysis, involving the review of relevant
        documentation     such    as    Local   Community       Strategies    and    Local
        Neighbourhood Renewal Strategies (LNRS);
    •   Interviews and meetings with relevant representatives of Local Strategic
        Partnerships (LSPs)1 on Merseyside, Neighbourhood Renewal Teams,
        Strategic or Thematic Issue Partnerships, Local Authority Officers (for
        example in Education or Employment) and Community Empowerment
        Network Managers;
    •   Meetings with representatives from Government Office North West
        working directly with LSPs as well as officers working on the EU
        Merseyside Objective 1 Programme;
    •   Face to face dialogue with the manager of the Neighbourhood Renewal
        Unit (NRU) in London through an opportunity provided by Communities
        Against Poverty (CAP) and the All Party Parliamentary Group on Poverty;
    •   Consultation with a wide range of representatives through a series of
        events on the NRS that MSIO delivered or jointly delivered during
        October/November 2004.2

Finally it should be noted that examples or references to specific LSPs are
used as exemplars to illustrate a point and should not be taken as an
indication that they alone are representative of good practice.

 With the exception of Knowsley LSP Co-ordinator who declined to participate.
 a) MSIO, 27 October 2004 at Blackburne House, Liverpool. b) MSIO with NWRA and CAP, 12
November 2004 at Blackburne House, Liverpool. c) MSIO with Merseyside Network for Europe,
16 November 2004 at Glaxo Centre, Liverpool.

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As a starting point, it is important to recognise how social exclusion is being
defined in relation to the aims and objectives of the NRS. Of importance in this
respect is the Government’s Social Exclusion Unit (SEU), which has identified
that social exclusion is a concept that refers not only to poverty and low income,
but also some of their wider causes and consequences:

“Social exclusion happens when people or places suffer from a series of
problems such as unemployment, discrimination, poor skills, low incomes, poor
housing, high crime, ill health and family breakdown. When such problems
combine they can create a vicious cycle.

Social exclusion can happen as a result of problems that face one person in their
life. But it can also start from birth. Being born into poverty or to parents with low
skills still has a major influence on future life chances.”

(Social Exclusion Unit, 2004)

A key national policy response to address such issues has been the National
Strategy for Neighbourhood Renewal (NSNR), which was launched in 2001.
Delivery of the Strategy is based on a set of ‘Floor Targets’ to reduce disparities
between the most and least deprived areas. Such targets are aimed at improving
performance in the most deprived local authority areas across five key policy
themes: employment & enterprise, crime, education, health and housing.
Appendix 1 lists the current set of national floor targets.

In the context of the Neighbourhood Renewal agenda, deprivation was originally
defined using the Index of Multiple Deprivation 2000 (IMD 2000). Revised Indices
(ID 2004) have recently been published which reveal that parts of Merseyside
remain some of the most deprived in the country. The scale and severity of levels
of deprivation across Merseyside as revealed by the original Index (2000) led to

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a number of areas being designated as Neighbourhood Renewal Areas (NRAs)
(see Appendix 2 for a list of NRAs on Merseyside), along with the allocation
of Neighbourhood Renewal Funding (NRF) to address particular issues and
problems. The fact that the updated Indices (2004) continues to highlight severe
levels of deprivation on Merseyside clearly has implications in terms of the
degree of progress achieved under the NRS to date and also for the
development of future policies and initiatives aimed at tackling social exclusion.

Table 1 below sets out the relative position of each of the five local authorities on
Merseyside according to the Indices of Deprivation 2004 and indicates the rank
of each in terms of overall levels of deprivation, as well as the extent of
deprivation and exclusion within particular areas. The Table also demonstrates
the numbers of Super Output Areas (SOAs)3 existing in each area that lie within
the top 1% most deprived of all SOAs in England, as well as those within the top
5% most deprived:

Table 1: Ranking of 5 Merseyside local authorities in terms of overall
deprivation and extent of deprivation
                           England    Knowsley      Liverpool     Sefton         St.      Wirral
 *Overall IMD ranking                      3            1           78            36        48
  Extent IMD ranking                       8            5           78            37        49
Total number of Super
Output areas (SOA’s)       32,482         99           291          190          118       207
Total number of SOA’s
    in top 1% most           325          19           67             2           4         14
 % of English total top                  5.8%        20.6%         0.6%         1.2%       4.3%
  1% most deprived
Total number of SOA’s
    in top 5%most           1624          42           136          16            13        37
 % of English total top                  2.6%         8.4%         1.0%         0.8%       2.3%
  5% most deprived
Source: ODPM 2004

*overall average (where 1 represents most deprived) out of 355 local authorities ranked

    SOAs contain on average 250 households (approx 1500) population

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From Table 1 it is possible to identify that at a district level, Liverpool and
Knowsley are ranked as being two of the most deprived areas of England and
indeed Liverpool tops the rankings for the overall average deprivation score and
also in terms of the extent of deprivation.

If a more localised focus is taken by concentrating on Super Output Areas
(SOAs), it is evident from Table 1 that Liverpool again accounts for over one-fifth
of the top 1% most deprived SOA’s in England, and if the rest of Merseyside is
taken then nearly a third of the top 1% most deprived SOAs in England can be
found in the sub-region. Interestingly, the relative proportions of those falling
within the top 5% most deprived for Merseyside as a whole compared to
elsewhere is not quite as significant, suggesting the extent of particular
concentrations of deprivation and exclusion in certain parts of Merseyside that
need to be tackled. Appendix 3 presents a list of the 5 most deprived SOAs
in each local authority area according to the ID 2004 and corresponding

Indeed, if further analysis is taken of the total numbers of SOAs within each local
authority area that can be classified as either in the top 1% most deprived or top
5% most deprived in England, nearly half of all of Liverpool’s SOAs can be
defined as within the top 5% most deprived, whilst the figure is only marginally
less for Knowsley (42%) and with particular ‘hotspots’ also existing in Sefton, St.
Helens, and Wirral.

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SECTION 4: IMPLEMENTING              THE       NRS:       LOCAL       STRATEGIC

Local Strategic Partnerships (LSPs) operate as non-statutory, non-executive
organisations and are the key mechanism for the delivery of the NRS within the
88 most deprived districts in England targeted for Neighbourhood Renewal
Funds. The LSPs are the key focus for co-ordination of local policies and
programmes aimed at promoting economic and social inclusion. Their core
responsibilities are to:

        •   Prepare and implement a community strategy for the area;
        •   develop and deliver a local neighbourhood renewal strategy to tackle
            deprivation and to focus on the development of local floor targets to
            reduce inequalities with national averages;
        •   co-ordinate local plans, partnerships and initiatives and provide a
            forum for local councils, the police, health services, central
            government, communities and other agencies to work to meet
            community needs; and
        •   work with local councils to develop local public service agreements

In addition to the increased emphasis on joining up programmes, resources and
priorities there is also a responsibility on LSPs to develop a ‘mainstreamed’
approach to delivering regeneration and social inclusion. This point is particularly
important and in this context it is argued that mainstreaming has two separate
but connected meanings: -

   i)       ‘Strategic mainstreaming’ - this is the refocusing of mainstream
            programmes (and mainstream funding) onto targets which are agreed
            and shared by local partners, reflecting patterns of local needs,
            including those of deprived communities. This approach is sometimes
            known as ‘bending’ or ‘re-shaping’ of mainstream programmes. In the

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             context of the NRS, such a focus would be on Neighbourhood
             Renewal processes.

    ii)      ‘Mainstreaming’ – this is used to describe a “bottom up” approach. The
             aim with this meaning is to spread approaches and learning from
             localised, short-term pilots, frequently on the periphery of mainstream
             services, to mainstream programmes; and to achieve sustainable
             funding for these pilots. This can be one means to the end of strategic
             mainstreaming.4 In the context of the NRS, such a focus would be on
             Neighbourhood Renewal Funds.

Hence any evaluation of the NRS on Merseyside involves focusing on the extent
to which there is evidence of mainstreaming within LSPs of either processes or
resources or ideally, both.

In terms of the former, some of the key points that need to be considered include:
    •     how effectively groups are working together and the extent of co-
          terminosity within each LSP and across Merseyside to tackle social
          exclusion and meet NRS floor targets;
    •     the availability of relevant data to undertake performance measurement
          both of thematic targets and also in terms of broader impact on social
          exclusion and inequalities; and
    •     the effectiveness of LSPs in engaging local communities in social
          inclusion programmes.

These points are now addressed below, based on the information that MSIO has
collated and analysed thus far through our work on the NRS and with LSPs on

 The Evaluation of Local Strategic Partnerships. Mainstreaming: a Briefing Note by LSPs for
LSPs, May 2004, ODPM, London.

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4.1   How effectively partners are working together within LSPs

LSPs are now operating in each local authority area across Merseyside and each
has developed a local neighbourhood renewal strategy setting out key actions
and targets. Each also has a number of ‘Strategic Issue’ or Thematic
Partnerships which bring partners together to co-ordinate planning and delivery
on themes relating to each of the PSA Floor targets.

One of the key aims behind the NRS in terms of addressing such targets - and
which are focussed on reducing disparities between the most and least deprived
areas - is to improve the co-ordination of the plethora of initiatives and agencies
tackling social exclusion. Improved co-ordination of strategies and resources, it is
argued, should improve effectiveness and maximise impact on reducing
disparities. Therefore any evaluation of the implementation of the NRS needs to
include an evaluation of the extent to which the NRS is facilitating other
programmes and resources to be targeted on those neighbourhoods and
communities most at risk of exclusion.

With regards to the extent of mainstreaming and co-terminosity (or joining-up) of
social inclusion initiatives generally within LSPs on Merseyside, it is argued that
there has been varying levels of progress, with some LSPs being more
successful than others. The differences in the extent and scale of deprivation
within the Merseyside districts has affected how each local NRS has been
developed and how effectively it has been integrated within existing structures. In
terms of the mainstreaming agenda within the social inclusion context, it appears
that there are differences in stages of progress across Merseyside.

Where progress has been made, the importance of cultural change and inter-
agency working has been crucial. One example cited by partners was the
development of the Housing Market Renewal Initiative (HMRI) on Merseyside
which covers a number of the Neighbourhood Renewal Areas in Liverpool,
Sefton and Wirral. Within this initiative, partners from local authorities, social

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landlords and housing agencies worked collaboratively to bid for funding from the
Government to address some of the sub-region’s severe housing stock
problems. Indeed, those involved suggested that the bid was successful because
of good partnership working - the network was very focused and worked
collectively towards a common aim.

One key finding in relation to partnership working on Merseyside is that it
appears that where existing networks of thematic practitioners were already
in place and starting to work collaboratively to address common aims
before the launch of the NRS, such partnerships appear to operate well
under newer LSP structures. One such example that partners referred to is the
Liverpool Strategic Housing Partnership where partners had already started to
work collaboratively – for example, at the wider Merseyside level and with the
Core Cities Housing Group - before the launch of the NRS: -

“We were an established network of housing practitioners already meeting and
working together to co-ordinate our work more strategically. Our existing network
was therefore best placed to become the thematic housing partnership when the
LSP came into being”.5

However – and perhaps not unsurprisingly - where thematic partnerships have
been ‘created’ as part of the establishment of LSPs, there appears to be less
evidence of co-ordinated working. This is because the partners involved initially
had different priorities, prioritised different targets and have different mechanisms
for capturing and sharing data.

There is some evidence that LSPs are starting to move more towards developing
structures that embrace a more integrated approach. For example Sefton Council
has recently restructured the team responsible for co-ordinating various
regeneration initiatives across Sefton, including the Local Neighbourhood

    Strategic Housing Partnership representative, Merseyside, 2004

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Renewal Strategy, Neighbourhood Renewal Funds, and the development of
Neighbourhood Action Plans. The latter includes community representation
mechanisms for EU Merseyside Objective 1 areas such as Pathways and also
other structures such as area committees, thereby improving integration between
NRS and other initiatives.

