Hounslow Equality Impact

Aims:

Hounslow Council asked us to provide a quantitative community profile of Hounslow with specific breakdowns for BAME and equality groups. They wanted to assess the impact of COVID-19 and lockdown and to identify spatial and community inequalities across Hounslow.

The Hounslow Equality Impact report looked to cover a number of key themes. This had a strong social and economic focus in relation to different ethnic groups and wards across the borough, including:

  • Overall challenges and key opportunities
  • Baseline deprivation profile of Hounslow
  • Community and civic assets and third sector provision across the borough
  • Employment/economic impacts of Covid-19 in communities in Hounslow
  • Personal, mortgage and small business debt across Hounslow
  • Household living arrangements
  • Digital inequalities

Methodology

We carried out a data-gathering exercise to assess what relevant data was available. As part of this, we focused on indicators that had been published with ethnicity and ward breakdowns.

There were limitations in the amount and quality of available data broken down by ethnic group outside of Census 2011 data.

In consultation with Hounslow, we agreed to focus on indicators that were available at ward level. We decided to keep the ethnic breakdown of each ward, according to Census 2011, in context. Then we looked at how that relates to other individual wards and Hounslow as a whole.

Next, we analysed the available data to identify key challenges and to highlight wards facing multiple challenges under the themes specified by Hounslow. 

For example, we looked at areas that experience higher levels of deprivation, higher levels of debt and the local impacts of furloughing. In addition to this, we were interested in whether the local social infrastructure is well-placed to support recovery and how all of these factors interrelate.

Findings

The final Hounslow Equality Impact report featured key executive summary sections under each theme and a more detailed data appendix. We provided an in-depth look at 10 wards with multiple challenges and opportunities for recovery. For instance, a strong third sector, civic assets, financial support, presence of mutual aid groups, and digital skills.

Some key findings include:

  • 11 neighbourhoods in Hounslow are ranked among the most deprived 20% in England. Deprivation is generally higher in the west of Hounslow (further from Central London); however, there are notable pockets of deprivation throughout the borough
  • There is a clear east-west divide in terms of density of Civic Assets. Areas in the east of the borough (closer to Central London) showing a higher density of assets, while those in the west or south, having relatively fewer civic assets.
  • The number of people claiming unemployment benefits across Hounslow increased by nearly 8,400 between March and May 2020.
  • The majority of the west of the borough ranked among the 20% of neighbourhoods in England with the highest levels of employees furloughed.
  • The majority of neighbourhoods in Hounslow show high levels of personal debt, with all of Feltham and most of Brentford and Chiswick in the 20% of neighbourhoods in England with the highest levels of personal debt.
  • Brentford has seen the largest reductions in debit card expenditure of any neighbourhood in Hounslow, with Brentford Central seeing an 80-100% decrease in spending year on year and Brentford East seeing a 70-90% decrease. 
  • Overcrowding is an issue across all parts of Hounslow, with the majority of neighbourhoods ranked among the 20% of neighbourhoods in England with the highest levels of overcrowding. People living in overcrowded conditions are likely to have experienced additional challenges during the lockdown when they have had to largely remain at home.

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