Draft Sustainability Appraisal Scoping Report

Ended on the 15th January 2010
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10 Community and wellbeing

10.1 Introduction

10.1.1 The Department for Communities and Local Government (CLG)131 has defined sustainable communities as: “…places where people want to live and work, now and in the future. They meet the diverse needs of existing and future residents, are sensitive to their environment, and contribute to a high quality of life. They are safe and inclusive, well planned, built and run, and offer equality of opportunity and good services for all".

10.1.2 As such, sustainable communities embody the principles of sustainable development by: “balancing and integrating the social, economic and environmental components of their community, meeting the needs of existing and future generations and respecting the needs of other communities in the wider region or internationally to make their own communities sustainable".

10.1.3 Social inclusion is a key aspect of sustainable communities and many interlinked factors are important in ensuring that individuals and areas are able to fully participate in society. Factors such as low income poverty and unemployment can be compounded by poor housing, high crime, discrimination, bad health and family breakdown. A combination of problems can create a vicious cycle and lead to social exclusion. “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".

10.1.4 Community wellbeing is therefore influenced by a number of crosscutting factors. This section focuses on many of these, including equalities, health, education, safety, and deprivation.

10.2 What’s the policy context?

10.2.1 Sustainable Communities: Building for the Future132 (the ‘Sustainable Communities Plan’) was launched in 2003 and sets out a long-term programme of action for delivering sustainable communities in urban and rural areas. The main aspects are:

  • addressing housing shortage, comprised of accelerating the provision of housing, affordable housing and tackling homelessness;

  • addressing low demand and abandonment;

  • ensuring all social housing is brought up to a decent standard by 2010;

  • improving the local environment of all communities (liveability); and

  • protecting the countryside and using land more effectively.

10.2.2 PPS1: Delivering Sustainable Development133 sets out the overarching planning policies on the delivery of sustainable development through the planning system; stresses the importance of a strong, stable and productive economy and requires LPAs to ensure that the necessary infrastructure is provided to support new and existing development and housing. It also states that accessibility to jobs and services should be addressed as a means of achieving social cohesion and inclusion. PPS3: Housing134 emphasises that housing developments should be in suitable locations, which offer a good range of community facilities and good access to jobs, services and infrastructure. The Government’s White Paper, Strong and Prosperous Communities135 introduced a new performance framework tailored to the local needs through the Local Area Agreement and encourages councils to develop neighbourhood charters setting out local standards and priorities. The White Paper also calls for more accountable and responsive local government, a greater role for community participation in decision-making and an enhanced role for community groups.

10.2.3 The Government’s strategy for neighbourhood renewal – A New Commitment to Neighbourhood Renewal (2001) – included a commitment to social inclusion and that within 10 to 20 years no one should be seriously disadvantaged by where they live. This should be done by addressing the underlying problems of declining areas such as high unemployment, weak economies and poor schools and using Local Strategic Partnerships (LSPs) to unite public, private, community and voluntary sector and drive change forward.

10.2.4 The overall spatial vision of the East of England Plan136 refers to meeting housing needs in ‘sustainable inclusive communities’. Policies with relevance to this Topic include Policy SS1: Achieving Sustainable Development which recognises sustainable development incorporates a commitment to a ‘strong, healthy and just society’. Policy ENV7: Quality in the Built Environment directs new developments to “address crime prevention, community safety and public health". In addition, several policies directly address the challenge of deprivation.

10.2.5 Policy SS3 of the East of England Plan137 identifies Harlow as a Key Centre for Development and Change (KCDC). KCDCs are intended to reflect the “polycentric nature of the East of England" and its arrangement of small and medium sized towns and cities surrounded by more rural areas which look to those towns for employment and higher level services. Harlow is therefore identified as a main driver of economic growth in the region where there is potential to build on existing social infrastructure138. Policy SS5: Priority Areas for Regeneration of the Plan identifies Harlow as a town with significant areas of deprivation, stating that LDDs and relevant non-statutory plans should set out policies to tackle the problems of economic, social and environmental deprivation.

10.2.6 Harlow’s Local Strategic Partnership has developed the District’s Community Strategy which must be taken into account when preparing the LDF. The Strategy is known as the Harlow 2020 Vision139 , which aims for Harlow to be:

"A clean, safe, sustainable and healthy town with good educational prospects for its citizens, a variety of homes and jobs to meet local needs, and a range of sporting, leisure and cultural opportunities contributing to a higher quality of life."

10.2.7 To deliver the Vision a number of priorities have been set out to address key issues relevant to the Town:

  • Economic Prosperity

  • Education, Learning and Skills

  • Free Time

  • Health and Wellbeing

  • Homes and Neighbourhoods

  • Transport

  • Children and Young People - The Harlow Children and Young People Strategic Partnership (CYPSP)

  • Crime and Community Safety – The Safer Harlow Partnership.