In addition, moves towards Neighbourhood Management models being
developed across Merseyside are providing real opportunities to develop a
localised and strategic approach to co-ordinating service planning and delivery.
In Liverpool, for example, these are being developed within the context of local
Neighbourhood Action Plans which bring together Objective 1 partnerships, Area
Committees and Neighbourhood Renewal initiatives to set local priorities.

Recent proposals to broaden the roles and responsibilities of LSPs through the
development of Local Area Agreements could further improve how social
exclusion is tackled at the neighbourhood level:

“LAAs are basically about Neighbourhood Management and should provide a
perfect opportunity for all partners to drill down to neighbourhood level and let
partners engage with communities. If LAAs bring about a situation where
diversity is embraced, and anti-social behaviour reduced, quality of life is
improved and fear of crime reduced then they’ll have worked”.6

A second key finding in respect of joint working is that the ‘track record’ of
an LSP is of crucial relevance to its development. For example, in St Helens,
Ravenhead Renaissance, an independent regeneration organisation made up of
various agencies, had already been in existence before the launch of the NRS
and had responsibility for managing various regeneration initiatives such as SRB.
With the launch of Neighbourhood Renewal, Ravenhead Renaissance then
became accredited as the LSP for St Helens, also providing secretariat services
to the LSP:-

    Community Empowerment Network Co-ordinator, Merseyside, 2004.

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“This is important – that Ravenhead Renaissance has developed (and is
perceived by other partners) as more independent from the Local Authority than
some other LSPs on Merseyside…some partners feel that they have equal status
and are more committed to the development of effective joint partnerships ”.7

A third key finding is that effective co-ordination and mainstreaming has
been limited by perceptions amongst a number of partners that LSPs,
Community Strategies and the Neighbourhood Renewal agenda are
marginal to their main business of delivering services within an area. This is
more relevant to local authority areas on Merseyside where there are smaller
numbers of Neighbourhood Renewal (most deprived) areas and/or where they
are geographically concentrated. For example in Wirral, the five most deprived
wards are all located in the Eastern part of the Borough, reflecting a broader
general ‘deprivation split’ in Wirral along East/West lines. However there are
moves to address the degree to which the NRS is integrated:

“To date, there has been some degree of institutional and strategic separation of
the LNRS and Community Strategy. Progress has now been made to more
closely align the two by integrating both community strategy and neighbourhood
renewal targets within the thematic Delivery Plans”.8

By contrast, in Liverpool, the scale of deprivation is so extensive that it cuts
across the City. Such factors have impacted upon the explicit delivery of
structures and activities to address social exclusion within LSPs. The
prioritisation of the Neighbourhood Renewal agenda is subsequently perceived
as being more fundamental to the work of the local authority and this is reflected
in the development of partnerships and relevant strategies within an LSP.

    LSP representative, St Helens, 2004.
    Wirral LSP Business Plan 2002-2007, CLES Consultancy, Manchester 2003.

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4.2 Co-ordination Issues within LSPs: - a focus on the NRS and the EU
   Merseyside Objective 1 Programme

Since one of the other major initiatives on Merseyside that aims to tackle
exclusion and inequality through developing economic performance is the EU
Merseyside Objective 1 Programme, it is argued by MSIO that the extent of co-
ordination between NRS and Objective 1 processes and resources provides an
excellent opportunity to identify ways in which best practice could be developed.

Although the focus within this paper is on Objective 1, it is suggested that many
of the issues raised could be applied to other initiatives, as well as the role that
the NRS approach can play in improving co-ordination between them.

The EU Merseyside Objective 1 Programme is one of the European Union’s
funds designed to help regions throughout the EU improve their economic
performance. The budget for the Programme on Merseyside is split into four
main sections or ‘Priorities’ including Priority Two “developing people” and
Priority Four – “developing Pathways communities to ensure that new jobs and
opportunities can be accessed by people from the most disadvantaged

Pathways areas were defined at the start of the Programme through identification
of those local communities within Merseyside that demonstrated the highest
levels of unemployment and lowest levels of income. This provided a geographic
focus on which actions and activity could be undertaken through the Programme.
The resulting Pathways boundaries encompass 35% of the total population of
Merseyside and are organised into 38 local Pathway Areas. These 38 areas vary
enormously in size - from 500 to 40,000 individuals - and in physical and
economic circumstances.

As such, Priority 4 is geographically focused on the areas of greatest need in the
same way that the NRS is focused on the most deprived neighbourhoods.

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The extent to which NRS and other initiatives such as Objective 1 are being co-
ordinated, planned and delivered and how resources are being integrated is a
key issue, in order to assess overall impact on social exclusion and inequality.
Fundamental to this is an examination of how inclusion and equality are
defined and measured. It is important to be clear about how social exclusion
and inequality are defined, as the terms are often viewed as being
interchangeable, yet can result in wide variation in respect of actions taken
forward to address each theme, as outlined below.

Within Priorities 2 and 4 of the EU Merseyside Objective 1 Programme there are
specific strands which focus on social inclusion:

   •   Priority 2, Measure 14 aims to promote social inclusion for access to the
       Labour Market.
   •   Priority 4 concentrates on providing a package of support to regenerate
       the areas of greatest need, aims to reduce economic and social disparities
       between Pathways areas and the rest of Merseyside, and to build
       sustainable communities.

In addition to the above specific strands, there is also a strategic approach within
the EU Merseyside Objective 1 Programme to equal opportunities and social
inclusion. Together these form one of the three Cross Cutting Themes (CCTs) to
be embedded throughout the programme. The theme itself focuses on

       ‘mainstreaming gender equality throughout the whole of the programme,
       supporting access for people with disabilities to jobs, goods and services
       as residents and visitors to the region; and social inclusion for those

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       individuals who remain marginal to the mainstream economic and social
       life of the region’.9

However it is argued that there are fundamental differences between embedding
equalities policies & practice and tackling social exclusion although the two are
inextricably linked. Equalities policies are underpinned by very specific
legislation. Arguably, such legislation has no direct bearing on social or economic
status but does have an indirect bearing in that it has been put in place primarily
to protect certain groups or individuals (for example, Disabled people) from
discrimination and exclusion. Key exclusionary factors identified in the definition
of “Social Exclusion” by the Social Exclusion Unit (SEU) disproportionately affect
all of the groups identified in equalities policies.

A number of equalities policies include age discrimination and discrimination on
the grounds of economic and social status in acknowledgement of the links
between equalities and social inclusion. On this basis, it could be argued that
equalities is integral to any social inclusion policy, and therefore it would be
appropriate to promote specific improvements in equalities standards through a
social inclusion strategy. However, there is a wider equalities agenda that
policies and programmes must continue to address and develop upon in order to
meet legal and policy requirements. As a result, it is argued, the equalities
agenda should not be deflected by, but complemented by social inclusion

Furthermore, when considered in detail, it is clear that within the EU Merseyside
Objective 1 Programme, a general approach focusing on equalities rather than
social inclusion issues has been taken (i.e. a focus on equality of access,
equality of benefit, combating discrimination etc). As a result, it is argued, this

 EU Objective 1 Equal Opportunities & Social Inclusion CCT Programme Guidance, Government
Office North West, 2003.

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has had important implications for how far social inclusion principles and
practices have been developed within the Programme to date.

It also has implications for the extent to which the equalities approach fits with
other initiatives such as the NRS. The latter does not have a strategic cross-
thematic approach to defining and measuring social exclusion and, it is argued,
this limits the potential for co-ordination across a range of initiatives.

In terms of delivery processes, when the NRS was launched, the EU Merseyside
Objective 1 Programme was already up and running and there appears to have
been little formal co-ordination to integrate NRS and the EU Merseyside
Objective 1 delivery processes. For example, there were no clear structures in
place within LSPs for co-ordination of the two initiatives at the planning, delivery,
or evaluation stages. This was partially highlighted in the Mid-Term Evaluation
(MTE) of the EU Merseyside Objective 1 Programme in 2003, which reviewed
progress of the EU Merseyside Objective 1 Programme. Indeed, in terms of
linkage between Objective 1 and NRS, the MTE particularly identified a number
of issues relating to the Priority 4 Pathways resources for local communities.
These issues highlighted that:

• The current application process means money can be difficult for small
organisations to access;
• It is becoming increasingly difficult to marry the available match funding with
Objective 1 at a project level;
• There is a lack of synergy between Objective 1 Priority 4 resources and the
Government’s Neighbourhood Renewal Strategy (NRS) and a danger therefore
that Priority 4 will fail to have a real impact;
• The priorities of local communities have altered and the traditional Objective 1
Priority 4 focus and activity is no longer as relevant to local need as it once

     Merseyside Objective 1 Mid-Term Evaluation, Government Office North West, 2003.

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One of the key recent developments in response to the issues raised by the MTE
has been the intention to align Objective 1 Priority 4 resources with
Neighbourhood Renewal Funds on Merseyside. However initial proposals to
develop such a joint resource still appear to be somewhat weak in terms of a
robust set of processes for defining and measuring impact of the joint funds in
terms of fostering social inclusion and equality. Indeed, it simply appears that
applicants to any newly aligned ‘single pot’ will be required to comply with
existing EU Merseyside Objective 1 guidance for the relevant Cross Cutting
Theme, and the focus in this context is on embedding equalities good practice
in recruiting and retaining project beneficiaries, rather than addressing broader
social exclusion issues.

The MTE also pointed out further weaknesses in implementing the EU
Merseyside Objective 1 Programme CCT guidance, particularly in terms of
progress being made towards addressing inclusion and equalities throughout the
programme. For example, the MTE identified a need to move towards an
approach that places a stronger emphasis on the design and subsequent
implementation of projects to meet social inclusion and equal opportunities
targets. This subsequently needs to be linked to raising awareness of the ways in
which this can be achieved and also the benefits in doing so. This requirement
has been highlighted through the CCT Action Plan developed after the MTE,
which sets out a series of proposals based on developing and rolling out good
practice in tackling exclusion and inequalities across regeneration initiatives on

Significantly, there has been an increasing acknowledgment within the
Programme of the need for a better fit with other strategies both locally, within
LSPs and also at the regional level – through for example, the emerging North
West Regional Assembly’s Regional Equalities and Diversity Strategy. The latter
also seeks to embed the equalities and inclusion agendas strategically

                                      21                          MSIO PR 01
throughout all other plans and strategies and it is argued that there is value in
developing such a strategic approach to embedding social inclusion across
initiatives being delivered within LSPs on Merseyside. This point is further
developed in Section 7 later in this report.

Key Recommendation

It is argued therefore, that the proposed alignment of NRF and Priority 4
resources, together with the recommendations emerging from the CCT Action
Plan, offer an ideal opportunity to re-focus these concerns into a series of actions
aimed at embedding principles of best practice in defining and tackling social
exclusion at a strategic level within LSPs. The development of a ‘social inclusion
impact assessment’ approach involving a range of indicators is advocated as
being of importance in this respect and such a model as well as a suitable
implementation mechanism is set out in Section 7.

Furthermore, it is suggested that this approach could be piloted through the
recently aligned NRF/Priority 4 programme with a view to then rolling it out
across other initiatives within LSPs on Merseyside.

                                        22                         MSIO PR 01
4.3    Evaluating the Impact of the NRS and NRF - on floor targets and
       more broadly on social exclusion

With adequate, reliable and accurate data it should be possible to establish a
baseline position of levels of deprivation within a locality and to then track
developments and change over time in order to assess the effectiveness of the
NRS in making progress - both towards the specific targets and also in tackling
social exclusion.

