About the SE
The South East has huge potential but also significant challenges. There is a need for increased investment and supportive policy to ensure we continue to prosper not only for the benefit of our local communities & businesses, but also the national economy.
Whilst the South East is still performing relatively well on some key economic indicators, SEEC’s Data Dashboard still shows high absolute levels of:
- Unemployment claimants – 140,000 people
- Deprivation – 480,000 young/old people in income deprivation, and relative increases in deprivation compared to rest of England
- No qualifications – 450,000 people lack any formal qualifications
The absolute scale of the challenges is masked if only looking at percentages.
We have the UK’s largest population, projected to continue to grow by 1m+ over next 20 years to nearly 10m.
- Especially high growth in older people eg 80% more 75+ year olds by 2032 - a ‘timebomb’ that needs planning for.
- And significant levels of net international migration, which although often economically important also brings implications for public service delivery/resourcing.
We’re still building the most homes in England, albeit some 8,000 pa below 30,000 pa peak in 2007-08.
- But particular concern re reductions in affordable homes built – at 5,000 pa, some 1,000 less than 2 years ago – need investment to meet population needs.
This reflects wider concerns re lack of investment stalling the economy and failing to meet the scale of community/business needs.
- Some positive signs re government approach – eg New Homes Bonus & Growing Places Fund better reflect real levels of need.
But still Formula Grant Funding is well below average, per head some £185 per person pa below average, with implications evidenced in SEEC’s ‘Fixing a Broken System’ report; and the South East only receives small proportions of EU and other funding such as the Regional Growth Fund.
For more information see SEEC’s Data Dashboard.