10.2.8 It is intended that the Green Infrastructure Plan140 will be reflected in Community Strategies prepared by Harlow District Council and other surrounding Councils, in order to promote it as a key initiative within local authority community development programmes.

10.2.9 Since designation as a New Town in 1947, Harlow – now a former new town – has experienced a gradual urban decay accompanied by a decline in economic fortunes and a rise in social exclusion and deprivation141. For this reason, regeneration has been a priority of Harlow Council. The Harlow Regeneration Strategy142 was developed to ensure that renewal continues to move ahead in Harlow before full implementation the East of England Plan and to allow the District to take full advantage of the Plan. The Strategy sets out three overlapping phases of work within a ‘timeline for change’ for the period until 2021:

  1. Establishing regeneration building blocks

  2. Investing in potential

  3. Delivering the benefits of growth

10.2.10 A draft Harlow Regeneration Strategy (2009-2021)143 is being developed. The revised Strategy will build upon the key themes and evidence base identified in the 2007 Strategy to deliver a geographically targeted approach in addition to addressing issues of town wide significance.

10.2.11 Local area agreements (LAAs) are three-year agreements setting out local priorities primarily to deliver “genuinely sustainable communities through better outcomes for local people". Following the 2006 local government white paper ‘Strong and Prosperous Communities’, LAA delivery will be measured by a single national performance framework of 198 national indicators (NIs). The Local Strategic Partnership for Essex has selected NIs as 'designated targets' that reflect some of the aims set out in the Harlow 2020 Vision 2006-09144.

EqIA Policy Context

10.2.12 The Equality Act (2006) and other equality legislation introduce specific measures to protect equality groups from discrimination and to promote equality of opportunity for them.

10.2.13 Legislation on Age Discrimination, which came into effect in October 2006, Employment Equality (Age) Regulations 2006, prohibit unjustified direct and indirect age discrimination, and all harassment and victimisation on grounds of age, of people of any age, young or old in relation to employment and provision of education.

10.2.14 From December 2006 The Disability Discrimination Act (DDA) 1995 was amended to place a duty on all public bodies to promote disability equality - the Disability Equality Duty. This legal duty requires all public bodies to actively look at ways of ensuring that disabled people are treated equally.

10.2.15 The Equal Pay Act (EPA) 1970 legislates for parity in pay and benefits for individuals, regardless of their sex, in the same employment, where the individual is doing like work.

10.2.16 The Sex Discrimination Act (SDA) 1975 prohibits sex discrimination against individuals in areas such as education, employment and in the provision of services, goods and facilities. The SDA applies to women and men of all ages, and children. The Equality Act includes amendments to the SDA.

10.2.17 The Race Relations Act 1976, which was amended by the Race Relations (Amendment) Act 2000, forms the legal foundation of protection from racial discrimination in the fields of employment, education, training, housing and the provision of goods, facilities and services. The Race Relations (Amendment) Act 2000 gives public authorities general and specific duties. The general duty is that public authorities must make the promotion of racial equality central to their work.

10.2.18 The Employment Equality (Religion or Belief) Regulations 2003, as amended by the Equality Act 2006, make it illegal to discrimination on the grounds of religion or belief in the areas of employment and vocational training.

10.2.19 The Employment Equality (Sexual Orientation) Regulations 2003 prohibit discrimination on grounds of sexual orientation in employment and vocational training.

10.2.20 The Civil Partnership Act (2004) gives same-sex couples the opportunity to form a civil partnership and gain legal recognition of their relationship. In consequence, the Employment Equality (Sexual Orientation) Regulations 2003 were amended to show that the status of a civil partner is comparable to the status of a spouse.

10.2.21 At the regional level the Regional Social Strategy (RSS) and the Regional Economic Strategy (RES) both address equality and diversity. The RSS vision is to achieve social inclusion throughout the East of England. The RSS has more specific objectives to directly tackle issues of equality and diversity, whereas the RES’s approach is to treat equality and diversity as an underlying principle informing the overall strategy for the economic and social vitality of the region. There is obviously overlap between the strategies. However, the RSS sets a wider remit and identifies specific priorities more clearly.

10.2.22 The East of England Plan contains several key policies on issues that affect community and wellbeing. Policy SS1: Achieving Sustainable Development seeks that the plan bring about sustainable development in particular through application of the elements contributing to the creation of sustainable communities such as active, inclusive and safe in terms of community identity and cohesion, social inclusion and leisure opportunities, well run in terms of effective participation, representation and leadership, well connected in terms of good transport services, well served in terms of public, private, community and voluntary services and fair for everyone. Policy SS2: Overall Spatial Strategy sets the context for developing policies in LDDs such as requiring that new development contributes to improving quality of life, community cohesion and social inclusion including by making suitable and timely provision for health, social services sectors and education needs.

