Assessing neighbourhood level regeneration and public expenditure Findings from the Bradford New Deal for Communities Area
Relatively little is known about overall levels of public spending in the 39 NDC areas, its composition across sectors, and how this has changed since the launch of the Programme in 1998. This study focuses on the NDC area in Bradford,
The original rationale for this study is that by understanding changes in the composition of public expenditure in an NDC area, it may be possible to provide evidence as to:
- the relative scale of NDC expenditure compared with public expenditure;
- whether successful area based regeneration changes the
composition of local GDP – with less demand on public resources and
a larger private sector.
Although NDC expenditure is sizable (approximately £50m per NDC area), this equates to £500 per resident per year for the life of the NDC Programme (for an NDC area of 10,000 people); a sum which is significantly less than other forms of public expenditure.
Estimates have been made of per capita public expenditure in the NDC and Bradford District. In terms of the overall composition of expenditure (where data are available):
- benefits expenditure at NDC and district levels account for nearly half total public expenditure; the proportions are similar because whilst the NDC area receives a higher level of worklessness-related benefits, the district receives a higher level of State Pension benefits;
- in the NDC area, we estimate public health expenditure accounts for around 18 per cent of total expenditure, education around 13 per cent, social services expenditure around 10 per cent and policing around 7 per cent;
- together, these areas of public expenditure account for nearly
all expenditure for which we have data.
Comparing the NDC with the district, findings reveal:
- considerably higher levels of public expenditure on key benefits (JSA, IB, Income Support, HB/CTB), as well as on Housing Corporation Capital Expenditure, primary education, policing, the fire service and social services;
- less expenditure on State Pension benefits, reflecting the younger demographic profile of the NDC area;
- about the same levels of expenditure on health (primary and
secondary), older people social services, and secondary education.
These findings are perhaps largely to be expected with the exception of secondary education and health. Given the relatively young demographic profile of the NDC area, it is unsurprising to see more spend on primary education and less spend on the State Pension, compared with Bradford District as a whole. Similarly, given the higher levels of worklessness and crime in NDC areas, it is not surprising that expenditure on benefits and policing is higher than the district average.
It is not possible to draw significant conclusions about the change in expenditure over time or to attribute change to the Partnership. Where data are available we find:
- substantial falls (greater than the district) in benefits payments, especially JSA and Income Support, with slight falls in IB, SDA and the State Pension;
- substantial increases in social services expenditure.
In total the authors estimate that in 2005/06 there was around £4,700 of public expenditure per capita in the NDC Partnership area – just under half on benefits. By the same time (year six of the Programme) the NDC Partnership had spent £530 per capita per annum, with this set to fall in the final years of the Programme. NDC expenditure is clearly a significant component of public expenditure in the NDC area, but by no means the largest element.