One in six neighbourhoods in Wigan is among the most deprived in England.
Social inequality charity the Joseph Rowntree Foundation says large portions of the country have been “locked out” of jobs and opportunities, after Ministry of Housing, Communities and
Local Government figures revealed pockets of deprivation across England.
Government officials ranked each local authority from one to 317, with low numbers indicating higher levels of deprivation.
The rankings use the most up-to-date data on income, employment, education, health and crime, as well as housing services and the environment, to assess more than 32,800 small areas or neighbourhoods across England.
Wigan was 75th in the table nationally, and 20th in the North West.
Among those areas falling into the most deprived areas included Ince, Leigh West, Douglas and Pemberton.
Alison McKenzie-Folan, chief executive of Wigan Council said: “We pride ourselves in Wigan borough to engage differently with residents and communities to ensure they can thrive, in spite of being one of the areas most affected by national budget cuts.
“Wigan borough is the fourth least deprived area in Greater Manchester and this is thanks to local people embracing The Deal values and working with us so they can access services in a tailored and effective ways.
“We will continue to support residents and young people to access better job opportunities and working with businesses to develop skillsets to ultimately improve our local employment offer.
“This, along with our commitment to regenerating our town centres, encouraging businesses to invest in Wigan and continuing our close partnership with the health sector will help us to continue supporting our residents and borough to be healthy, ambitious and successful.”
The local authorities with the five highest proportions of deprived neighbourhoods are all in the north: no change from the previous statistics in 2015.
Mike Hawking, policy and partnerships manager at the Joseph Rowntree Foundation, warned that poor communities were “tired of being overlooked. The lack of well-paid jobs, affordable housing and access to reliable transport links are holding people back from achieving their full potential,” he said.
“Tackling the fundamental injustice of regional inequalities in our society must be a top priority for the Government. Voters on low incomes are frustrated at the consistent failure of all political parties to take decisive action to address this issue.
“Ministers must urgently bring forward a bold plan of regional investment through the UK Shared Prosperity Fund and target funding to provide the jobs and skills that people need to succeed.”
An MHCLG spokesman said: “The Government is committed to levelling across the country and with unemployment levels continuing to fall and wages rising at their fastest in over a decade, we’re committed to supporting families with their cost of living.
“We’re providing more support to the most deprived authorities, which now have a spending power 16 per cent higher per home than the least deprived.”