The first point to note is that there still seems to be some confusion amongst
partners in distinguishing between the Neighbourhood Renewal Strategy
and the Neighbourhood Renewal Fund; when asked how they demonstrate
the impact of their NRS, a number of those interviewed responded by referring to
their NRF Programme. It is important to be clear about the differences between
the impact of processes (in terms of delivering the NRS) and the impact of
resources (in terms of the NRF) since the latter is a short-term funding
programme with limited impact. In contrast, and arguably more important, is the
need to assess whether processes developed under NRS are having (or will
have) an impact in addressing social exclusion in the longer term.

In terms of delivery of the Neighbourhood Renewal Strategy, all Merseyside
LSPs base the delivery of their local NRS and the use of NRF on the five
thematic targets, and therefore relevant planning, delivery and evaluation
partnerships are also structured along these lines. The ‘target themes’ approach
allows an assessment of impact towards specific targets to take place, if relevant
data is being collated and analysed by partners. Most LSPs and indeed some
thematic partnerships now have some form of data collation and analysis unit in
place to assess progress towards the targets. However, the weakness in this
area tends to be a lack of analysis at the over-arching strategic level to
demonstrate overall impact on social exclusion and inequalities.

                                      23                             MSIO PR 01
LSP Performance Management Frameworks

The recent requirement on LSPs to develop Performance Management
Frameworks (PMFs) has placed increased emphasis on demonstrating impact
and has resulted in some improvements.

Indeed, in terms of evaluating the effectiveness of the LSPs in tackling social
exclusion, all LSPs are expected by the Government to have a process in place
to effectively co-ordinate planning and delivery and also to evaluate locally
agreed targets and priorities. To this end, the Neighbourhood Renewal Unit
(NRU) has developed a Performance Management Framework (PMF) that LSPs
can adopt or adapt according to their local needs and structures. In order to
ensure a degree of consistency, LSPs in NRF areas are required to comply with
core criteria set out by the NRU. The core requirements of every PMF include a
need for all actions to be ‘SMART’ - Specific, Measurable, Achievable,
Resourced and Realistic, and have a Time Limit - as well as having a clear
indication of lead and progress reporting schedule.

The core criteria also include a requirement to:

Monitor the implementation of the Local NRS…to measure progress against
relevant floor and local be reviewed on an annual basis 11

It is interesting to note that a PMF requirement for monitoring by LSPs suggests
a focus on the impact of NRS in terms of the thematic targets, but in addition it
suggests monitoring a cross-cutting theme that relates to the physical

Particular attention and priority must be given to national and local targets
covering the areas of crime, education, health, housing and employment and the

     LSP Performance Management Guidance, Neighbourhood Renewal Unit, 2002/03.

                                           24                           MSIO PR 01
`liveability’ agenda. The latter is a cross cutting theme which encompasses a
cleaner, safer, green living environment.12

Although there is some evidence of some move towards a cross cutting
approach that looks at the quality of life in neighbourhoods with the development
of the ‘liveability’ focus, there is little guidance on how this approach will be
measured. MSIO suggests that a broader ‘social inclusion impact assessment’
approach involving a range of indicators could therefore be used to demonstrate
progress towards this liveability agenda, and this set out in the final Section of
this report.

All Merseyside LSPs were required to submit a PMF to GONW in April 2004 for
the first time in this format so this is still a relatively new development. In addition,
Liverpool and Knowsley also had to submit a Floor Targets Action Plan (FTAP)
as part of the group of LSPs nationally who were identified as requiring extra
support as they were in danger of not meeting specific floor targets.

It is the PMF therefore, that should provide future information in an ongoing
assessment of progress being made towards achieving targets as well as an
evaluation of each LSP in terms of its structures and processes to effectively
facilitate the delivery of the NRS.

Examination of the PMF process so far indicates a number of issues. For
example; most frameworks that have been developed to date focus on
progress being made towards national targets at a district level. The danger
with this approach is that local disparities or sub-district pockets may be hidden
or ‘downplayed’. Information therefore needs to be improved to measure
progress towards the targets at a neighbourhood level.

     LSP Performance Management Guidance, Neighbourhood Renewal Unit, 2002/03.

                                           25                           MSIO PR 01
Secondly, there is no obligation on LSPs to include local targets within such a
framework (although some of the Merseyside LSPs have aimed to do this) and in
any event, there are real limitations on accessing relevant data to assess
progress at the sub-district level.

In addition, although there has been some emphasis on the need for LSPs to
produce trajectories within a PMF, in practice individual LSPs can select how far
back they go for their baseline and how far they project future targets. Hence, if
a short time frame is selected, this subsequently restricts any analysis of
longer term trends.

In overall terms, developing better linkages between themes was felt by many
practitioners to be an area where there was room for considerable improvement.
However, there is evidence of attempts to address cross thematic linkages – at
least at a ‘strategy level’. For example, Wirral’s Community Strategy has a
section demonstrating how themes link together in principle and in Knowsley’s
original Community Plan, some reference has been made to ’key linkages’. This
latter plan does not highlight how each theme relates to another but does
suggest that all five themes have a central relevance to ‘community wellbeing’.
Nevertheless the Plan does not indicate how this concept will be measured.

In respect of evaluating the impact of NRF on social exclusion, as part of
achieving NRS improvements, the Government, local authorities and other
service providers have been required to reallocate resources in their mainstream
programmes to more effectively tackle deprivation. To support this process, the
Neighbourhood Renewal Fund originally committed £900 million over the three
years 2001/02 to 2003/04.       The Chancellor made provision in the Spending
Review 2002 (SR 2002) for a further £450 million of NRF in 2004/2005 and £525
million in 2005/2006, followed by the Spending Review of 2004 (SR04) which
made available a further £525 million of NRF resources for each of the years
2006/07 and 2007/08. No final decisions have yet been released on how the new

                                      26                          MSIO PR 01
NRF resources will be allocated. For the Merseyside districts, NRF allocations
until 2005/06 are set out in Table 2 below.

Table 2: NRF allocation 2001-2006 for Merseyside districts

                                                                             Total NRF
                  NRF       NRF         NRF          NRF          NRF        Allocation
  Local     Allocation   Allocation   Allocation   Allocation   Allocation    2001/02
Authority    2001/02      2002/03      2003/04      2004/05      2005/06         to
                  (£m)      (£m)        (£m)         (£m)         (£m)        2005/06
Knowsley    3.7          5.54         7.39         9.49         12.64        38.76
Liverpool   10.06        15.1         20.13        25.86        34.44        105.59
Sefton      2.82         4.22         5.63         5.63         5.63         23.93
St Helens   1.94         2.90         3.87         3.87         3.87         16.50
Wirral      2.54         3.81         5.08         5.08         5.08         21.59
Total       23.02        34.52        46.03        54.98        68.38        226.93
Source: Neighbourhood Renewal Unit, 2004

It is clear from Table 2 that there are wide variations between each local authority
in terms of allocations of NRF, reflecting the differences in the scale and intensity
of levels of deprivation across Merseyside.

An analysis of allocations of NRF on Merseyside raises a number of issues in
terms of assessing the impact of NRF in reducing social exclusion and
inequalities. This is partly because of the way that NRF resources are allocated
and monitored by the NRU through regional Government Offices. When it was
introduced, the Government committed to a ‘light touch’ approach to monitoring
NRF and devolved the resources to local authorities (through the LSPs) to lead
on defining allocations and ensuring expenditure.

Indeed, the programme does not require any statutory analysis in terms of its
impact on addressing national targets to reduce disparities between the most
deprived areas and the least deprived. Most local LSPs are now moving towards

                                           27                              MSIO PR 01
doing this in order to demonstrate more clearly how the programme has been
used so far and to better target future usage towards priority targets and areas:-

In the early days of NRF, the pressure was on the thematic partnerships to just
spend the cash. Now there has been a move towards establishing strategic
priorities and to commissioning projects which will hit relevant floor targets.13

A number of practitioners have suggested nevertheless, that the analysis is not a
statutory requirement because NRF is usually used alongside other streams of
funding thus making it difficult to isolate NRF impact and demonstrate its
additionality. Indeed, there is no compulsion for NRF to be used in tackling the
floor targets as illustrated by the NRU guidance which states that NRF can be
spent: -

in any way that tackles deprivation in the most deprived neighbourhoods,
particularly, but not exclusively, in relation to the Government’s national floor

Notwithstanding this, MSIO would argue that such criteria does need to be
strengthened and that, given the emphasis on tackling deprivation, it is argued
that analysis of the impact of NRF on reducing disparities is important if is to be
used effectively. There is scope for local NRF programmes to improve output
analysis in order to more clearly demonstrate impact on priority targets and
deprivation, through for example, incorporating some of the broader qualitative
indicators such as Quality of Life indicators discussed in more depth later in this

 Neighbourhood Renewal Fund Officer, Merseyside, 2004.
  Guidance on the NRF found in Annex D of A New Commitment to Neighbourhood Renewal –
National Strategy Action Plan. Neighbourhood Renewal Unit, 2001.

                                        28                            MSIO PR 01
If mainstreaming as an approach is to be seriously developed, it depends largely
on effective evaluation processes in order to identify good practice and assess
the positive impact of a specific project or programme. Given the weaknesses
identified earlier in terms of fully evaluating the impact of NRF, it is not surprising
that there have been limitations in the extent that innovation and good practice
can be rolled out into more mainstream structures.

It is essential therefore, that NRF evaluation processes are further developed at
a strategic, cross-thematic level to enable such analysis. As outlined earlier,
there is an opportunity to do this on Merseyside through recent moves to align
NRF with EU Merseyside Objective 1 Priority 4 measures, and as a bare
minimum, LSPs should improve co-ordination of data within and across themes.

To some extent it is possible to assess NRF spend of an LSP within each theme
of a local neighbourhood renewal strategy in order to identify how NRF has been
used along thematic lines. However, there are examples of significant use of
NRF on activities that do not directly clearly fall under any of the NRS themes –
such as ‘service improvements’. In this respect, it is even more difficult to assess
how the use of NRF on such areas impacts on reducing social exclusion and
deprivation. In addition, most LSPs are weak on demonstrating the cross-
thematic impact of NRF, again limiting an overall evaluation of the fund’s impact
on deprivation and social exclusion.

Furthermore, in terms of sustainability of projects funded through NRF, MSIO has
found little evidence to indicate a significant move towards longer term funding
from partners’ mainstream resources even for successful NRF projects. Indeed,
there is evidence to suggest that even where projects have been having a
positive impact, they still constantly struggle to find resources, raising the
question of what will happen after NRF finishes. Better use of mainstream
resources to support successful projects piloted through NRF is therefore a key
ongoing area for LSPs to address.

                                        29                            MSIO PR 01
Several illustrations of this issue were identified during MSIO’s discussions with
practitioners; one clear example being the Neighbourhood Warden Scheme
which is seen as having a positive impact in many ways, particularly in terms of
increasing community safety, but which relies on short-term NRF resources. This
is an issue that is not only relevant on Merseyside but is consistently being raised
at a national level too:

“If you look across the country [the neighbourhood warden scheme] is one of the
most successful initiatives there has ever been in terms of neighbourhood
renewal and regeneration. This is something that demonstrably fulfils the
government’s renewal agenda by improving communities. If some schemes were
unable to continue through lack of funding, communities will feel let down and it
would be another nail in the coffin in terms of initiatives that came along, that
people felt good about and that were then taken away.” 15

Arguably, many of the above issues apply equally to most other time limited
funding programmes. However one of the new and innovative aspects of NRF
when it was launched was its commitment to a mainstreaming aim - to use NRF
to spread innovative approaches and learning from localised, short-term pilots.
Analysis on Merseyside so far suggests - significantly and somewhat
disappointingly - that there is little evidence of this approach happening on
Merseyside. In fact anecdotal evidence suggests that the reverse is happening to
a significant extent – suggesting that partners are using NRF to off-set or
substitute resources for projects or activities that had been originally ‘core’

  The Evaluation of Local Strategic Partnerships - Mainstreaming: a Briefing Note by LSPs for
LSPs, ODPM, London, May 2004.

