Wales politics

Rhyl's West End named most deprived place in Wales

Rhyl general seaside shot
Image caption Part of Rhyl's West End has been ranked as the most deprived area in Wales

The seaside town Rhyl has been named as containing the most deprived place in Wales, according to official figures.

Part of Rhyl's west end was ranked first for the second time in succession by a league table of deprivation.

The Welsh Government figures showed Llandaff, in Cardiff, contained the least deprived area in the country.

Eight of the 10 most deprived areas in 2008, the last time figures were published, remained in the most deprived for 2011.

The Welsh Index of Multiple Deprivation splits Wales into 1,896 areas, each with a population of about 1,500.

It is based on a series of indicators of deprivation, These include:

  • Rates of ill health
  • The number of people on benefits
  • Quality of housing
  • Distance from services.

Rhyl West Two, in Denbighshire, was also ranked as the most deprived when the index was last published in 2008.

More than half of working-age people (56%) in the area receive benefits.

Neighbouring Rhyl West One was ranked the seventh most deprived.

Local councillor Ian Armstrong said efforts were being made to regenerate the town, which had suffered because of the decline of the local tourist trade.

"We are trying to get it back, but it's going to take a lot of getting back," said Mr Armstrong, 74.

"The promenade is improving and the arcade is improving and it's slowly happening."

He added: "I am disappointed to hear that we are the worst again in Wales because I thought we were on the up.

"A lot of money is coming down to West Rhyl from the Welsh Government."

Merthyr Tydfil was the county with the highest number of areas among the most deprived 10%.

One in four of the areas in Merthyr Tydfil were among the most deprived 10%. Ceredigion and Monmouthshire had none.

The index is used across the public sector to form policies and decide where resources are allocated.

A Welsh Government spokesman said: "We remain committed to improving the lives of people in the most deprived areas of Wales - particularly in the current economic climate."

He said the government was using its flagship anti-poverty scheme Communities First "to address deep rooted and inter-generational poverty in some of our most deprived communities".

Rhyl West would be helped by funding for two posts in a north Wales coast regeneration team, he added.

A Denbighshire council spokesman said: "While these figures are disappointing, a lot of work has been done on projects to improve the quality of life for residents in this area.

"There has been some progress since the last assessment in 2008, with two areas of south-west Rhyl seeing a small improvement."

He said the council's Rhyl Going Forward Delivery Plan included projects to improve shops in the town centre and for better quality housing.

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