Quality of Life in Warwickshire 2012/13 Annual Report Published…..

Today Warwickshire Observatory publishes the annual Quality of Life report which provides a detailed look at the people, places and communities in our county. The report is an assessment of the demographic, social, economic and environmental themes that all play a part in influencing our residents’ quality of life.  Some of the issues are easier to influence than others, but the purpose of the report is to provide decision makers with the analysis they need to make more informed choices, and to give all staff in the council a better understanding of the communities that we serve in Warwickshire.

We are always looking at ways to improve the Quality of Life Report and the main innovation this year has been to provide a tool to view and analyse many of the datasets included in the report at a very local level. Throughout the report, you will see the ‘Interactive Map’ icon,  which allows you to examine local data on particular themes through our Instant Atlas tool. This feature also allows downloading of the raw data for each indicator so that you can carry out your own analysis, should you wish to.

This year we have seen some interesting changes, for example where trends may now have reached a turning point and are starting to shift, and where there is little evidence to suggest that inequalities are shrinking.

To find out more please click on the link below to be taken to the report.

2012-13 Quality of Life Report

Any feedback you have can be made through the comments section of our Blog or via Twitter (@WarksObs).

Student Summer 2012 Placement

An exciting opportunity has arisen for a student to come and work within the Observatory for four to six weeks over the summer (June/July). 

The student will need to be studying in a related discipline (statistics, economics, geography etc.), be highly numerate and willing to work across a range of projects within our team. The main focus for the placement will be working on our high profile ‘Quality of Life in Warwickshire’ report that our team produces annually. In return, the student will gain an insight into working in public sector research and will gain some excellent experience for their CV.

A link to the full details of the placement is below…..

Warwickshire Observatory – Student Placement _Summer 2012_

Quality of Life 2011/12 Report – Feedback Survey

The Quality of Life 2011/12 Report, produced by Warwickshire Observatory in October last year, uses analysis of a range of trends and indicators to provide an assessment of the quality of life experienced by residents in Warwickshire, and also assesses how these have changed over time.

The report’s findings contribute to our evidence base needed for the development, monitoring and review of policy and decision making.

We are now turning our attention to this year’s report, and we’d really like to hear your views around how useful and relevant the report is for you, how you use it in your work, and also get your thoughts around aspects such as the design, layout, etc.

We’ve produced a short on-line survey and would be grateful if you could spend 10 minutes completing it for us, by the Friday 11th May. Your views will help shape our work on quality of life this year. The survey can be accessed by clicking on this link > https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/qualityoflifefeedback

If you haven’t yet had an opportunity to look at the Report it can be accessed by following this link > https://warksobservatory.wordpress.com/2011/10/20/quality-of-life-2011_12/

 Thank you for your time.

A vacancy has arisen within the Observatory team for a Corporate GIS Manager

An exciting new vacancy has arisen for a Corporate GIS manager to join our team. The aim of the role is to develop, manage and champion Geographical Information Systems within and across Warwickshire County Council, so that it makes best use of GI, data, and other resources. The successful candidate will be responsible for Information Management within Warwickshire Observatory.

If you are interested and would like further information please click on the link below:

Link to job vacancy


Atlas of Deprivation now available from ONS

The Regional and Local team at Office for National Statistics have published the ‘Atlas of Deprivation’ on the Neighbourhood Statistics website.

Based on the 2010 Indices of Deprivation for England, which combine a number of areas chosen to cover a range of economic, social and housing issues into a single deprivation score for each Lower Layer Super Output Area (LSOA) in England, the Atlas allows a map visualisation of the overall LSOA deprivation score, plus the score for each of the seven domains by local authority allowing easier interpretation of the Indices of Deprivation.

See the Observatory’s report on the Indices of Deprivation 2010 for Warwickshire for more info!

New wards for Rugby in 2012

The Local Government Boundary Commission for England has published its final recommendations for new electoral arrangements for Rugby Borough Council.  The new set of ward boundaries will come into force at the next local elections for Rugby in May 2012.

At present, Rugby has 20 wards.  You can view profiles for each of these here.  Next spring, there will be 16 wards (13 three member wards and 3 single member wards).  Although wards are used less frequently for presenting and disseminating statistics (Super Output Areas are increasingly the standard geography for official statistics), there will be some implications for the way the Observatory collates and provides data and analysis:

  • There are no guarantees that historical government data will be reconfigured to meet the new boundaries, and there will be a lag period between the new wards coming into effect and statistics being made available for them.   
  • There may be issues with coterminosity in some parts of the borough, with the new boundaries not necessarily matching up with existing boundaries such as Super Output Areas, Electoral Divisions and Localities).
  • We will have to get used to some new ward names (such as St. Cross, Wolston & The Lawfords and Coton & Boughton).  Where names are unchanged, we shouldn’t assume the boundary is necessarily the same (for example Hillmorton and Benn wards have new boundaries).

Click here to see a map showing the new boundaries.  Get full details on the boundary review at the LGBC website here.


Proposals for new Parliamentary Constituency boundaries released

The Boundary Commission for England has published proposals for new Parliamentary Constituencies and is inviting comments until December 5th.  The boundary review is intended to reduce the number of constituencies in England from 533 to 502 and make sure that each constituency has a similar number of registered electors.

We have looked at the proposals for Warwickshire.  One notable point is that the proposed new Constituencies no longer fit with our county boundary. There are two county boundary crossings between Warwickshire and the metropolitan boroughs of the West Midlands. One of these creates a constituency where an area in the south of the Borough of Solihull, including the town of Dorridge, is combined with an area of Warwickshire which includes the town of Kenilworth. The other (‘Meriden’) creates a constituency that combines electors from the Shard End ward of the City of Birmingham, the east of the Borough of Solihull, and the Coleshill area of Warwickshire.

Unfortunately the Commission has not released boundary files for us to use in our own mapping software.  However, you can see pdfs of the proposals for Warwickshire here.

We have also produced a spreadsheet summarising the proposals for Warwickshire – click here to view.

To take part in the consultation, please visit the Boundary Commission website here.