                                            30                               MSIO PR 01
4.4   Community Engagement issues

When the NRS was launched, national government acknowledged that one
reason why past regeneration strategies may have failed is that they did not
make use of the knowledge of those with most at stake – local people. Thus, it is
suggested that NRS targets will be more relevant to local issues and more easily
achieved through effective engagement of communities within LSPs.

In order to enable this to happen, Community Empowerment Networks (CENs)
were established as part of the NRS process and these have brought together
community and voluntary sector groups to participate in the regeneration of a
neighbourhood and also to prioritise the use of the Community Empowerment
Fund (CEF) to support such activities.

In this way, the CEF aims to help community and voluntary groups to articulate
their needs and objectives and to effectively organise their involvement in the
local delivery of the NRS. As such, it is envisaged that communities have a new
way of expressing their concerns and are able to develop appropriate solutions
that make a real difference to their neighbourhoods.

Prior to the introduction of the NRS and NRF, a number of areas of Merseyside
already had relatively well-established voluntary and community sector networks
whilst in other areas the situation was more ad hoc. Differences in population
size and the diversity of local populations also meant (and continue to mean) that
the range of voluntary and community groups existing in each LSP area varied

It is therefore the case that some CENs have been quicker to evolve than others
and that each CEN has a different structure due to variation in local

                                         31                       MSIO PR 01
circumstances and focus of activities. This is leading to differences in terms of
the effectiveness of engagement structures to fully involve the local community in

   •   the workings of the LSPs, and
   •   the subsequent targeting of neighbourhood renewal funds.

These issues are explored more fully below.

Area-based versus thematic community representation:

All CENs are made up of community groups based on thematic networks and
some CENs also have separate mechanisms to enable geographical
communities to become involved. However there is no mechanism to bring the
two together within LSPs in a streamlined and effective way. The implication of
this raises issues in relation to accountability and representation – such as where
EU Merseyside Objective 1 Pathways representatives ‘fit’ in terms of decision
making structures within LSPs.

For example, Wirral’s CEN structure includes sub-groups focused on spatial
areas in addition to thematic sub-groups (for example, youth, mental health,
physical disabilities, learning disabilities etc), but there is no clear mechanism for
EU Merseyside Objective 1 Pathways representation directly onto the LSP. This
is further complicated by the fact that there when the local NRS was launched,
not all Pathways areas were included within Neighbourhood Renewal Areas.

Liverpool’s CEN does not have any geographically-focused networks or sub-
groups feeding into the LSP. This is because Liverpool has a Community
Regeneration Forum (CRF), which consists of two community representatives
from each Cluster Partnership area (and two ‘shadow’ representatives).

                                        32                           MSIO PR 01
The ‘fit’ of EU Merseyside Objective 1 Pathways representatives into LSPs has
not been simple or straightforward on Merseyside, perhaps reflecting the wider
lack of co-ordination between Objective 1 and NRS. However LSPs have started
to recognise some of these issues and are moving towards more integrated
approaches to fit various community representation mechanisms together.

Socially excluded groups that are particularly hard to reach:

LSPs have found that certain groups (including a number of minority ethnic
communities, refugees, many faith groups and asylum seekers) are proving to be
particularly hard to reach in terms of community engagement. Hence there is a
real danger that the needs and experiences of such communities can then be
overlooked within broader LSP structures, and initiatives subsequently developed
will not effectively address exclusionary issues faced by such groups.

Nevertheless, there is evidence that a number of LSPs are aware of such issues
and are starting to address them. Sefton Council has recently conducted a
mapping exercise in respect of the BME community, and has published a report
‘Less than 1%, so what’s the problem?’ which stressed the need to profile and
address the needs of communities facing exclusion. In addition, work is now
ongoing to establish a BME network in Sefton together with an LSP seat being
set aside for a BME representative. In Liverpool, the Black and Racial Minority
(BRM) community network, in conjunction with other partners, has developed a
BRM Action Plan to be implemented by the LSP in order to ensure that the
specific needs of BRM communities are addressed.

The lack of a strategic mechanism for addressing poverty and social

A number of participants in MSIO’s research have suggested that since the NRS
aims to tackle exclusion and deprivation, it is also important to be able to assess

                                      33                          MSIO PR 01
the overall impact of the Strategy in addressing these issues. Such a strategic
approach should involve those individuals and communities experiencing poverty
and deprivation to collectively influence policy within LSPs and at a national level,
as well as assessing the impact of programmes in tackling poverty and social

Indeed, the CENs that have been established are based on a thematic approach
to community involvement that reflects thematic processes within the wider
LSPs. For example there are networks bringing together communities of interest
including Disability groups, BME communities, young people, senior citizens etc.

‘A difficulty is that local groups have problems in identifying strategic issues and
can get bogged down with single issues’.16

Nevertheless, there is little evidence of a strategic mechanism being taken
forward for pulling these areas of intervention together under a cross cutting
approach to inclusion and equalities, either in terms of community involvement
mechanisms but also with respect to planning, monitoring and evaluation
processes. It is interesting to note however, that there is an environmental cross
cutting network at a CEN level within most LSPs in addition to the usual thematic
structures. This is a development that could be taken forward in a social inclusion
context, as outlined in Section 7 of this report.

Linked to the above point is a view expressed by a number of communities that
LSPs are still not prepared to ‘bend the spend’ towards deprived communities
and to make improvements in services and ‘add value’. However, the problem
with validating such a perception is the lack of robust data available to either
support or refute it. Hence it has been suggested that improved ‘social inclusion
impact’ information that captures data alongside qualitative evidence is needed in
order to assess whether exclusion and disparities are reducing.

     Community Empowerment Network member, Merseyside, 2004.

                                          34                        MSIO PR 01
The lack of formal community engagement networks prior to the launch of
the NRS:

From a voluntary and community sector viewpoint, the previous lack of a formal
network is argued to have led to a situation in which LSP partners from other
sectors - particularly the public sector - have found it challenging to work in
partnership with the local community. This view was expressed as a particular
issue in St Helens. However, the situation is now felt to be changing in the area,
with the local authority reviewing its consultation methods and introducing area
forums. The local authority is also working with the CEN to recruit voluntary and
community representatives onto such forums.

A lack of resources to disseminate information and good practice:

Some respondents pointed to the role that the community and voluntary sector
play in delivering good practice in tackling inequalities and social exclusion. The
sector works with some of Merseyside’s most excluded communities and
individuals, delivering valuable services, and gathering a range of information.
The view expressed by a number of respondents however, is that much of this
information and research may not be captured within LSPs, partly because of a
lack of resources within the sector but also because formalised Learning
Plans are generally weak within most LSPs.

The strategic approach to tackling social exclusion suggested earlier could go
some way towards addressing this issue, if for example, it was implemented as
part of an LSPs Learning Plan.

                                      35                          MSIO PR 01
Concerns over how committed Strategic Issue Partnerships (SIPs) are to
effective engagement:

A number of respondents expressed doubts over how committed strategic or
thematic structures are to effective engagement with the local community. Issues
raised include community representative’s access to information, frequently
unreasonable timescales for community consultation and the lack of appropriate
feedback from partners. In addition, there are a number of thematic partnerships
which do not have any community representation at all, raising questions about
equal partnerships: -

‘There is also a worry about the principle of one partner (the Council) having
control over another (the CEN); For example, the Police do not set Health
targets, the Council do not set Police targets. So why should the CEN be an

Many of these issues could be addressed by the LSP adopting and implementing
an agreed ‘code of conduct’ or ‘Compact’ which sets out transparent commitment
of partners to good practice in engaging with the sector. However the
implementation and evaluation of the Compact is an area of weakness for most
LSPs on Merseyside which needs to be improved if their stated commitment to
effective community engagement processes is to be taken forward.

Community engagement issues: a summary

Overall, it is clear that there is evidence of a somewhat confusing array of
mechanisms for community involvement within regeneration initiatives across
Merseyside, including EU Merseyside Objective 1 Pathways representatives,
thematic community networks, area committees, neighbourhood renewal area

     Community Empowerment Network Co-ordinator, Merseyside, 2004.

                                           36                        MSIO PR 01
structures and so on, which limits the effectiveness of community engagement
structures and representation.

Furthermore, whilst CENs bring together a wide range of community
organisations within each LSP area it is important to bear in mind that not all
organisations or individuals choose to engage in this way and some view the
CEN/LSP model with a degree of suspicion or cynicism.

Moreover, there is a need to influence recent national developments such as the
Safer and Stronger Communities Fund and the development of Local Area
Agreements (LAAs):

‘LAAs are basically about Neighbourhood Management and should provide a
perfect opportunity for all partners to drill down to neighbourhood level and let
partners engage with communities. If LAAs bring about a situation where
diversity is embraced, and anti-social behaviour reduced, quality of life is
improved and fear of crime reduced then they’ll have worked.’18

The Safer and Stronger Communities Fund announced in the Spending Review
2004 will be rolled out across all local authorities in England from April 2005. The
Fund will bring together Office of the Deputy Prime Minister (ODPM) funding
streams on wardens, neighbourhood managements, community empowerment
and livability with Home Office funding streams on building safer communities,
anti-social behaviour and funding through Government Offices.

One of the implications of the new Fund is the proposal to devolve resources for
community engagement activities directly to LSPs. This proposal raised concerns
for a number of participants and is likely to become a crucial issue in respect of

     Community Empowerment Network Manager, Merseyside, 2004.

                                          37                       MSIO PR 01
the provision of adequate resources and support to effectively involve
communities in LSP processes: -

‘The main issue is one of independence which has two main strands:

      •   There is a danger that community groups will disengage as they perceive
          there to be a lack of control on the agenda
      •   These funds will probably not be ring fenced so there is a danger that the
          funding will disappear into the council’s black hole.- at the first sign of a
          council funding crisis.’19

Nevertheless, MSIO suggests that the development of the Local Area
Agreements could be an opportunity to improve the integration of initiatives
tackling social exclusion, if a coherent and strategic approach such as that
referred to throughout this report is adopted and implemented. The role of
effective community involvement mechanisms will be crucial to this process, not
least because community and voluntary groups are often at the forefront of good
practice in tackling exclusion and inequalities. This point is developed further in
Section 7 of this report.

     Community Empowerment Network Manager, Merseyside, 2004.

                                          38                           MSIO PR 01
SECTION      5:   MEASURING        IMPACT      –    DATA     LIMITATIONS       AND

In order to evaluate progress towards tackling social exclusion through the NRS,
it is necessary to look more closely at the key element of its implementation – the
Floor Targets.

To deliver the aim of reducing deprivation in the most deprived neighbourhoods,
a framework of national targets has been set within the NRS. These Public
Service Agreement (PSA) Floor targets represent a bottom line to be achieved at
the national and local level and the cover the themes of employment, education,
crime, health and housing. The floor targets set out the ‘key indicators’ of
exclusion that are being used to measure the impact of relevant programmes and

However, one of the key problems in carrying out an effective assessment
of the impact of the NRS - at both a local and national level - centres on
difficulties in accessing meaningful data. This applies both to data for a
specific theme to measure progress (for example in reducing crime or
unemployment) but also when looking at information to assess the overall impact
of the NRS on exclusion and inequality in its broadest sense.