10.3 What are the key objectives and other decision-making criteria that we need to consider?

10.3.1 Many of the objectives set out in the Integrated Regional Sustainability Framework for the East of England – see Table 2 – are relevant in considering future impacts on Harlow’s town centre. Particularly relevant objectives include:

  • Reduce poverty and inequality and promote social inclusion

  • Promote employment, learning, skills and innovation

  • Meet the needs of the changing regional demographic

  • Provide decent, affordable and safe homes for all.

10.3.2 Harlow also has a number of key priorities for 2009/10 to 2012/13 as outlined in the Council’s Sustainability Strategy and approved in January 2009 by the Environment and Community Committee145: Relevant priorities include:

  • Regenerating the Town

  • Promoting a clean, green, healthy and safe environment

  • Tackling housing need

  • Developing good citizenship

  • Providing value for money.

10.4 What’s the situation now? (including any existing problems)

10.4.1 This section has been structured according to the six equality streams in line with EqIA advice146 . These are then followed by sections on health and a final general community wellbeing section.

Population, age and gender

10.4.2 Harlow is the most densely populated District in Essex (25.79 persons per hectare), far greater than the regional (2.82) and national (3.77) population densities147 . The mid-2007 population of Harlow was estimated as 78,300, 48% male and 52% female148. For this reason, Harlow may be described as a medium sized town (designed for 60,000 when it was established as a New Town in 1947), but it comprises a relatively small local authority administrative area. It is also important to note that over 400,000 people live in the Harlow sub-region149. Harlow has experienced varying levels of migration. Out-migration occurred between 1981 and 1995, followed by in-migration between 1996 and 2000 with the construction of Church Langley and a 1991 – 2001 population increase. Since 2000 the town has been experiencing a period of net out-migration150. In 2001 there were 33,185 households in Harlow, comprised primarily of one-person (30%) and married couple (36%) households151.

10.4.3 The wards of Church Langley, Sumners and Kingsmoor and Great Parndon have a closer male-female gender divide (see Table 6), and these wards also have younger age profiles with more young people under the age of 14 than other wards (see Table 7). Church Langley in particular has a noticeably large number of residents in the 30-44 age group and in the 0-4 age group, reflecting the large number of families resident in this ward. The majority of households in Church Langley have children but there is a lesser concentration of lone parent households than in other wards. Staple Tye also has a large number of young people in both the 0-4 and 10-14 age groups and has the largest rate of lone parent households in Harlow. Toddbrook and Little Parndon and Hare Street also have a large proportion of young people. Mark Hall and Old Harlow have older age profiles than the other wards, with less young people and more old people, particularly in the 75-84 age group. Pensioners account for approximately 30% of inhabited households in both Old Harlow and Mark Hall.

Table 6: Gender profile for Harlow’s wards152

Ward Male – number (%) Female – number (%)

Staple Tye

3,562 (48)

3,794 (52)

Netteswell

3,401 (48)

3,635 (52)

Toddbrook

3,436 (48)

3,776 (52)

Little Parndon and Hare Street

3,595 (48)

3,890 (52)

Mark Hall

3,333 (48)

3,646 (52)

Bush Fair

3,578 (48)

3,905 (52)

Harlow Common

3,599 (48)

3,835 (52)

Sumners and Kingsmoor

3,754 (50)

3,691 (50)

Great Pardon

3,334 (49)

3,443 (51)

Old Harlow

2,805 (48)

3,049 (52)

Church Langley

3,809 (50)

3,841 (50)

Total

38,206 (48) 40,505 (52)

Table 7: Age profile for Harlow’s wards153

Age Group Staple Tye (%) Netteswell (%) Toddbrook (%) Little Parndon and Hare Street (%) Mark Hall (%) Bush Fair (%) Harlow Common (%) Sumners and Kingsmoor (%) Great Parndon (%) Old Harlow (%) Church Langley (%)

