Inequalities among UK’s worst

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SHEFFIELD has some of the worst inequalities of any city in Britain.

According to the latest report by campaign group Centre for Cities, there was a massive difference in the claimant rate for jobseekers’ allowance between wards.

In one ward, just 0.2 per cent of people of working age were claiming during 2012, compared with 21.8 per cent in the worst-performing area last year.

Only Birmingham and Glasgow had larger levels of inequality.

Sheffield also scored poorly for other factors of economic development, such as access to high speed broadband – with just 46 per cent connected, the eighth worst city in the study.

But Centre for Cities praised Sheffield’s City Deal, under which the area is being given £572 million including funding for infrastructure projects plus workplace training and apprenticeships.

The report said the city deal would allow Sheffield to ‘gain greater control over the policies that drive economic growth and to tailor them to address specific local growth challenges’.

Meanwhile, the same report showed that Barnsley’s private sector employment growth between 2010 and 2011 outstripped every other major UK town and city.

Barnsley saw the largest increase in private sector employment growth – 7.2 per cent – against a 1.1 per cent national average.

The town also registered a 3.3 per cent rise in overall employment over the 2010/11 period.

Barnsley is also named as one of only 11 cities to have a greater than two per cent rise in employment rate, with a 3.3 per cent point rise.

Elsewhere in South Yorkshire, Doncaster had the seventh-lowest number of businesses, with 214.7 per 10,000 people.