Floor Targets Interactive (FTI) and data issues

The data within this report has been compiled using the Neighbourhood Renewal
Unit’s ‘Floor Targets Interactive’ (FTI) website launched in April 2004 by the
Office of the Deputy Prime Minister (ODPM). FTI is a web-based resource for
monitoring progress towards PSA Floor Targets based on data provided by
different Government departments. The website provides a range of information
in a variety of formats enabling analysis at a local authority district, regional and
national level.

                                       39                           MSIO PR 01
The purpose of using the FTI data in this paper is to help provide a picture of
deprivation across Merseyside and also to identify particular issues that are
emerging. However it is important to be mindful of a number of limitations within
the targets and the data that prevent simple comparisons being made between
localities within Merseyside. For example, district-wide averages do not reveal
the very wide variations within and between more localised neighbourhood
renewal areas. In addition, an evaluation of the impact of NRS must include:

   •   an awareness of the different baselines (or ‘starting points’) that underpin
       each Local Neighbourhood Renewal Strategy;
   •   the need to identify some of the specific issues and initiatives that may
       impede or accelerate progress within a locality; and
   •   an examination of wider ‘proxy’ data to assess local progress being made
       in terms of reducing levels of deprivation.

Furthermore, although the FTI website has an extensive range of data that can
be interrogated in a number of ways, there are some ‘health warnings’ that limit
both the data itself and also how it can be used. These are set out below.

                                       40                         MSIO PR 01
Table 3: NRS Target Themes, Data sources and ‘health warnings’
Target          Govt Dept               Data source/update            Notes and Health warnings
Employment      Dept for Work and       Census                        Local data only available up to 2001.
                Pensions                Annual/Local Labour Force     Small survey samples mean that data
                                        Survey                        for a high proportion of local authority
                                                                      districts is not available.
                                                                      Census data (2001) is the only source
                                                                      available for specific groups (eg ethnic
                                                                      minorities) making it difficult to assess
Enterprise      Department of                                         progress over time.
                Trade and Industry
Crime           Home Office             Recorded Crime Statistics     The introduction of the National Crime
                                        British Crime Survey          Recording Standard (NCRS) in April
                                        (annual)                      2002 means that data for 2002/03 is
                                                                      not comparable with previous years at
                                                                      Crime and Disorder Reduction
                                                                      Partnerships (CDRP)* level.

                                                                      CDRPs have been used as a proxy for
                                                                      local authorities.

Education       Dept for Education      DfES                          Pass rates may vary from published
                and Skills (DfES)       Annually updated              LEA figures.
                                                                      Data for larger geographies (including
                                                                      counties, regions, etc.) and
                                                                      comparator groups have been
                                                                      aggregated up from the Local
                                                                      Authority District (LAD) results.


Life            Dept of Health          Office National Statistics,   Data for local authorities (except
expectancy      (DoH)                   DoH, Census (2001)            counties), regions and England is from
                                                                      Life expectancy at birth is an estimate
                                                                      subject to some margin of error.
                                                                      Consequently, ONS calculate 95 per
                                                                      cent confidence intervals for life
                                                                      expectancy results which are released
                                                                      on the ONS website

Teenage         Teenage                 ONS                           Teenage Pregnancy: there is no worst
pregnancy       Pregnancy Unit                                        1/5th data available yet.*
rates           within DfES

Road traffic    Dept for Transport      DfT
accidents       (DfT)                   Annually updated

Housing         ODPM                    English House Condition       The EHCS changed from a five yearly
                                        Survey (EHCS), ODPM           to a continuous survey in 2002*
* relates to the specific target – see Appendix 1

                                                    41                                  MSIO PR 01
The following paragraphs set out some of the limitations of data within each
theme, followed by suggestions for how these gaps could be addressed as a
result of work undertaken by MSIO within Merseyside recently:

NRS Employment Targets

One of the key difficulties with the PSA targets for employment is that they only
measure actual jobs. However preparatory activities (for example, up-skilling) are
equally as important in terms of achieving an overall positive outcome. Thus a
target relating to Adult Skills and proportions of individuals with various
skill levels would be very helpful in analysing and tracking the degree to which
local people will have the ability to meet employer’s requirements.

Data for monitoring changes in employment rates (the number of people in
employment aged 16-64 expressed as a percentage of all people aged 16-64) is
very limited. This lack of data means that it is extremely difficult to ascertain
employment rates for particular groups such as lone parents, ethnic minorities
and people aged 50 or over that can be updated over time.

In addition, there are real limitations on the availability of meaningful data for
analysis of employment rates at a sub-local authority district level. For example,
using the Labour Force Survey (LFS) to monitor changes in employment
provides limited benefits because it is a survey based on small sample sizes.

Unemployment Data

As an alternative proxy for measuring employment rates, the Official Claimant
Count (Job Seekers Allowance (JSA)) has often been used to measure progress
towards employment targets.

                                      42                          MSIO PR 01
However, the official claimant count has been criticised for underestimating ‘real
unemployment’, since the number of people claiming non-job related benefits has
increased significantly during the 1980s and 1990s. In addition, definitions of
unemployment have undergone many changes (there have been more than 30
important changes over the last 20 years which have reduced the size of the
claimant count) therefore making comparisons of unemployment over time
particularly difficult.

In addition, changes within the labour market will also impact on attempts to
measure the extent of employment and unemployment. Such changes include
the increasing number of part-time workers, (particularly women); and the growth
in the number of people with multiple part-time jobs, or in full-time jobs with one
or more part-time jobs. More flexible (and often more insecure) contractual based
work has increased, with rising self-employment in particular occupations such
as the construction and information technology (IT) industries. In addition, job
growth is often being filled by those who were previously not in the employment
market such as students working in leisure industries and people (usually
women) returning to work after caring responsibilities. The result, as the
government has acknowledged, is that employment levels can increase without
unemployment changing, because individuals previously inactive fill jobs.
Conversely, unemployment can decrease without employment levels changing, if
the long-term unemployed claim different types of benefit.

Some of these issues can be partially addressed by focusing on overall rates of
benefit claims, and not just JSA rates. The Social Exclusion Unit’s Policy Action
Team (PAT) Report 18 has over the last few years suggested the use of a range
of benefits data at ward level. This data provides the basis for a deprivation
indicator which focuses on overall levels of benefit claims among the working-
age population, and not just on aspects of it. This alternative definition of
‘worklessness’ is increasingly being used and it involves analysis of JSA rates as
well as rates of those within the working age population claiming a range of other

                                      43                          MSIO PR 01
benefits including Incapacity Benefit, Income Support and Severe Disablement

Income Data

Arguably there is some evidence of the need to include a national floor
target on income as a key mechanism for measuring deprivation. However
such a target is currently excluded from the NRS approach. A broader strategic
approach to tackling social exclusion and deprivation outlined in more detail in
Section 7 would include indicators that assess progress in reducing poverty.

One key issue in relation to the NRS Enterprise target is that there is a lack of
information on self-enterprise by ethnicity that can be measured accurately over
time and allow local, regional and national comparisons. Similarly, identifying
levels of enterprise at a sub-city level – and particularly within disadvantaged
communities - is fraught with difficulties and prone to sampling error and variation
in methods of data collection and analysis.

Indeed data that is available – for example VAT Registrations – underestimates
the degree of business activity and businesses not meeting the VAT threshold
are also excluded from analysis as well as those operating in the informal

The ‘all crimes’ PSA target is constituted of a number of crimes, including other
specific targeted crimes with their own PSA targets. Therefore analysis of
progress against the PSA crime targets could present a contradictory and
misleading picture of patterns of crime rates. For example, crime rates for
specific crimes could be going down but overall crime rates could be increasing.

                                       44                          MSIO PR 01
There are also a number of issues relating to how crime is reported, recorded
and measured. Different sets of data are available. For example on Merseyside,
the two key data sets published on the Merseyside Information Service (MIS)
website are the official (‘clean’) data that is published by the Home Office and
local crime data recorded by Merseyside Police. The Home Office data has been
‘cleaned’ to take account of ‘non-crimes’ as well as any other anomalies in the
data and thus it provides a more accurate picture of crime in an area. However,
this data is not available at a local level. Instead, the live data recorded by
Merseyside Police is periodically sent to the local authorities. This means that the
data at the district and sub-district levels are not directly comparable.

A further complication between the two data sets is that the local data (provided
by Merseyside Police) is based on all recorded crimes that have a grid reference
to enable crimes to be mapped geographically. Thus, where there is no grid
reference for a crime it will have been omitted from the local data whilst still being
included in the district data.

There are important general questions relating to the appropriateness of the
national PSA targets in respect of BRM crime levels. For example, there is no
specific measurement of race-related crime, or fear of crime, which
disproportionately impact upon the BRM community.

In order to obtain data on BRM victims of crime, information has been derived
from the Merseyside Police live database on victims of crime. This data records
information on the characteristics of the victim for each crime including gender,
age and ethnicity. However, there are considerable gaps in terms of the
information available; for example in certain cases, around 50% of the data is
missing because the ethnicity of the victim has not been recorded.

It is also important to be mindful of some of the more general limitations
associated with interpreting crime data. For example, if there is a change in

                                        45                           MSIO PR 01
emphasis with regard to tackling a certain type of crime in a particular area then
this will be reflected in the statistics for that local area. That is, an increase in the
level of vehicle crime may not actually be due to a greater incidence of that
crime, but due to a greater focus on it by the police in that area. Similarly, a shift
in terms of the focus of policy, for example, a campaign to combat drink-driving
will necessarily increase the level of drink-related reported crime. Moreover, it is
important to be aware of the potential impact of a change in counting ‘rules’,
especially when examining data over a 5-year period as is required for the
national floor targets on crime.

Data relating to Education targets is available from the Department for Education
and Skills (DfES). It is relatively comprehensive, relevant to the PSA targets, up
to date and enables comparison to be made over time and at various levels
including by local authority district, by ward and by school. However there are a
number of analytical issues in relation to the data that need highlighting.

There is evidence that pressures on schools to meet targets may result in only
the most academically gifted pupils from each cohort being entered for
examinations. Hence the results shown may not reflect the true level of
underachievement amongst some groups. The results from ‘selective schools’
may, by the very nature of the schools, further influence the overall picture.

The issue of ‘distance travelled’ is particularly important within the education
context and needs to be acknowledged when assessing progress against
targets. It is not always appropriate to make direct comparisons without an
acknowledgement of the starting point and direction of change.

A target relating to Basic Skills and proportions of adults with various skill
levels as identified earlier could be very helpful in analysing and tracking the

                                         46                            MSIO PR 01
degree to which local people will have the ability to meet employer’s

The national education targets make no reference to the needs of BRM pupils.
Indeed, it is only through the development of local education targets that the
needs of BRM pupils are addressed. However, even with local targets there are
limitations in the data that can be accessed to monitor progress.

The PSA targets for health focus on mortality rates and teenage pregnancy rates.
Data in respect of both PSA targets is limited, particularly at a sub-district level.
This is problematic as the PSA targets require a reduction of inequalities at a
ward level.

For both of these targets, the main source of data is the Census and there are
obviously limitations with updating. Where more recent information does exist
through for example, samples or surveys, it is frequently not available below the
local authority level.

Health partnerships on Merseyside have already identified many of the key
issues in relation to a lack of adequate data for monitoring progress against
health targets and are developing a number of proactive initiatives to address
such deficiencies. For example, Strategic Performance Indicators for tackling
health inequalities are being developed by Liverpool First for Health and will use
data sources such as the key Health Inequalities Resource Centre at Liverpool
Central Primary Care Trust (PCT). This will help shape priorities and strategic
action planning and underpin the three Liverpool PCTs Local Delivery Plans, with
the possibility of rolling such a resource out across Merseyside in the future.