0-4

8.5

6.0

6.7

6.3

5.8

6.0

5.7

6.8

5.9

4.8

11.5

5-7

5.1

3.4

4.5

4.1

4.1

4.0

4.0

3.6

3.9

1.7

4.4

8-9

3.0

2.5

2.5

2.7

3.1

3.0

2.8

2.4

2.9

2.1

2.2

10-14

7.6

6.5

6.6

7.2

7.0

8.0

7.4

7.4 6.4

6.7

4.3

15

1.3

1.2

1.2

1.3

1.5

1.0

1.3

1.7

1.2

1.4

0.6

16-17

2.7

2.7

2.4

2.8

2.8

2.0

2.5

3.5

2.6

2.6

1.5

18-19

2.4

2.6

2.3

2.3

2.6

2.0

2.2

3.3

2.1

2.5

1.2

20-24

7.0

6.2

6.5

5.8

5.6

5.0

5.2

8.2

6.1

5.2

6.7

25-29

7.4 7.0 7.0 7.4

5.4

6.0

6.1

7.6 6.4 5.6 15.0

30-44

25.0 22.4 23.0 23.5 21.3 24.0

22.9

24.6 22.8 21.2 34.5

45-59

15.8 16.1 15.5 16.7 16.3 16.0

17.4

19.9 21.2 20.7 12.2

60-64

4.6

3.7

5.5

3.6

3.7

5.0

5.4

3.7

5.0

5.2

2.1

65-74

6.8

10.9 10.1 9.9 9.7

11.0

10.3

4.8

7.9 10.1

2.9

75-84

2.4

7.3

4.9

5.5

8.8

6.0

5.3

2.0

4.5

6.8

0.9

85-89

0.4

1.1

0.9

0.8

1.4

1.0

1.0

0.5

1.0

1.6

0.0

90+

0.1

0.4

0.5

0.1

0.9

1.0

0.5

0.1

0.4

0.9

0.1

Race and Ethnicity

10.4.4 The ethnic composition in July 2006 was predominantly White (91.90%) with the largest ethnic minority group Asian in a total population composition of 8.2% ethnic minorities, up from 5.12% in 2001154.

10.4.5 Old Harlow has the largest White population in Harlow and the smallest Mixed, Black or Black British and Chinese or other Ethnic minority population (see Table 8). Sumners and Kingsmoor has the smallest Asian or Asian British population in Harlow. Little Parndon and Hare Street has the smallest White population and notably the largest Asian or Asian British, Black or Black British and Chinese or other Ethnic group population in Harlow. Mark Hall has the largest Mixed population in Harlow.

10.4.6 Eligibility for free school meals can be used as an indication of deprivation and health inequalities within a population. In all ethnic groups except White – Mixed, Asian, Black, Chinese/other – significantly less children were eligible for free schools meals in 2008 than for England155.

10.4.7 Data from 2003/4 suggests that 37.07% of residents in Harlow think that being attacked because of their skin colour, ethnic origin or religion is a very big or fairly big problem in their local area, which is significantly higher than the national average (22.42%)156.

Table 8: Ethnicity profile for Harlow’s wards

Age Staple Tye (%) Netteswell (%) Toddbrook (%) Little Parndon and Hare Street (%) Mark Hall (%) Bush Fair (%) Harlow Common (%) Sumners and Kingsmoor (%) Great Parndon (%) Old Harlow (%) Church Langley (%)
White 94.9 95.1> 95.0 92.4 95.0 95.9 95.6 95.2 94.5 96.9 93.7

- British

91.8

92.0

91.9

88.8

91.7

92.7

92.6

92.4

91.8

93.7

90.1

- Irish

1.0

1.9

1.6

15

1.6

1.6

1.7

0.9

1.3

1.6

1.0

- Other

2.1

1.2

1.5

2.1

1.6

1.5

1.3

1.8

1.5

1.7

2.6

Mixed 1.2 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.5 1.3 1.1 1.3 1.3 0.9 1.4

- White & Black Caribbean

0.5

0.4

0.3

0.5

0.4

0.5

0.5

0.6

0.4

0.2

0.6

- White & Black African

0.1

0.1

0.4

0.2

0.3

0.2

0.2

0.1

0.1

0.1

0.0

- White & Asian

0.4

0.2

0.3

0.2

0.3

0.4

0.3

0.2

0.4

0.4

0.4

- Other

0.2

0.4

0.2

0.4

0.4

0.2

0.2

0.3

0.3

0.2

0.3

Asian or Asian British 1.2 1.6 1.8 2.9 1.8 0.9 1.2 1.0 1.7 1.2 2.0

- Indian

0.5

0.5

0.6

0.9

0.4

0.4

0.3

0.5

0.9

0.5

0.9

- Pakistani

0.5

0.8

0.9

1.3

0.4

0.2

0.7

0.3

0.6

0.2

0.5

- Bangladeshi

0.0

0.3

0.2

0.3

0.9

0.1

0.1

0.1

0.1

0.1

0.4

- Other

0.2

0.1

0.1

0.3

0.1

0.2

0.1

0.2

0.1

0.4

0.3

Black or Black British 1.3 0.9 1.0 1.5 0.7 0.7 1.0 1.0 1.0 0.5 1.3

- Caribbean

0.8

0.5

0.5

0.5

0.3

0.4

0.5

0.5

0.4

0.2

0.6

- African

0.5

0.3

0.5

0.9

0.3

0.3

0.3

0.5

0.6

0.3

0.5

- Other

0.0

0.1

0.1

0.1

0.1

0.0

0.2

0.0

0.0

0.0

0.1

Chinese or other Ethnic group 1.3 1.3 1.0 1.9 1.1 1.2 1.0 1.6 1.4 0.5 1.7

- Chinese

1.0

1.2

0.7

0.8

0.7

1.0

0.8

1.3

1.0

0.4

1.3

- Other

0.3

0.1

0.3

1.1

0.4

0.2

0.2

0.3

0.4

0.1

0.4

Social exclusion and deprivation

10.4.8 Recent years have seen a gradual rise in social exclusion and deprivation alongside urban decay in Harlow District157. The Indices of Multiple Deprivation (IMD) 2007 measures deprivation for seven sub-domains and also calculates an overall index score. Overall, only 2% of the population of the East of England live in areas that are amongst the most deprived 10% in England, and these areas are all classified as ‘urban’ or ‘town and fringe’. In 2007, Harlow was ranked 121/354 nationally, 9/48 regionally and 2/12 within Essex, where the lowest number is the most deprived. Harlow is not within the 20% least deprived local authorities nationally; however, when compared to the region, Harlow does contain noticeable areas of deprivation, containing pockets at a localised scale (see Figure 10). Given that the design of Harlow is such that it is split into neighbourhoods the easiest way to visualise this is by looking at deprivation between the different wards (see Table 9).

Table 9: IMD for areas of Harlow (2004-not determined for 2007)158

Ward IMD Score Rank of IMD (most deprived first)

Staple Tye

29.44

8517

Netteswell

23.99

11290

Toddbrook

23.36

11784

Little Pardon and Hare Street

23.3

11818

Mark Hall

23.28

11891

Bush Fair

22.68

12075

Harlow Common

22.17

12517

Summers and Kingsmoor

22.58

12772

Great Pardon

18.84

15256

Old Harlow

13.49

19837

Church Langley

10.63

23128

10.4.9 Table 9 illustrates that Staple Tye is significantly the most deprived ward within Harlow, whereas Church Langley is the least deprived. However, at a more localised scale, the most deprived area lies within the ward of Netteswell (see Figure 10). Generally speaking, the least deprived areas of Harlow are located on the outskirts of the town; Great Parndon and Sumners and Kingsmoor to the southwest and, least deprived of all; Old Harlow and Church Langley to the northeast/east.

10.4.10 Staple Tye has the largest rate of lone parent households in Harlow (15%)159 and the largest percentage of divorcees in Harlow (8%). Church Langley is one of the newest communities in Harlow and the majority of households in the ward have children.

Figure 10: Indices of Multiple Deprivation (IMD) 2007 for Harlow

Figure 10

Sexual orientation

10.4.11 In the 2001 census, Harlow had a similar percentage of same-sex couples to the region (0.15%), which was slightly below the national percentage of couples (0.20%)160.

Religion and belief

10.4.12 Key statistics for religion and belief in Harlow are outlined in Table 10 below. Harlow has a noticeably greater percentage of the population with no religion than in the East of England and nationally. This is reflected in lower percentages of the population for all the religious denominations recorded in the 2001 census, with Buddhism the one exception.

Table 10: Religion and belief (2001) in Harlow161

Religion stated (% population) Harlow (%) East of England (%) England (%)

Christian

67.3

72.14

71.74

Buddhist

0.32

0.22

0.28

Hindu

0.39

0.58

1.11

Jewish

0.26

0.56

0.52

Muslim

1.31

1.46

3.10

Sikh

0.09

0.25

0.67

Other religions

0.21

0.29

0.29

No religion

22.37

16.74

14.59

Religion not stated

7.74

7.75

7.69

Health and disability

10.4.13 Male life expectancy in the East of England is the second highest of any English region and female life expectancy is the third highest of the English regions. In 2007, average life expectancy for males and females was higher in Harlow (77.7 and 82.7 respectively) than for England (77.65 and 81.81 respectively), but regionally only greater for males (78.7 male and 82.6 female)162. Although female life expectancy is significantly greater than the national average, this is not the case for male life expectancy which remains similar to the average163.

Figure 11: IMD 2007 for health in Harlow

Figure 11

10.4.14 Mapping the Health Deprivation and Disability Domain of the IMD for the region highlights Harlow to be a small pocket of health deprivation within the region, although Harlow (indicative of the region generally) is not within the 20% least deprived nationally. Figure 11 illustrates that Old Harlow, Church Langley, Great Parndon and Sumners and Kingsmoor, are the least deprived wards for health; with the fringes of Harlow in general the least deprived in the District for health. The ward Toddbrook contains a noteworthy pocket of health deprivation within the District.

10.4.15 The health of Harlow District is generally worse than the England average. The number of people diagnosed with diabetes is greater in Harlow than England, although levels of children’s tooth decay are better. Similarly to the trend and average in England, deaths from all causes, early deaths from cancer and early deaths from heart disease and stroke, have improved for men and women over the last ten years. Levels of physical activity in school children are lower than the nationally average, although it meets the national target and levels of obesity in Reception children are similar to the national average. In adults, the percentage of healthy eaters (23.2%) and the percentage of the population that is obese (26.8%), is significantly worse than nationally (26.3% and 23.6% respectively)164.

10.4.16 Table 11 shows that Harlow has a larger percentage of disability living allowance claimants in its population than in the national and, especially, in the regional population. However, the District has comparatively less claimants in the 60-69 year old age bracket. Although nationally and regionally there is no gender divide in number of claimants, in Harlow a higher percentage of females than males make a disability living allowance claim.

Table 11: Disability Living Allowance Claimants (2002-2008)165

Harlow (%) East of England (%) England (%)

Claimants aged under 16

12

13

11

Claimants aged 16-24

6

7

6

Claimants aged 25-49

27

27

26

Claimants ages 50-59

18

18

19

Claimants aged 60-69

20

23

24

Claimants aged 70 and over

16

12

14

Male

49

50

50

Female

51

50

50

Mobility Award: Lower Rate

32

32

29

Mobility Rate: Higher Rate

54

54

57

Mobility Award: Nil Rate

14

15

14

Care Award: Lower Rate

28

26

28

Care Award: Middle Rate

36

37

34

Care Award: Higher Rate

21

24

24

Care Award: Nil Rate

15

12

14

Crime

10.4.17 Harlow District has significantly worse levels of violent crime (25%) than nationally (17.6%)166. The District also contains areas of deprivation relating to crime (see Figure 12). The ward of Mark Hall, in particular, contains an area of Harlow amongst the 10% most deprived nationally. The west and east fringes of Harlow are generally the least deprived areas for crime, including the wards of: Hare Street and Little Parndon; Great Parndon; Old Harlow, and’ Church Langley.

10.4.18 Key figures for crime and safety are highlighted in the Annual Monitoring Report (AMR) for Harlow and outlined in Table 12. Crime reported in Harlow generally represents less than 3% of the regional total, however; harassment charges are notably high with 3.5% of the regional total, and theft from a person is notably low constituting only 0.96% of the regional total167. Harlow has exceeded the LSP target of an 18.5% reduction in crime. In 2007/2008, the Safer Harlow Partnership funded Papworth Housing Service’s Safer Homes Programme, which provided housing security and advice for 164 people. Hate crime is not considered to be a large-scale problem in Harlow, however; the District has set up initiatives to prevent and reduce anti-social behaviour, substance misuse and domestic violence168.

Table 12: Crime statistics 2007-2008169

Crime Harlow East of England England

Violence Against the Person

1,949 (2.64% of regional)

73,727

896,287

Wounding or Other Act Endangering Life

17 (1.60% of regional)

1,064

13,569

Other Wounding

703 (2.16% of regional)

32,600

410,991

Harassment Including Penalty Notices for Disorder

615 (3.5% of regional)

17,384

214,702

Common Assault

499 (2.97% of regional)

16,812

191,362

Robbery

127 (2.85% of regional)

4,450

82,404

Theft from the Person

58 (0.96% of regional)

6,062

89,072

Criminal Damage Including Arson

1,452 (1.53% of regional)

94,892

965,995

Burglary in a Dwelling

327 (1.48% of regional)

22,071

269,400

Burglary other than a Dwelling

688 (2.50% of regional)

27,616

286,875

Theft of a Motor Vehicle

332 (2.32% of regional)

14,323

160,109

Theft from a Motor Vehicle

745 (1.97% of regional)

37,889

407,141

Figure 12: IMD 2007 for crime in Harlow

Figure 12

Other community and wellbeing evidence

10.4.19 The level of teenage pregnancy in Harlow is worse than the England average, although key work is being carried out in to this issue within the District170.

10.4.20 Harlow has recently formed a Voluntary Sector Forum and research has identified that 1,200 volunteers have been involved with 35 key voluntary sector organisations in Harlow. Harlow Arts Council has also been reformed as the Community Arts umbrella organisation for Harlow. Harlow Cultural Venues is a new community group promoting cultural venues and new arts works and displays in the Town Centre have been set up through Harlow Council, Harlow Renaissance and ‘Window Works’. The Sculpture Walks Project Harlow Council and Friends of Harlow Sculpture Collection (FHSC) deliver Summer Sculpture Exhibitions and Sculpture Trails171.

Are there any evidence gaps?

10.4.21 A draft Harlow Regeneration Strategy (2009-2021) is forthcoming172. The revised Strategy will build upon the key themes and evidence base identified in the 2007 Strategy to deliver a geographically targeted approach in addition to addressing issues of town wide significance.

10.4.22 The Council is also developing a Playing Pitch Strategy and a Sport and Physical Activity strategy for the town.

10.5 What will be the situation without the plan? (the ‘business-as-usual’ option)

10.5.1 The AMR acknowledges that the localised pockets of deprivation within Harlow can lead to increases in crime, child poverty, unemployment and illness173. The trend of increasing urban decay and associated social exclusion and deprivation will likely continue. Added to this, national trends – such as an increasingly ageing population – will put additional pressure on health care and other services.

10.5.2 In the absence of a plan, Harlow LSP, the Community Strategy and registered charities and the voluntary sector (VCS) will play a vital role in the district’s community well-being; but will not be in a position to shape development to the extent possible with a Core Strategy. Without planned development and other supporting policies (e.g. for community, leisure, employment, housing, green and physical infrastructure etc), the disparity between disadvantaged and more prosperous area within the District will likely continue. The vision and plans set out within the Regeneration Strategy will also be harder to attain and implement.

