Falinge estate the most deprived area in England
Date published: 07 January 2013
Falinge estate, where 72% of people are unemployed, has been named the most deprived area in England for the fifth year in a row, according to The Department for Communities and Local Government.
The estate is home to around 1,500 people - 80 per cent of who are white British.
More than 200 children on the estate are growing up in poverty, with around 800 people claiming council tax or housing benefits.
People living in Falinge are not expected to live beyond the age of 69 - while those living just two miles away in Norden and Banford can expected to live for 10 years longer.
The council's own statistics show Falinge also has one of the highest teenage pregnancy rates in the country, with one in 10 girls giving birth under the age of 18.
The council has has come under criticism locally - Simon Danczuk MP has been a vocal critic of his Labour colleagues running the council. He said: "This latest table for the most 100 deprived areas in England makes very depressing reading for Rochdale."
The council, meanwhile, argues that the number of job seekers in Rochdale is falling faster than the UK average, and that regeneration projects underway include a new school for the Falinge estate.
Council leader Colin Lambert is reported to have claimed the figures do not reflect the current situation and the council is working to give Falinge residents more job opportunities - a similar argument a council spokesman put forward in October 2010 when Falinge was revealed to be Britain’s benefit blackspot with a staggering 84 per cent of residents on benefits. Then a council spokesman said: "The regeneration of the town centre, less than half a mile away from Falinge, will create a number of new jobs which we hope people living close by will take up."