                                       47                           MSIO PR 01
Work to gain better data on health is also being developed through the Health
Impact Assessment of the Merseyside Housing Market Renewal Initiative

As certain medical conditions are more prevalent in specific ethnic groups (due
for example, to different diets and levels of access to physical activity), it is also
relevant to consider other targets that could measure BRM health issues. This is
particularly pertinent given that no BRM-specific health data at a district or sub-
district level is available from standard sources in respect of either Standard
Mortality Ratios (SMRs) or teenage conception rates.

The national PSA target refers only to a ‘decency standard’ when housing and
regeneration practitioners acknowledge that structural weaknesses within
housing markets are apparent if other key indicators are examined: vacancy
rates; tenure ratios; comparative council tax bandings and property
condition. Hence there may be some value in these elements being reflected
within the national PSA target.

There are also considerable difficulties in relation to obtaining appropriate data to
measure the decent homes target – especially at a local level and in relation to
private housing stock.

Implications of the data gaps

From the analysis presented and through further discussions with various
individuals and groups from the public, private and voluntary sectors, the
following key issues around the nature and use of relevant information to
measure progress against tackling exclusion have arisen:-

                                        48                           MSIO PR 01
One clear recommendation in respect of the availability of information is
that there needs to be greater sharing of databases (within confidentiality
boundaries) by organisations working to address various aspects of exclusion in
line with the PSA targets for similar / different groups. Indeed, it is only very
recently that many agencies have begun to collect information by gender and

However, there is no standardisation in the way in which ethnicity has been
recorded across different organisations and institutions. Indeed, whilst a number
of organisations are currently moving towards using Census classifications (for
example, Merseyside Police), others are attempting to develop systems that
reflect local specificities in terms of the BRM population (for example, the Local
Education Authority - LEA). In addition, the ways in which ethnicity is actually
defined also vary – self-certification is one common method, whilst other
approaches involve organisations making a judgement based on appearance.
Neither method is totally satisfactory and can lead to inaccuracies in data
analysis and interpretation. Commission for Racial Equality (CRE) guidance
suggests that ethnic classification should be in line with census questions.

In line with the debate around the PSA targets, it is advocated that information
should also be used more positively and in a way that identifies ‘distance
travelled’, rather than the overall current position per se, which may negate a
focus on actual achievements being made. There are some examples of good
practice in this respect emerging – such as the new ‘Value Added’ analysis within
education targets.

It is clear that there is a need to improve data and information at the sub-
district level in order to gain a clear picture of progress and challenges for
particularly excluded communities and neighbourhoods. In this respect, a key
priority for MSIO over the last year has been developing the ‘Geomedographics’

                                      49                           MSIO PR 01
model in order to analyse more accurately small area manifestations of

Finally, it is suggested that ‘Action Research’ frameworks should be promoted to
involve excluded groups and individuals in collecting and collating data
conducive to tackling exclusionary processes.

Alternative sources of information to measure NRS impact

The issues outlined earlier suggest that there are problems with accessing
reliable, up to date, meaningful data to monitor progress across Merseyside
against many of the targets that have been set at both a national and local level.

It is necessary therefore to look at alternative or ‘proxy’ indicators to inform both
progress towards the floor targets but also to assess changes in levels of overall
deprivation and exclusion.

Through MSIO’s work on NRS on Merseyside, we have found an increasing
acknowledgment from many stakeholders of the need to include qualitative
information alongside statistics when reviewing progress towards a target in
order to gain a more accurate and fuller picture of the issues and challenges.
MSIO came across several examples of good practice in this respect – such as
the ‘Bridges to Work’ project developed by Communities Against Poverty in
Liverpool along with the North West Regional Assembly (NWRA).21 This research
involved those individuals who had experienced unemployment on Merseyside
and across the North West region, providing a qualitative description of the
barriers faced when accessing employment and training opportunities. The
findings, when used in conjunction with statistical data about unemployment and

   ‘Application of ‘P2P’ Geodemographics Classification to analysing Area-Based Social Inclusion
Initiatives on Merseyside’: Merseyside Social Inclusion Observatory, December 2004.
   ‘Bridges to Work’: Communities Against Poverty & North West Regional Assembly, Wigan,
November 2003.

                                            50                               MSIO PR 01
economic inactivity, provided a broader understanding of the challenges and
shaped appropriate recommendations for tackling them. The project has been
identified as a model of good practice and has been taken up locally through the
Liverpool Strategic Employment Partnership as well as at a national level through
the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP).

However, it is suggested that there are more difficulties associated with
incorporating a systematic and robust approach to capturing qualitative and
anecdotal information. It is interesting to note that there has recently been an
increase in the quality and range of some of these approaches. In essence, it is
suggested that from recent academic and policy debate the following may be of
use in terms of providing a ’richer’ understanding of inclusion/exclusion issues: -

The Audit Commission Quality of Life Indicators

Quality of Life indicators are designed to help local authorities and their partners
in Local Strategic Partnerships (LSPs) to develop and monitor their Community

“The proposed indicators can be a useful tool in performance management - to
help local authorities and LSPs paint a picture of and monitor change on quality
of life and sustainability issues in the local area. They can help to inform, monitor
and evaluate community planning processes – justifying and setting future
priorities. The indicators can be a useful tool for enhancing partnership working
between the council, other public sector agencies, and the business and
community sector. They can help to fill gaps in the knowledge of local authorities
and LSPs and to supplement existing service delivery indicators.”22

The Audit Commission Pilot (2001/02) developed a range of Indicators and
general guidance on using them – suggesting that coverage has to be balanced
against the need to keep the number of indicators to a reasonable level and that
a variety of indicator types will be required. Above all, the project advocates:

‘measure what you value, don’t just value what you can measure’.
     The Audit Commission Quality of Life Indicators Pilot, The Audit Commission, London, 2002.

                                              51                               MSIO PR 01
MSIO’s work with LSPs on Merseyside indicates that there is some evidence that
they are indeed moving towards such an approach that includes anecdotal and
qualitative evidence. For example, Wirral Partnership are reviewing their local
thematic targets to include Quality of Life Indicators as well as quantitative data
when assessing progress towards a target. Liverpool LSP were also involved in
the Audit Commission Pilot on Quality of Life Indicators and are now developing
this approach to incorporate both quality of life and community cohesion

The New Economics Foundation model: ‘Prove It! - Measuring the effect of
neighbourhood renewal on local people’ 23

‘Prove It!’ discusses the advantages of involving local people in measurement
and evaluative processes and ways of limiting potential disadvantage. It suggests
that when generating and choosing indicators, the AIMS method should be
applied – indicators must be Action focused, Important (to the stakeholders),
Measurable and Simple.

Several of these models are clearly designed for community use and include
valuable check-lists of issues to be covered. Nevertheless, many of the questions
raise the problem of quantification for comparison of changes over time. There is
clear identification of what is to be measured but less help on the question of how
to measure it. Some of these issues are addressed by a recent Joseph Rowntree
report outlined below: -

     ‘Prove It!’: Groundwork, New Economics Foundation and Barclays plc, June 2000

                                              52                             MSIO PR 01
The Joseph Rowntree Foundation (JRF): Monitoring poverty and social
exclusion 2004

This latest JRF annual review of progress, analyses progress against 50 different
indicators including measures of income, employment, education, health,
housing and crime.

In this report, which marks the Joseph Rowntree Foundation’s centenary,24
researchers suggest that a more focused approach to tackling poverty and social
exclusion therein is needed to ensure areas with persistent concentrations of
deprivation are being turned around by government policies and programmes.
Hence the Report suggests that a new set of indicators should be designed to
gauge whether anti-poverty strategies are making concentrated deprivation less
intense over time and are therefore making a difference to the lives of those
experiencing social exclusion and deprivation.

‘The indicators proposed in this report not only draw attention to the high
concentrations of disadvantage that exist in certain neighbourhoods, but show
how a more integrated strategy to reduce individual and geographical deprivation
could be monitored over the next 20 years,’ 25

MSIO’s findings on Merseyside lead us to suggest that there would be value in
using a number of these indicators – following discussions between key relevant
partners – in order to tackle exclusion and deprivation. How this approach could
be implemented is outlined more fully in Section 7.

 ‘Strategies against poverty: a shared road map’: Donald Hirsch, Joseph Rowntree Foundation,
York, 2004.

  ‘Strategies against poverty: a shared road map’; Donald Hirsch, Joseph Rowntree Foundation,
York, 2004.

                                           53                              MSIO PR 01

Not withstanding the issues outlined above in terms of data limitations and gaps,
as well as the fact that different local authorities on Merseyside have varying
levels of deprivation, information that is available does provide some valuable
insight into the impact of the NRS so far that needs to be analysed.

Table 4 below sets out the key trends and challenges for Merseyside.

                                      54                          MSIO PR 01
Table 4: Progress towards NRS floor targets for Merseyside

Theme                                         Key trends / issues
Employment         • Overall employment rates for all Merseyside authorities were worse than
                     national averages in 2002 and indicate little progress towards achieving
                     national targets. However all five areas have experienced an increase in
                     employment rates between 2000 and 2002 and this trend is continuing.
                  • Employment rates for over-50s are well below average for all five areas
                     and lowest in Liverpool and Knowsley.
                  • VAT registrations declined between 2000 and 2002 for all five authorities,
                     with a particularly marked drop in Sefton.
                  • No FTI data is provided below district level and therefore it does not
                     enable analysis of trends at a neighbourhood renewal area level.
Crime             • The data indicates that there are wide variations in crime rates across the
                     five authorities but that little progress overall is being made towards the
                  • However, Vehicle Crime has gone down during this period for all five
                     local authority areas indicating some progress towards the target (which
                     aims for 30% reduction by 2004).
                  • FTI crime data is limited and more recent data needs to be accessed in
                     order to assess current progress towards the targets.
Education         • In terms of GCSE results, there has been good progress by all
                     Merseyside authorities between 2001 and 2003. All areas - apart from
                     Knowsley (which shows good progress towards it) - have now reached
                     this target.
                  • At Key Stage 2, all of the Merseyside authorities show good progress
                     towards the 85% target for English and Maths. Liverpool and Knowsley
                     have the lowest attainment levels and Sefton (at 80%) is closest to
                     reaching the target.
                  • At Key Stage 3 there is greater variation with Knowsley showing the
                     widest gap to the targets. Sefton has reached all of the KS3 targets with
                     Wirral close to reaching most.
                  • FTI education data is the most up to date and comprehensive of all the
                     themes and enables analysis of progress for each local authority up to
Health            • Male life expectancy data indicates significant variations across
                     Merseyside: Sefton has the highest rate and Liverpool the lowest.
                  • Data for teenage pregnancy rates indicates that good progress is being
                     made in reducing rates across Merseyside.
                  • Data for road accident casualties shows that Liverpool has a significantly
                     higher rate than all of the other Merseyside authorities as well as the
                     North West, NRF and national averages. However, all of the Merseyside
                     authorities have reduced their rate, indicating some progress towards
                     achieving this target.
                  • FTI data in relation to health targets is particularly limited, based mostly
                     on 2001 census information.
Housing           • Data for Liverpool and Sefton shows a wide variation in progress:
                     Liverpool has reduced its percentage of non-decent dwellings between
                     2001 and 2003 but Sefton has more than doubled its rate.
                  • FTI data in relation to the decency standard is very limited. There is no
                     data supplied for Knowsley, St Helens and Wirral.
                  • It is not possible to access housing data for areas larger than local
                     authority districts within FTI.
Source: Neighbourhood Renewal Unit: Floor Targets Interactive, 2004.

                                            55                               MSIO PR 01
Summary of progress towards the floor targets

From the information presented in Table 4, it can be seen that in general terms
reasonable progress is being made to reducing disparities in respect of national
employment and enterprise targets, but gaps to national averages are still
considerable. A similar picture emerges in respect of crime targets, although
Vehicle Crime on Merseyside has been reduced significantly and Education
targets focused on improving GCSE and Key Stage 2 performance also indicate
that much progress is being made across Merseyside overall. However, the
performance of certain cohorts requires further enhancement (for example, BME
individuals), especially at Key Stage 3. In terms of health targets, life expectancy
has increased in some areas, whilst teenage pregnancies have declined – again
indicating that some progress is being achieved. Nevertheless, the relative gap in
terms of the former has actually grown. Finally, in terms of housing targets, it is
clear that decency standards will not be met in many areas of Merseyside,
although data to corroborate such a perspective is difficult to ascertain.

More detailed information in respect of each district’s performance against
the floor targets is provided in Appendix 4.

                                       56                           MSIO PR 01

MSIO’s findings on the implementation of the NRS presented within this report
indicate that there is a lack of consistency in the approach being taken to
defining, measuring and addressing social exclusion and deprivation across
various policy initiatives on Merseyside and, it is suggested, this restricts the
overall impact of the NRS.

From analysis of issues arising in terms of combining EU Merseyside Objective 1
funds and NRS resources, it is clear that in order to improve the overall impact of
the NRS, a more integrated and strategic approach to tackling social exclusion
and inequality is required. The NRS itself currently aims to reduce such
disparities through a focus on thematic floor targets within LSP structures.
Assessing progress towards reducing disparities within a specific theme such as
education or crime is therefore possible (albeit with data limitations); however this
only provides a partial picture of the challenges. What is really required is an
assessment of the overall cross-thematic impact of a programme or
initiative on reducing social exclusion and inequality.

MSIO would suggest that recent developments to better integrate the delivery of
the NRS with other initiatives such as Objective 1 on Merseyside present an ideal
opportunity to ensure that such a co-ordinated and strategic approach to
addressing exclusion is implemented. The CCT Action Plan and project guidance
that has been developed following the Mid-Term Evaluation of the Objective 1
Programme suggests a number of valuable recommendations for developing
such a strategic approach to embedding equalities good practice throughout
the programme. However MSIO would suggest that this needs to go further than
tackling equalities to also embrace a broader social inclusion approach.

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As a result, MSIO are recommending the development (and subsequent
implementation) of a strategic social inclusion and equality framework, with the
Observatory working alongside a wide range of partners across the whole of
Merseyside to develop and implement such a framework. This will maximise
impact on inclusion and equalities through enabling an over-arching, strategic
and cohesive approach to be adopted by partners, agencies and initiatives co-
ordinated through LSPs across Merseyside.

The range of information captured within this framework would include elements
from a number of sources outlined earlier in this report including:

     •   Equalities policies and action plans (based on legislative requirements
         such as those already cited within the Objective 1 CCT programme
     •   Poverty and deprivation indicators (including a range of income
     •   Quality of life and liveability indicators (which capture local communities’
         experiences and knowledge);
     •   Existing thematic indicators used by relevant agencies such as data on
         employment rates, health inequalities, education & skills performance and
         so on.

In terms of embedding strategic social inclusion approaches throughout
neighbourhood renewal processes, the Audit Commission have suggested that
there may be some value from looking at mainstreaming approaches within other
initiatives – particularly the equalities and diversity agendas – which have some
relevance in term of identifying and implementing good practice within
neighbourhood renewal and regeneration.26

  The Audit Commission: Mainstreaming Neighbourhood Renewal: Lessons from mainstreaming equalities,
environmental sustainability and regeneration work, September 2002

                                              58                               MSIO PR 01
The Audit Commission report also found that there are challenges in
implementing equalities effectively, even when there is a strong legislative
context to addressing inequality. To some extent, the equalities and diversity
agendas continue to be seen as a marginal issue by many organisations. In
addition, the links between equalities and mainstream activities are often still not
made and progress may be reliant on a single person or champion within an

Despite these challenges, there is evidence of some progress in terms of
embedding inclusion and equalities within neighbourhood renewal and
regeneration initiatives. Where good practice does exist, some of the key factors
   •   Adoption and implementation and monitoring of a formal policy;
   •   Securing visible commitment from senior personnel;
   •   Involving communities to scrutinise and create pressure for change; and
   •   Ensuring that structures and processes are in place to support
       mainstreaming of inclusion and equalities.

In terms of applying these approaches to neighbourhood renewal and tackling
social exclusion on Merseyside, successful approaches developed nationally
have included either setting up a dedicated unit within an agency (such as an
LSP) to promote social inclusion within neighbourhood renewal, or by contrast,
an integrated approach which makes sure that all service plans and strategies
incorporate the need to narrow the gap between deprived neighbourhoods and
the rest of their area.

MSIO therefore suggests that such a strategic approach to addressing social
exclusion and inequalities on Merseyside should embrace the following

                                       59                          MSIO PR 01
(i) Defining social inclusion and equality - partners should agree the broadest
definition of exclusion (for example, the one adopted by the SEU) and ensure
that it includes reference to income and poverty as well as lack of opportunities
and structural barriers faced by specific communities;

(ii) Implementation of this definition strategically - through, for example,
LSPs as the co-ordinating body within each district. At LSP level and also across
Merseyside,       there   should     be     an     inclusion     and     equalities
partnership/network/steering group acting as a resource to define, implement and
assess cross-thematic impact. This network could link strategically to individual
LSPs and also across Merseyside; and

(iii) Assessing the impact of initiatives – through, for example, the use of a
range of indicators - both quantitative and qualitative - to form an ‘inclusion
proofing’ tool-kit.

MSIO are suggesting that it is suitably placed to work with relevant partners
across Merseyside to develop and implement this type of framework which offers
a number of benefits:

   (a) The development of a robust statistical profile of deprivation,
       exclusion and inequality on a Merseyside-wide basis
       At present, the sub-region lacks a comprehensive and easily accessible
       bank of intelligence and analysis regarding inclusion and equality. Hence it
       is essential that partners have clear statistical information in order to
       incorporate inclusion and equality measures into strategy and policy-
       making. This profile would be similar to the district level profile for
       Merseyside based on progress towards the thematic targets that is
       attached in Appendix 4. However an in-depth profile would map progress
       down to neighbourhood level in order to capture disparities at a sub-
       district level.

                                      60                          MSIO PR 01
   (b) Enabling the development of a forum of practitioners to assist in
      identifying, communicating and advocating good practice
      Such practitioners already exist but there is no real mechanism for
      bringing them together strategically at a local and regional level. For
      example, there are local authority equalities officers; social inclusion
      officers; community advocacy groups tackling exclusion faced by
      particular groups; anti-poverty organisations and equality and diversity
      voluntary groups working across Merseyside. Hence it is suggested that
      MSIO can play a key role in bringing such expertise together to work
      strategically to address exclusion on Merseyside, across and between
      programmes and agencies working locally, regionally and nationally.

   (c) Developing the capacity of partners and stakeholders
      The capacity of partners and stakeholders to understand, value and
      implement a strategic approach to social inclusion, could be taken forward
      through developing and delivering training, workshops and briefing
      papers. MSIO has found that much of this capacity already exists in
      certain parts of Merseyside but that there is a need for a mechanism to
      bring such a resource together. An appropriate place for such a
      mechanism could be the over-arching skills and learning strategies that
      are part of each LSP.

By developing better intelligence and supporting an agreed framework within
which the capacity of all local and regional partners is raised, MSIO would argue
that the ability to more accurately assess the degree to which interventions
addressing social exclusion are successful will be enhanced. Similarly, better
use of data that is available will support the development of new initiatives
supporting those most at risk and addressing the needs of marginalised groups
and communities within specific areas of Merseyside.

                                     61                          MSIO PR 01
This, in turn, leads to a final point which recognises the limitations of this report
and the need for further work on the NRS and its impact: the information
presented here provides a broad context in respect of identifying key process
and information issues relevant to the NRS on Merseyside. However, further
work now needs to be taken forward in 2005 in respect of addressing gaps
identified, particularly in relation to:

   1.      Finalising a common evaluation framework in order to measure

   2.      ‘Teasing out’ the impact of the NRS on reducing social exclusion and

   3.      Evaluating the impact of NRF resources more closely on Merseyside
           through identifying further examples of good practice; and

   4.      Providing a ‘toolkit’ for supporting a culture shift within organisations in
           respect of the integration of programmes, policies and activities
           focused on addressing exclusion.

   Indeed, this could develop upon existing proposals being implemented in
   certain areas of Merseyside to blend Objective 1 and NRS resources in order
   to address particular exclusionary issues/problems and to ensure that all
   groups and areas on Merseyside have an equal ability to benefit from the
   broader processes of regeneration currently taking place.

                                           62                         MSIO PR 01
 Appendix 1:         Neighbourhood Renewal Strategy (NRS) National PSA Floor Targets

Themes         National Targets
Employment     Help to build an enterprise society in which firms of all kinds thrive and achieve their potential, with (i) an increase in the
               number of people considering going into business, (ii) an improvement in the overall productivity of small firms, and (iii)
               more enterprise in disadvantaged communities.

               Over the 3 years to Spring 2006, increase the employment rates of disadvantaged areas and groups, taking account of th
               economic cycle – lone parents, ethnic minorities, people aged 50 and over, those with the lowest qualifications, and peopl
               in the 30 local authority districts with the poorest initial labour market provision, and significantly reduce the difference
               between their employment rates and the overall rate.

Crime          Reduce crime and the fear of crime, improve performance overall, by reducing the gap between the highest Crime and
               Disorder Reduction Partnership areas and the best comparable areas; and reduce:

               vehicle crime by 30% from 1998/99 to 2004;
               domestic burglary by 25% from 1998/99 to 2005;
               robbery in the ten street Crime Initiative areas by 14% from 1999-2000 to 2005 and maintain that level.

Education      To sustain improvement in primary education by raising standards in English and Maths so that by 2004, 85% of 11 year
               olds achieve level 4 or above, and, by 2006, the number of schools in which fewer than 65% of pupils achieve level 4 or
               above is significantly reduced.

               Transform secondary education by raising standards in English, Maths, ICT and Science in Secondary Education so that
               2004 75% of 14 year olds achieve level 5 or above in English, Maths and ICT (70% in Science) nationally and by 2007 85
               (80% in science), and by 2007, the number of schools where fewer than 60% of 14 year olds achieve level 5 or above is
               significantly reduced.

                                       63                            MSIO PR 01
            Between 2002 and 2006 the proportion of those aged who get qualifications equivalent to 5 GCSEs at grades A* to C rise
            by 2 percentage points each year on average and in all schools at least 20% of pupils achieve this standard by 2004 rising
            to 25% by 2006.

            Increase the % of pupils obtaining five or more GCSE’s at A*-C, with at least 38% to achieve this standard in every local
            education authority (LEA) by 2004.

Health      Starting with Health Authorities, by 2010 to reduce by at least 10% the gap between the fifth of areas with the lowest life
            expectancy at birth and the population as a whole.

            By 2010 reduce the inequality in rates between the fifth of wards with the highest under 18 conception rate and the averag
            ward rate by at least 25%.

Transport   Reduce the number of people killed or seriously injured in Great Britain in road accidents by 40%, and the number of
            children killed or seriously injured by 50%, by 2010 compared with the average for 1994-98, tackling the significantly highe
            incidence in disadvantaged communities.

Housing     By 2010, bring all social housing into decent condition with most of this improvement taking place in deprived areas, and
            increase the proportion of private housing in decent condition occupied by vulnerable groups.

