The BBC has today published a whole series of statistics about how vulnerable different areas of England are to public sector cuts. They have been calculated by the credit rating agency Experian, which has vast databases of the make-up of the country, and are based on a range of different factors such as the number of people employed in the public sector, life expectancy, benefits etc. The BBC News website has all sorts of whizzy maps to explore on the subject.
The overall picture for Redbridge is that it is almost exactly at the mid-point of vulnerability in England – 166th out of 324 areas. But beneath that are a number of interesting figures.
The borough scores highly for the number of self-employed people – 83rd – and is 50th where earnings are concerned. Crime is relatively high at 231, and considering the image many have of Redbridge it scores poorly – 273rd – for the amount of green space (though given the number of very rural districts in England, this is perhaps not so surprising).
Where Redbridge really stands out is on the number of business start-ups since 2008 – third out of the whole of England, behind neighbouring Barking and Dagenham in second place, and Newham in top spot. This is a fascinating picture of enterprise in east London, perhaps influenced by Olympic investment, and particularly important in difficult economic times when so much store is being set on a revival led by the private sector.