Centre for Cities Outlook 2010 – Good news and a few warnings for Warrington

The influential independent charitable think tank, the Centre for Cities has just published its annual Cities Outlook 2010 report.

In general the news for Warrington is good. But to start with the bad news, Warrington’s dependence on the construction and transport, storage and communications industries left us vulnerable during the recession as these sectors suffered more than most. However there is now a lot of evidence that construction is picking up, particularly because we have been very successful in attracting funds to get the house building industry going again in the town. This will deliver housing for rent and sale at affordable price

Warrington is much less vulnerable than many other towns to the potential cuts in central government spending, because we have less than our fair share of regional and national civil servants. In fact Warrington is due to benefit from government office decentralisation with a major Home Office centre coming to the town.

We have one of the highest employment rates in the country and are ranked 9th out of 64 for high employment. These are not low paid jobs either, we are the 8th best paid out of the 64 cities almost on a par with Edinburgh and very substantially above Manchester and Liverpool.

While we have been condemned for the level of inequality in health outcomes in the recent Audit Commission report, we are ranked as having ‘Medium’ income inequality in the Centre for Cities report. It takes a long time for reduced income inequalities to work through to reduced health and education inequalities, but we are clearly moving in the right direction.

No doubt the Warrington Guardian will find a way of saying that this report slates the town, as they never seem to have a good word to say for all the hard work our residents do and the success of the town nationally. So, if you want the real story, take a look at this report.