10.6 What issues should be a particular focus for the appraisal?

10.6.1 In light of the information above, key issues to take into account in the appraisal in relation to community and wellbeing include:

  • The need to take in to account pockets of deprivation within Harlow (particularly in the centre compared to the fringes of Harlow) and differences in deprivation, equality and health between different Harlow wards, particularly in light of differing population structures (age, family, ethnicity etc)

  • The need to ensure that the equality, health and social care needs of a growing and ageing population are met

  • The need to ensure that the needs of the disabled population in the district are met

  • The need to consider why female, but not male, life expectancy exceeds the regional average

  • The need to address health issues of obesity, diabetes and poor levels of healthy eating

  • The need to tackle issues of crime, particularly harassment charges and violent crime

  • The need to tackle low levels of physical activity in children and high levels of teenage pregnancy.


131 CLG (2003) Sustainable Communities: Building for the Future [online] available at:
www.communities.gov.uk/publications/communities/sustainablecommunitiesbuilding (accessed 18 June 2009).

132 CLG (2003) Sustainable Communities: Building for the Future [online] available at:
www.communities.gov.uk/publications/communities/sustainablecommunitiesbuilding (accessed 18 June 2009).

133 ODPM (2005) Planning Policy Statement 1: Delivering Sustainable Development [online] available at:
www.communities.gov.uk/documents/planningandbuilding/pdf/planningpolicystatement1.pdf (accessed 18 June 2009).

134 ODPM (2000) Planning Policy Statement 3: Housing [online] available at:
www.communities.gov.uk/publications/planningandbuilding/pps3housing (accessed 17 July 2009).

135 CLG (2006) Strong and Prosperous Communities - The Local Government White Paper [online] available at:
www.communities.gov.uk/publications/localgovernment/strongprosperous (accessed 17 July 2009).

136 GOEE (2008) East of England Plan [online] available at:
www.gos.gov.uk/goeast/planning/regional_planning/ (accessed 14 August 2009).

137 GOEE (2008) East of England Plan [online] available at:
www.gos.gov.uk/goeast/planning/regional_planning/ (accessed 18 August 2009).

138 Capita Symonds on behalf of EERA (2009) Regional Flood Risk Appraisal [online] available at:
www.eera.gov.uk/publications-and-resources/studies/topic-based-studies/environment-studies/regional-flood-risk-appraisal/ (accessed 14 August 2009).

139 Harlow 2020 Local Strategic Partnership Board (2006) Harlow 2020 Vision 2006-09 [online] available at:
www.harlow2020.org.uk (accessed 18 August 2009).

140 Chris Blandford Associates on behalf of Harlow Council (2005) Green Infrastructure Plan [online] available at:
www.harlow.gov.uk/Default.aspx?page=8615 (accessed 18 August 2009).

141 PACEC and Halcrow Group Limited (2005) Harlow Regeneration Strategy – Final Report [online] available at:
www.harlow.gov.uk/about_the_council/council_services/business_services/regeneration_unit/harlow_regeneration_strategy.asp (accessed 18 August 2009).

142 Harlow Council (2007) Regeneration Strategy and Implementation Plan 2007-2009 [online] available at:
www.harlow.gov.uk/about_the_council/council_services/business_services/regeneration_unit/harlow_regeneration_strategy.asp (accessed 18 August 2009).

143 Harlow Council (undated) Harlow (Draft) Regeneration Strategy 2009-2021 [not available online].

144 Harlow 2020 Local Strategic Partnership Board (2006) Harlow 2020 Vision 2006-09 [online] available at:
www.harlow2020.org.uk (accessed 18 August 2009).

145 Harlow Council (2009) Harlow Sustainability Strategy [online] available at:
www.harlow.gov.uk/about_the_council/council_services/corporate_services/policy_and_performance/sustainability_strategy.aspx (accessed 13 August 2009).

146 Improvement & Development Agency (no date). Equality Impact Assessments (EqIAs) [online] available at:
www.idea.gov.uk/idk/core/page.do?pageId=8017247 (accessed 17 September 2009).

147 ONS. Population Density (UV02) 2001 data [online] available at:
www.neighbourhood.statistics.gov.uk (accessed 3 September 2009).

148 Harlow Council (2008) Harlow District Council Annual Monitoring Report 2007-08 [online] available at:
www.harlow.gov.uk/pdf/Annual%20Monitoring%20Report%202007-2008.pdf (accessed 18 August 2009).

149 PACEC and Halcrow Group Limited (2005) Harlow Regeneration Strategy – Final Report [online] available at:
www.harlow.gov.uk/about_the_council/council_services/business_services/regeneration_unit/harlow_regeneration_strategy.asp (accessed 18 August 2009)

150 PACEC and Halcrow Group Limited (2005) Harlow Regeneration Strategy - Evidence Base and Analysis of Needs – Final Report [online] available at:
www.harlow.gov.uk/about_the_council/council_services/business_services/regeneration_unit/harlow_regeneration_strategy.aspx (accessed 18 August 2009).

