9 Jan 2007

Statistics and Registration Service Bill

The debate about the Statistics and Registration Service Bill [8th January 2007] is interesting.

Much of the data about 'social and domestic cohesion' is already 'collected', but it is not published in a coherent form by neighbourhood with an index, whereas the other 7 indicators of deprivation do have statistics published, and an index for each. This means there is a league table for each topic for all neighbourhoods. Over time it would be possible to see which neighbourhoods are climbing out of deprivation and which are sinking into it.

There does not seem to be any good reason for suppressing the information about family breakdown. No one in the Government or on the Labour benches seems to be at all anxious to explain why 'family breakdown' is omitted, and only a very few Conservatives seem to be at all concerned. David Cameron has spoken a lot about family breakdown, but he has not - as far as I am aware - said anything about the need to publish relevant neighbourhood statistics.

Kali Mountford MP said in the debate that Andrew Selous MP "talked about understanding deprivation, and ... seemed to have already made a judgment about what [he] thought might be an underlying cause—the breakdown of family life".

Family breakdown is already one of the causes of deprivation listed at HMG's social exclusion website, so it is understandable people draw the same conclusion. Since HMG has already concluded family breakdown is one of the causes of social exclusion, it is perverse in the extreme not to try to measure it.

It would improve the services of UpMyStreet if they publish relevant statistics, indices and league tables [based on ONS figures] about deprivation by neighbourhood.

No comments: