The Mayor’s Outer London Commission: Report

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2.65 Boroughs with the lowest jobs density ratios are Waltham Forest (0.55), Barking and Dagenham (0.57) and Redbridge (0.58). These low ratios are likely to reflect both commuting and workless individuals living in the borough (both of which are covered by analysis below).

Table 2.4: Jobs density in outer London boroughs, working age, 2006

Source: ONS Based on ONS definition of outer London

2.66 Whilst residents outnumber jobs in all but a small number of outer London areas namely Heathrow and outer town centres Figure 2.18, showing absolute flows of workers, indicates that the majority of those who do work in outer London are also residents of outer London boroughs.

Figure 2.18: Flows of workers within, into and out of London

2.67 Figure 2.19 shows proportions of working residents that are employed outside of boroughs in which they live, and the proportions of each borough’s workers that live outside that borough’s boundaries.

Figure 2.19: Fluidity of workforce by borough

Source: Census 2001.

2.68 The top section of the chart shows that in inner London boroughs receive large shares of workers from other areas (typically 70-90 per cent of the total workforce). In contrast, outer London Boroughs tend to be more “self contained” in so far as more of their local workforce is made up of local residents. However, even outer London boroughs depend significantly on non-resident workers – 39 per cent of Croydon’s workers do not live in the borough, 50 per cent in Kingston. Hillingdon (not shown on this chart) sourced 63 per cent of its workers from outside of the borough. According to 2001 data Hillingdon was also the only borough in which less than half of working residents did not work outside of the borough boundary (reflecting employment opportunities offered by Heathrow).

2.69 Aside from commuting to work, residents also travel for leisure and other purposes. Data from TfL’s London Travel Demand Survey (LTDS) breaks down trips by purpose that are taken within and between outer London, inner London and central London. Results are shown in Table 2.5.

2.70 Table 2.5 shows that the largest total number of trips per day are taken within outer London (ONS definition used by TfL). The majority of these trips are taken for shopping or leisure purposes.

2.71 Around half of all trips between outer and central London are for commuting purposes. In comparison a lower share of trips between inner and outer London areas are for commuting, the largest share being for leisure purposes.

2.72 Additional data from the LTDS indicates that of all outer London boroughs (ONS definition) residents of Kingston upon Thames make the greatest number of trips per day on a per person basis, followed by those in Richmond upon Thames, Barnet and Bromley. Total distance travelled per person per day is highest for Bromley followed by Kingston, Havering and Richmond.

Table 2.5: Trip purpose shares by origin-destination areas 2007/2008

Source: TfL London Travel Demand Survey 2007/08 Based on ONS definition of outer London

2.73 The patterns of commuting for work and leisure shown in Figures 2.17 and 2.18 and Table 2.5 reflect the concentrations and occupational makeup of jobs in outer London and central areas. Residents of outer London boroughs commonly commute to work in agglomerated business and financial services in the CBD, leading to higher overall employment densities in the centre. Employment data in Figure 2.203 illustrate these patterns of employment in outer and inner London using a range of expenditure-based sectors. This categorisation differs from traditional industrial classification in that it aims to understand the role products and services play in the economy rather than simply categorising the output created. So, for instance, instead of classifying bars and catering as part of ‘hotels and restaurants’ they are split into ‘consumers spending their money’ (bars) and ‘support business services’ (catering).

Figure 2.20: Employment in inner and outer London, expenditure-based sectors, 2005

2.74 In contrast to inner London, commerce in the outer London boroughs (with the exception of Heathrow) has proportionally greater focus on leisure, shopping and local activities required by local residents.


2.75 School achievement provides a foundation for Londoners to succeed in the region’s labour market, which employs a greater proportion of highly skilled people than other parts of the UK. Outer London has a 78 per cent participation in post 16 education compared to 70 per cent in inner London and 71 per cent in England.

2.76 Figure 2.21 compares outer London (ONS definition) with inner London, London as a whole and England in terms of the average points score of candidates achieving Level 3 qualifications (A level or equivalent). The chart shows that the average score in outer London is higher than in inner London and just below the England average.

Figure 2.21: Average point score by candidates achieving GCE/VCE A/AS and key skills at Level 3 qualification

2.77 Department for Children, Schools and Families (DCSF) data for 2006/07 show a similar out-performance of outer London over inner London in GCSE results, with the percentage of outer London pupils achieving 5+ GCSEs with A*-C grades higher than the England average.

