NEWS DIGEST 15.01.2022: Remotest neighbourhoods in England, and fighting low vaccine takeup

Good morning on this very foggy Saturday here at HEMNA HQ. Our news today and this weekend comes from InYourArea.

The most isolated and well-connected neighbourhoods in the country have been revealed – see how your local neighbourhood compares with our postcode-search interactive. People living in the villages of Simonsbath, Withypool and Winsford face nearly an hour’s walk to the nearest primary school, while the nearest secondary school is two hours’ walk away, and more than an hour away by public transport and bike. It takes just under two hours to walk and more than an hour on public transport to the nearest GP, and the nearest hospital is around two hours away by foot, public transport and cycling, and nearly an hour away when driving. Getting to an airport or major train station is likely to take more than four hours on public transport, although in the car you could be at Bristol airport in 108 minutes and Bristol Parkway station in two hours. The study ranks every one of 32,844 neighbourhoods in England – which contain roughly the same number of people – based on how long the ONS says it takes an average person to reach key services – Interactive: See where the most isolated and well-connected neighbourhoods are (InYourArea Newsroom – National)

Photo by stein egil liland on

Redbridge Council is warning of a deadly “cliff edge” approaching for rough sleepers who are not eligible for support because of their immigration status. Since the pandemic began, the council says it has offered 389 people emergency accommodation through the Everyone In scheme – a new government policy to support rough sleepers. Almost half of those rough sleepers would not have been eligible for any support before the pandemic, because they have no recourse to public funds, usually because they entered the country unlawfully or overstayed. “The homelessness strategy report, brought to cabinet by Cllr Vanisha Solanki, the cabinet member for housing and homelessness, warns: “We will shortly face a cliff edge at the legal end of the pandemic where we lack the powers to support rough sleepers who are NRPF even with emergency accommodation that keeps them safe.” Presenting the report, Cllr Solanki added: “The council has supported this group to protect them from the pandemic, but cannot support them into long term housing solutions with the legal constraints that exist, we can only for now help them in emergency accommodation”Redbridge Council concerned about ‘lack of power’ to support homeless (This is Local London – News)

Volunteers in parts of London with low Covid vaccine uptake will help more people in hard-to-reach communities get jabbed thanks to a government windfall. Funding is to be provided to council areas in support of the Community Vaccine Champions scheme, which is part of a national vaccine and booster drive to protect people against the rapid spread of the Omicron variant. A total of £10.9milion – aimed at helping “vaccine champions” tap into their local networks to get people vaccinated – will be shared by 28 areas across the capital. Vaccines minister Maggie Throup said: “We are doing everything we can to reach those who haven’t yet come forward for their jabs and we know some people are more likely to listen to those they trust, such as community and religious leaders.” “That’s why we are giving extra funding to our brilliant Community Champions. More than 14,000 volunteers joined the first Community Champions scheme in 2021, helping the vulnerable and isolated across the country.”Councils with low Covid vaccine rates given funds to help people get jabbed (Ilford Recorder – News – Health)

The rate is expressed as the number of new cases per 100,000 people. Of the 377 local areas in the UK, 11 have seen a week-on-week rise in rates and 366 have seen a fall. Middlesbrough has the highest rate in the UK, with 4,005 new cases in the seven days to January 10, the equivalent of 2,834.7 per 100,000 people. Hartlepool has the second highest rate, up from 2,313.6 to 2,718.6, with 2,551 new cases. Stockton-on-Tees has the third highest rate, up from 2,803.7 to 2,542.3, with 5,019 new cases. Derry City and Strabane has the highest rate in Northern Ireland; South Lanarkshire has the highest rate in Scotland; and Neath Port Talbot has the highest rate in Wales. It reads, from left to right: name of local authority; nation or region of local authority; rate of new cases in the seven days to January 10; number of new cases recorded in the seven days to January 10; rate of new cases in the seven days to January 3; number of new cases recorded in the seven days to January 3 – Latest Covid-19 case rates for UK local authority areas (Evening Standard – News – UK)


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