City below average on jobs,income and environment

A NEW report by PricewaterhouseCoopers found Londonderry scored below average on more indicators than 10 comparable cities across the devolved United Kingdom.

‘Good Growth for Cities: A Report on Urban Economic Well-being from PwC and Demos’ principally looked at 39 cities with populations of around 250,000 or more.

But the report also collected data for five new cities (Londonderry, Inverness, Stirling, Dundee and Perth) and compared them against six comparator cities that were included previously.

These were Belfast, Aberdeen, Glasgow, Cardiff, Swansea and Edinburgh. According to the report’s authors the five new cities are “significantly smaller than the rest of the sample, making it inappropriate to include them within the main index [of the 39 larger cities].

“However, they can be combined with the six existing cities from Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland to create a separate index.”

The results show that apart from Swansea Bay, Londonderry’s score was lower than any of the other cities relative to the overall United Kingdom average.

PwC gave Londonderry a ‘good growth index score’ of roughly -0.25. Swansea Bay scored -0.40. Comparatively, Belfast scored 0.25 (above the UK average). Aberdeen scored highest (roughly 0.60) of the eleven cities. The report also found that of the 11 cities, Londonderry scored below average on more indicators than any of the others. For example, Londonderry scored below average on jobs, income, owner occupation, skills and environment. It was around average on health and sectoral balance. But there was good news in terms of work-life balance, house price to earnings, transport and income distribution - Londonderry scored above the UK average on all of these indicators.

The authors commented: “The three cities with the lowest scores [Londonderry, Swansea Bay and Aberdeen] are evenly distributed across the three devolved administrations.”

The report added that despite the wide range of scores almost all of the cities - including Londonderry - have significant strengths and weaknesses.

“In particular, the majority perform above average in work-life balance, transport, sector balance and income distribution, but performance tends to be less strong on

average in relation to health in particular,” the report states.