                                   64                           MSIO PR 01
Appendix 2:        Merseyside Neighbourhood Renewal Areas



Elm Park,
Granby/ Lodge Lane,
Lower Breck,
Norris Green,
Urban Village,
Walton Florence Melly.


The most deprived electoral wards of:
Netherton and Orrell,
St Oswalds and Church in the south of the Borough,
and Dukes and Cambridge in the North.

                                    65                 MSIO PR 01
St Helens

Original NRAs:
West Sutton and

Recently revised (2004) NRAs:
Town Centre,
West Park.


The most deprived electoral wards of:
Seacombe and

                                  66    MSIO PR 01
Appendix 3:           The 5 most deprived Super Output areas (SOAs),
                      corresponding wards and ID 2004 rank

Local authorities            5 most deprived           Corresponding     IMD Rank
                               SOA (codes)                 wards

Knowsley                        E01006468                 Princess          7
                                E01006469                 Princess          14
                                E01006436              Kirkby Central       15
                                E01006467                 Princess          42
                                E01006494                 Tower Hill        50
Liverpool                       E01006559                 Breckfield        1
                                E01006676                  Granby           8
                                E01006755                   Speke           3
                                E0100651                  Breckfield        10
                                E01006778                 Vauxhall          13
Sefton                          E01007010                  Linacre         106
                                E01007006                  Linacre         177
                                E01007009                  Linacre         403
                                E01007008                  Linacre         545
                                E01006963                   Derby          628
St. Helens                      E01006873            Parr and Hardshaw     142
                                E01006874            Parr and Hardshaw     246
                                E01006817                Broad Oak         284
                                E01006830               Grange Park        314
                                E01006909               West Sutton        363
Wirral                          E01007122                  Bidston          23
                                E01007132                Birkenhead         57
                                E01007293                 Tranmere          69
                                E01007127                Birkenhead         70
                                E01007292                 Tranmere         101
Source: Office of the Deputy Prime Minister (ODPM), 2004.

                                         67                        MSIO PR 01
Appendix 4:                Progress towards NRS Floor Targets for Merseyside
                           Districts using Floor Targets Interactive (FTI) Data

1. Employment and Enterprise Targets

Table 1: Overall Employment Rates 1999-2002

                                                             1999        2000        2001       2002

Halton                                                       62.5        66.7        65.3       66.7
Knowsley                                                     55.8        62.5        61.4       60.0
Liverpool                                                    59.4        58.9        60.1       59.7
Sefton                                                       67.9        70.3        69.5       73.4
St Helens                                                    70.3        68.1        71.6       69.6
Wirral                                                       65.9        68.5        70.7       69.2
North West average                                           71.1        71.0        71.5       71.4
NRF average                                                  68.8        68.7        69.3       68.7
21 worst initial labour market areas*                        61.5        60.8        62.0       62.1
England average                                              74.6        74.8        75.0       74.5
*21 of the 30 poorest initial labour markets are in England and are within the 88 most deprived areas
covered by the NRF

Table 2: Employment Rates for people aged 50+ (1999-2001)

                                                                  1999        2000           2001

Halton                                                            50.9        49.5            52.1
Knowsley                                                          32.5        47.0            49.2
Liverpool                                                         47.2        48.2            52.4
Sefton                                                            54.9        58.5            60.5
St Helens                                                         57.6        54.2            57.9
Wirral                                                            59.0        58.6            58.2
North West average                                                60.6        61.2            62.2
NRF average                                                       60.6        61.5            62.6
21 worst initial labour market areas*                             data         not          available
England average                                                   67.5        68.2            69.1

                                                  68                                    MSIO PR 01
Table 3: VAT registrations 2000-2002

                                         2000      2001         2002

Halton                                   23.2      22.1         23.2
Knowsley                                 16.9      19.8         15.8
Liverpool                                25.7      22.8         23.5
Sefton                                   55.7      66.9         24.8
St Helens                                21.8      20.7         19.6
Wirral                                   24.8      21.8         20.7
North West average                       34.8      32.9         31.3
NRF average                              40.1      37.6         35.6
20 % most deprived wards                 31.0      31.0        No data
England average                          41.6      39.3         38.5

2. Progress Towards Crime Targets

Table 4: Burglary rates per 1,000 households: 2000-2003

                                  2000      2001      2002        2003

Halton                            12.0      13.7      14.8        12.3
Knowsley                          17.7      16.2      18.2        16.8
Liverpool                         29.8      38.5      37.1        30.7
Sefton                            13.1      19.3      21.7        16.7
St Helens                         23.2      21.8      22.8        22.1
Wirral                            21.5      18.5      17.7        19.1
North West average                24.9      26.1      26.7        23.6
NRF average                       28.5      30.2      30.5        26.7
England average                   19.1      20.2      20.7        18.6

Table 5: Vehicle Crime Rates per 1,000 population: 2000-2003

                                  2000      2001      2002        2003

Halton                            16.9      18.2      18.7        15.8
Knowsley                          22.7      23.3      21.3        21.9
Liverpool                         33.1      32.6      30.9        26.9
Sefton                            13.7      13.9      11.2        13.0
St Helens                         20.6      18.7      19.7        17.1
Wirral                            15.3      15.7      14.9        14.6
North West average                21.9      21.3      19.7        17.6
NRF average                       25.7      26.3      25.8        22.9

                                  69                         MSIO PR 01
England average                    18.9          19.1          18.8       17.0

Table 6: Robbery Rates per 1,000 population: 2000-2003

                                          2000          2001     2002      2003
Halton                                     0.6           0.7      1.0       0.8
Knowsley                                   1.4           1.5      1.4       1.1
Liverpool                                  3.3           4.6      4.3       3.5
Sefton                                     0.8           1.2      1.2       0.8
St Helens                                  0.9           1.2      1.1       0.9
Wirral                                     1.0           1.1      1.1       0.8
North West average                         2.1           2.4      2.4       2.0
NRF average                                3.7           4.7      4.0       3.6
England average                            1.9           2.4      2.2       2.0
10 Street Crime Initiative Areas           3.4           4.4      3.6       3.3

3. Progress towards Education Targets

Table 7: Percentages of pupils achieving 5+ GCSE grades A*-C 2001-2003

                                          2001            2002           2003

Halton                                    39.9            42.7           44.4
Knowsley                                  27.1            30.1           33.6
Liverpool                                 35.2            39.5           41.3
Sefton                                    50.0            52.6           52.8
St Helens                                 45.8            47.3           66.1
Wirral                                    50.0            53.0           55.0
North West average                        46.1            48.2           49.4
NRF average                               40.5            42.7           44.6
England average                           50.0            51.5           52.9

                                   70                                 MSIO PR 01
Table 8: Percentage of 11 year olds achieving Key Stage 2 Level 4 in
English: 2001-2003

                                        2001         2002        2003

Halton                                   76.0        77.0        74.0
Knowsley                                 72.0        71.0        71.0
Liverpool                                70.0        69.0        71.0
Sefton                                   80.0        79.0        80.0
St Helens                                77.0        76.0        79.0
Wirral                                   78.0        77.0        78.0
North West average                       75.0        75.0        75.0
NRF average                              71.0        70.0        72.0
England average                          75.0        75.0        75.0

Table 9: Percentage of 11 year olds achieving Key Stage 2 Level 4 in
Maths: 2001-2003

                                        2001         2002        2003

Halton                                   71.0        75.0        71.0
Knowsley                                 68.0        71.0        69.0
Liverpool                                64.0        69.0        68.0
Sefton                                   76.0        78.0        79.0
St Helens                                75.0        77.0        76.0
Wirral                                   72.0        74.0        74.0
North West average                       72.0        75.0        74.0
NRF average                              68.0        70.0        69.0
England average                          71.0        73.0        73.0

Table 10: Percentage of 14 year olds achieving Key Stage 3 Level 5
English: 2001-2003

                                        2001         2002        2003

Halton                                    63          61          70
Knowsley                                  49          55          54
Liverpool                                 62          64          64
Sefton                                    74          71          75
St Helens                                 67          67          70
Wirral                                    73          71          75
North West average                        65          68          70
NRF average                               59          61          63
England average                           65          67          69

                                   71                       MSIO PR 01
Table 11: Percentage of 14 year olds achieving Key Stage 3 Level 5
Maths: 2001-2003

                                        2001        2002        2003

Halton                                   61          61          68
Knowsley                                 51          53          58
Liverpool                                55          57          62
Sefton                                   71          72          75
St Helens                                66          67          69
Wirral                                   68          67          73
North West average                       65          66          70
NRF average                              59          60          65
England average                          66          67          70

Table 12: Percentage of 14 year olds achieving Key Stage 3 Level 5
Science: 2001-2003

                                        2001        2002        2003

Halton                                   60          61          63
Knowsley                                 50          50          52
Liverpool                                55          56          59
Sefton                                   70          70          71
St Helens                                65          68          67
Wirral                                   67          66          68
North West average                       64          65          67
NRF average                              57          59          61
England average                          66          67          68

                                  72                        MSIO PR 01
4. Progress towards Health Targets
Table 13: Male Life Expectancy 1999-2001

                                            1999   2000       2001

Halton                                      73.6   73.7       73.7
Knowsley                                    72.3   72.6       72.9
Liverpool                                   71.9   71.0       71.5
Sefton                                      74.4   74.4       79.9
St Helens                                   73.5   73.8       74.3
Wirral                                      73.8   74.2       74.7
North West average                          73.8   74.1       74.5
NRF average                                 73.8   74.1       74.4
England average                             75.3   75.7       76.0
Lowest quintile (L.A.s)*                    73.3   73.6       73.9
*this relates to the specific target

Table 14: Female Life Expectancy: 1999-2001

                                            1999   2000       2001

Halton                                      77.4   77.9       78.1
Knowsley                                    77.7   78.0       78.2
Liverpool                                   77.2   77.3       77.6
Sefton                                      79.6   79.7       79.9
St Helens                                   78.9   79.0       79.4
Wirral                                      79.1   79.6       79.8
North West average                          78.8   79.1       79.4
NRF average                                 79.2   79.4       79.6
England average                             80.2   80.4       80.6
Lowest quintile (L.A.s)*                    78.6   78.8       79.1
*this relates to the specific target

                                       73                 MSIO PR 01
Table 15: Teenage Pregnancy Rates - Numbers of conceptions to under-
18s per 1,000 females aged 15-17 1998-2000

                                         1998             1999       2000
Halton                                   53.5             53.9       52.6
Knowsley                                 53.2             52.5       48.6
Liverpool                                55.4             53.5       49.4
Sefton                                   58.4             57.1       55.6
St Helens                                37.4             37.6       37.0
Wirral                                   49.6             49.2       47.7
North West average                       50.5             49.7       47.6
NRF average                              58.5             57.5       55.7
England average                          46.1             45.5       43.8

Table 16: Road Accident Casualties - Rate per 1,000 Population:

                                         2000             2001       2002

Halton                                       7.1          6.0         5.7
Knowsley                                     7.1          5.9         4.5
Liverpool                                    9.2          8.4         7.7
Sefton                                       5.7          5.4         4.8
St Helens                                    6.7          5.4         4.4
Wirral                                       6.2          5.0         5.1
North West average                           6.6          6.2         5.9
NRF average                                  6.2          5.9         5.6
England average                              5.8          5.7         5.4

5. Progress towards Housing Targets

Table 17: Percentage of LA non-decent dwellings

                                      2001         2002            2003
Halton                                25.3         24.5          No data
Knowsley                               No          data          available
Liverpool                             77.4         76.3            61.9
Sefton                                32.0         69.0            66.0
St Helens                              No          data          available
Wirral                                38.9         39.9          No data
North West average                     No          data          available
NRF average                            No          data          available
England average                        No          data          available

                                  74                             MSIO PR 01

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