151 Harlow Council (2008) Harlow District Council Annual Monitoring Report 2007-08 [online] available at:
www.harlow.gov.uk/pdf/Annual%20Monitoring%20Report%202007-2008.pdf (accessed 18 August 2009).

152 Source: Harlow Council (2008) Harlow District Council Annual Monitoring Report 2007-08 [online] available at:
www.harlow.gov.uk/pdf/Annual%20Monitoring%20Report%202007-2008.pdf (accessed 18 August 2009).

153 Source: Harlow Council (2008) Harlow District Council Annual Monitoring Report 2007-08 [online] available at:
www.harlow.gov.uk/pdf/Annual%20Monitoring%20Report%202007-2008.pdf (accessed 18 August 2009).

154 Harlow Council (2008) Harlow District Council Annual Monitoring Report 2007-08 [online] available at:
www.harlow.gov.uk/pdf/Annual%20Monitoring%20Report%202007-2008.pdf (accessed 18 August 2009).

155 The Association of Public Health Observatories (2009) Harlow Health Profile 2009 [online] available at:
www.apho.org.uk/default.aspx?QN=P_HEALTH_PROFILES (accessed 10 September 2009).

156 Audit Commission (2004) Data Profile for Harlow [online] available at:
www.areaprofiles.audit-commission.gov.uk/ (accessed 10 September 2009).

157 PACEC and Halcrow Group Limited (2005) Harlow Regeneration Strategy – Final Report [online] available at:
www.harlow.gov.uk/about_the_council/council_services/business_services/regeneration_unit/harlow_regeneration_strategy.asp (accessed 18 August 2009)

158 Harlow Council (2008) Harlow District Council Annual Monitoring Report 2007-08 [online] available at:
www.harlow.gov.uk/pdf/Annual%20Monitoring%20Report%202007-2008.pdf (accessed 18 August 2009).

159 Harlow Council (2006) Harlow Ward Profiles – Staple Tye [online] available at:
www.harlow.gov.uk/about_the_council/council_services/business_services/growth_and_regeneration/regeneration_unit/key_statistics_and_data/harlow_ward_profiles.aspx (accessed 18 August 2009).

160 ONS. Same-sex couples (UV93) 2001 [online] available at:
http://neighbourhood.statistics.gov.uk (accessed 10 September 2009).

161 Source: ONS. Religion (KS07) 2001 [online] available at:
http://neighbourhood.statistics.gov.uk (accessed 10 September 2009).

162 ONS. Life Expectancy at Birth, 2005-2007 [online] available at:
http://neighbourhood.statistics.gov.uk (accessed 18 August 2009).

163 The Association of Public Health Observatories (2009) Harlow Health Profile 2009 [online] available at:
www.apho.org.uk/default.aspx?QN=P_HEALTH_PROFILES (accessed 10 September 2009).

164 The Association of Public Health Observatories (2009) Harlow Health Profile 2009 [online] available at:
www.apho.org.uk/default.aspx?QN=P_HEALTH_PROFILES (accessed 10 September 2009).

165 ONS. Disability Living Allowance Claimants, 2002-2008 [online] available at:
http://neighbourhood.statistics.gov.uk (accessed 10 September 2009).

166 Recorded violence against the person crimes crude rate per 1,000 population 2007/08.  From: The Association of Public Health Observatories (2009) Harlow Health Profile 2009 [online] available at:
www.apho.org.uk/default.aspx?QN=P_HEALTH_PROFILES (accessed 10 September 2009).

167 Source: ONS. Key Figures for Crime and Safety, 2007-2008  [online] available at:
http://neighbourhood.statistics.gov.uk (accessed 18 August 2009).

168 Harlow 2020 Partnership (2008) Harlow 2020 Vision – Key achievements 2007-08 [online] available at:
www.harlow2020.org.uk/downloads/key_achievements/harlow_2020_report.pdf (accessed 18 August 2009).

169 Source: ONS. Key Figures for Crime and Safety, 2007-2008  [online] available at:
http://neighbourhood.statistics.gov.uk (accessed 18 August 2009).

170 The Association of Public Health Observatories (2009) Harlow Health Profile 2009 [online] available at:
www.apho.org.uk/default.aspx?QN=P_HEALTH_PROFILES (accessed 10 September 2009).

171 Harlow 2020 Partnership (2008) Harlow 2020 Vision – Key achievements 2007-08 [online] available at:
www.harlow2020.org.uk/downloads/key_achievements/harlow_2020_report.pdf (accessed 18 August 2009).

172 Harlow Council (undated) Harlow (Draft) Regeneration Strategy 2009-2021 [not available online].

173Harlow Council (2008) Harlow District Council Annual Monitoring Report 2007-08 [online] available at:
www.harlow.gov.uk/pdf/Annual%20Monitoring%20Report%202007-2008.pdf (accessed 18 August 2009).

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