The new All-Party Parliamentary Group that launches today (14 July) will explore the nature of ‘left behind’ neighbourhoods and how they can be best supported in the future.
The cross-party group will be committed to improving social and economic outcomes for the 2.4 million people living in 225 ‘left behind’ neighbourhoods, through the development and advocacy of neighbourhood-level initiatives and policies.
‘Left behind’ neighbourhoods are identified by combining data from the Community Needs Index (CNI) and the Index of Multiple Deprivation (IMD). The CNI identifies areas that have poor connectivity (physical and digital), low levels of community engagement and a lack of community spaces and places. The IMD ranks areas based on their levels of social and economic deprivation. Neighbourhoods that rank amongst the most deprived 10% in both the IMD and the CNI have been identified as being ‘left behind’, numbering 225 neighbourhoods in total.
Chaired by Paul Howell, Conservative MP for Sedgefield, the group will look at the issues faced by these communities, from education, skills and health, to physical and digital connectivity. It will explore how local and central government, and communities themselves, can best work together to improve the prospects of these neighbourhoods and of the people who live there. Key areas of consideration for the group will include how these neighbourhoods can be better supported over the long-term, and the important role of social capital and social infrastructure in helping give communities the confidence and capacity needed to becoming not just more resilient, but also to thrive and prosper.
The APPG first session’s will focus on the early impact of COVID-19 and its exacerbation of existing inequalities. Discussion will be informed by the latest research that suggests that not only are these neighbourhoods more vulnerable to the virus, but that the potential damaging impact of COVID-19 means that these communities are at risk of falling even further behind.
Other officers in the group include Nicola Richards MP (Vice-chair), Dame Diana Johnson DBE MP (Vice-chair), Sharon Hodgson MP, Jack Brereton MP and Ian Levy MP. Local Trust will act as secretariat for the group.