2.78 It is also possible to compare the performance of pupils across outer London boroughs. This is done in Figure 2.22, a chart modified from a previous GLA Economics report to focus on outer London areas (ONS definition of outer London used)4.

Figure 2.22: GCSE (5+ A*–C) attainment including English and Maths by London Borough 2005/06 (%)

2.79 Figure 2.22 shows that attainment at GCSE level is better than the London average across the majority of outer London boroughs with the top performing outer borough being Sutton in which 63.1 per cent of pupils achieved 5+ GCSEs with A*–C grades including English and Maths. Only three outer London boroughs posted weaker attainment than the inner London average, Waltham Forest (38.6 per cent), Barking and Dagenham (37.7 per cent) and Greenwich (31.4 per cent).

2.80 Many pupils attend schools that are not maintained by the borough in which they live, commuting to other boroughs or outside of Greater London. This may reflect relative attractiveness or scarcity of schools relative to where a pupil lives or the ability of a pupil to travel. Table 2.6 provides details of the movements of secondary school pupils across boroughs and London’s boundaries. Figures are for pupils attending maintained mainstream secondary schools, City Technology Colleges and Academies (not including those attending independent schools).

2.81 The table shows that some outer London boroughs are net importers of secondary school pupils relative to numbers of pupils in residence and other boroughs are net exporters of pupils. Overall the number of pupils attending secondary schools in outer London boroughs (ONS definition) is approximately 2,400 less than the number of pupils residing in those boroughs. The turnover ratio is a measure of the fluidity of pupils in the boroughs – the sum of inflows and outflows divided by resident pupils in the borough. Richmond and Sutton are the boroughs with the highest turnover of pupils and are also the biggest importers of pupils.

Table 2.6: Destinations of secondary school pupils, outer London boroughs, 2007

1 Positive figure indicates borough is a net importer of pupils. Negative figure indicates borough is a net exporter of pupils

2 Turnover ratio is the sum of inflows plus outlows of pupils divided by number of pupils residing in the borough

Source: DMAG Focus on London 2008, DCSF Based on ONS definition of outer London

2.82 Table 2.6 does not include pupils attending independent schools. For 2007 DCSF data shows that the most pupils attending independent schools were in the boroughs of Richmond (3,529), Croydon (3,000), and Barnet (2,388). The fewest attendants of independent schools were in Bexley, Barking and Dagenham, and Havering.

How extensive is worklessness and poverty in outer London?

2.83 Worklessness and poverty are both influenced by whether people are supplying or wanting to supply their labour to produce goods and services – that is those in the population who are economically active. Economic activity rates for the outer London boroughs, London as a whole and England and Wales are shown in Figure 2.23.

Figure 2.23: Economic activity rates, working age, 2006

2.84 The chart shows that in 11 of the outer London boroughs economic activity rates are above the average rate for England and Wales and the average outer London activity rate (77%) is above that of inner London (75%). However, Annex 4 shows that in broad terms, growth in the economically active population (10,900 persons pa 1991 – 2008) has outstripped historic employment growth (2,800 jobs pa 1989 – 2007) and is projected to do so in the future (average economically active population growth 2008 – 2031 is expected to be 8,900 pa while employment growth 2007 - 2031 is projected to be 6,000 pa). To set this in a wider perspective, the economically active population of London as a whole is projected to increase by an average of 26,000 people pa while employment in London is projected to increase by 32,000 pa 2007 – 20315.

2.85 This provides a fuller context for concerns expressed to the Commission over the perceived ‘decline’ of the outer London economy – while it is widely recognised that locally based employment is not growing as fast as in inner London (see above), this is not always balanced by an appreciation that local residents of working age are more likely to be in employment, partly because two fifths of them commute elsewhere. Thus policy must recognise the importance of commuting to outer London residents as well as the need to generate additional local employment.

2.86 However, it must also be borne in mind that in a number of outer boroughs clustered together in north eastern London there are far lower rates of economic activity – notably Newham (65.0 per cent), Barking and Dagenham (70.2 per cent) and Redbridge (71.5 per cent).

