How inequality is impacting the fabric of our city.
For the past four years, we have been documenting the impact of wealth gaps in Cambridge. Inspired by The Spirit Level, what we found has been sobering:
• housing: House prices are unsupportable for the majority
• food: Hunger is widespread and growing
• health: The life expectancy gap is now 11 years between Newnham and Kings Hedges
• social care: Cuts have left vulnerable people with no help
A matter of life & death: Health gaps in Cambridge
The Black report in 1980 called for a “total and not
merely service-oriented” approach to health problems. We are still waiting.
Inequality & deprivation have a profound negative impact on the physical and mental health of deprived people.
Cambridge has become a beacon of entrepreneurial success and prosperity over the past 30 years, or more.
The question is, has the economic surge contributed to lessening deprivation and improving people’s health? Or has it increased the obstacles to a good life for worse-off residents?
Our report explores the evidence to see how inequality is affecting health.
Social care: From crisis to catastrophe in Cambridge
We set out the full devastating consequences of the enforced cuts from County Council services.
Cuts in social care are not like potholes in the road, obvious to everyone. They harm people’s lives, health and well-being behind four walls, hidden from public view. We show:
- Older people are having their incontinence pads changed less often and receive less help with their personal toileting, washing and bathing
- Adults with mental ill-health are less able to get a much needed residential place
- Children and young people in the council’s care are at greater risk of grooming, exploitation or abuse
- Children, young people and their families in need receive less social work when they are at risk of deterioration or breakdown.
Wealth and want: Hunger and poverty shame Cambridge
Cambridge is lauded as a ‘success story’. This initial report seeks recognition of another side of this success – the gross inequality in Cambridge.
Imagine an affluent, thriving city in one of the richest countries in the world where:
- House prices and rents are beyond the means of the great majority of the population and are among the fastest-rising in the country.
- Nearly 5,000 people cannot afford to feed themselves and are driven to food banks for their food. A third of them are children.
- More than 6,000 households – one in eight – are too poor to heat their homes adequately and must choose between living in cold homes or going without food.
- The city has a higher level of fuel poverty than the regional and national averages.