2.87 Employment and unemployment rates are displayed in Figure 2.24. The maps show a clear pattern with high employment and low unemployment rates in outermost boroughs to the South West, South East and East of London. There are mixed rates of employment and unemployment in the North and North West outer boroughs.

Barking and Dagenham and Newham are the outer boroughs that suffer the lowest employment and highest unemployment rates. According to latest ONS data for 2007, the unemployment rate in Newham stood at 11.3 per cent.

Figure 2.24: Employment and unemployment rates in London boroughs, 2005

Source: GLA DMAG Borough

Poverty Indicators

2.88 Boroughs with the highest rates of worklessness are also, not surprisingly, those with the greatest incidence of poverty and low income households.

2.89 Taking firstly the income distribution, Figure 2.25 shows for outer London boroughs the shares of households receiving incomes in four bands ranging from less than £15,000 to £60,000 or more.

Figure 2.25: Household income distribution, equivalised, % of households, 2008

Source: DMAG from 2008 PayCheck dataset. Outer and inner London distributions based on ONS definitions

2.90 The data are equivalised, meaning that incomes are adjusted to reflect household size, taking into account both the greater income needs of larger families and economies of scale achieved when people live together. The data relates to household income from earnings and benefits but does not include outgoings such as tax payments and housing costs.

2.91 Boroughs with the highest shares of households with incomes of under £15,000 are Newham and Barking & Dagenham (around one-quarter of households in both boroughs). These are also the only two outer boroughs where proportions of residents with incomes of less than £30,000 are greater than the corresponding proportion for Great Britain (59 per cent).

2.92 The outer boroughs with the greatest proportions of residents with incomes of above £60,000 are Richmond (26 per cent), Kingston (20 per cent), and Bromley (18 per cent).

2.93 Aside from income thresholds, which can be considered an absolute measure of poverty, benefits data offer a useful source of information about the degrees of poverty and low incomes across the outer London boroughs. Table 2.7 shows, for outer London boroughs (ONS definition), people of working age and children in families on key benefits including jobseekers allowance, incapacity benefit, disability allowances, income support and working and child tax credits.

Table 2.7: People of working age and children in families on key benefits

Source: DMAG Borough Poverty Indicators from DWP Based on ONS definition of outer London

Notes: Rates are calculated as a percentage of all those of working age and aged 0-18 years respectively from the ONS 2007 mid-year population estimates. Rankings are out of 408 Local Authorities in Great Britain where 1 is the highest rate.

2.94 The table shows that in outer London (ONS definition) the highest proportions of both working age population and children in families on key benefits are in the borough of Barking and Dagenham. In close proximity and also scoring poorly on these benefits indicators is Waltham Forest (ranked second-worst overall in outer London based on the ONS definition in terms of children in families on key benefits).

2.95 Not included in the table is Newham due to the borough not being in the ONS outer London definition of outer London used by this dataset. Child poverty is especially acute in Newham, with 41 per cent of children in families on key benefits (ranked fourth out of all Local Authorities in Great Britain).

2.96 For all of the outer London boroughs the proportions of children in families on key benefits ranks higher out of all Local Authorities in Great Britain than the proportions of all people on key benefits. This reflects a greater extent of child poverty in London compared with the rest of the country. However, claimant rates in outer London boroughs are significantly lower than those in inner London – the gap between the two areas being particularly marked for children in families on key benefits.

What is distinct about outer London’s incomes and lifestyles?

2.97 Household incomes and expenditures, to be considered below, in part reflect the types of households in which individuals in the outer boroughs live. Figure 2.26 shows the proportions of different types of households in the outer London boroughs (ONS definition) and in inner London and England for comparison.

Figure 2.26: Households by type, outer London boroughs, 2004

2.98 Outer London as a whole has lower proportions of one-person households (32 per cent) and households formed of two or more unrelated adults (9 per cent) compared with inner London (for which the proportions in these categories are 40 per cent and 14 per cent respectively). In contrast there is a markedly greater proportion of married couple households in outer London (42 per cent) compared with inner London (24 per cent).

2.99 Comparing outer London boroughs with one another, the largest proportions of married couple households are in Harrow and Havering (making up 51 per cent of households in both boroughs). The highest proportions of households formed of two or more unrelated adults are Brent (14 per cent) and Ealing (12 per cent).
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