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livin Middridge Community Plan 2012-2014

with the community at heart Revised March 2013

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Equality and Diversity livin aims to ensure that Equality and Diversity lies at the heart of our business and allows our customers to access high quality services tailored to their individual diverse needs. It is our policy to provide access to services and employment equality to all, irrespective of age, race or ethnic origin, gender, marital or family status, religious or philosophical belief or political opinion, disability, nationality or sexual orientation. As part of our commitment we, and our working partners, aim to treat everyone as equal citizens and recognise, support and value the diversity of the communities in which they live. Contact Us Communities Team livin, Farrell House, Arlington Way DurhamGate, Spennymoor, Co Durham, DL16 6NL

0800 587 4538 (free from a landline) or 0300 111 2234 (low rate call from a mobile phone depending on your network)

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Community Ranking- Middridge Based on the intelligence contained within each Community Plan livin has been able to rank the local community based on; Bronze (potential), Silver (aspiring) or Gold (performing). This will enable livin to see which communities require more immediate and intensive interventions whilst ensuring there are mechanisms in place to maintain Gold standards. Indicator Housing Market Affordability Tenancy Turnover Demand for livin housing

Ranking SILVER BRONZE SILVER

Average Repair Costs Per Property

GOLD

Long Term Unemployment1 (6 - 12 months)

GOLD

Average Household Income1

GOLD

Rental Debit

GOLD

Educational Attainment2 (5 GCSE’s Grade C & Above)

GOLD

Environmental Assessment

GOLD

Overall Community Ranking

GOLD

1

Data used to compile this ranking relates to the Greenfield and Middridge Ward (including Middridge and part of Newton Aycliffe). Data collection limitations have restricted this information being available for Middridge only. 2

Data used to compile this ranking relates to Middridge and part of Newton Aycliffe. Data collection limitations have restricted this information being available for Middridge only.

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Contents Page No. Section 1 1.1

1.2

Community Profile

Demographics

7 8

1.1.1 Population – now and in the future

8

1.1.2 Mosaic community profile

13

1.1.3 Religion and ethnicity

14

Housing

17

1.2.1 Housing tenure

17

1.2.2 Average house prices

18

1.2.3 Current supply and demand for housing

21

1.2.4 livin tenancy sustainment

24

1.2.5 Vacant / abandoned properties

25

1.2.6 Future demand for housing

26

1.2.7 Average cost of repairs to livin properties

28

1.2.8 Average cost of improvement programmes

29

for livin properties 1.3

Crime and Antisocial Behaviour

31

1.4

Economy and Employment

35

1.4.1 Economic activity

35

1.4.2 Jobseekers Allowance claimants

40

1.4.3 Department for Works and Pensions Key

41

benefit claimants 1.4.4 Household income

42

1.4.5 Vehicle ownership and cost of travel

42

1.4.6 Rental debit in livin properties

43

1.5

Access to Services and Facilities

46

1.6

Health and Wellbeing

52

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Page No 1.7

Education and Training

56

1.8

Reputation of Middridge and Community Cohesion

61

1.9

Local Environment

62

Section 2

Community Priorities

64

Section 3

Review of the Community Plan

65

Appendix 1 livin Strategic Framework and Regulatory

66

Requirements Appendix 2 Methodology

5

72


List of Figures

Page No. Figure 1.1

Aerial overview of Middridge

8

Figure 1.2

Age Profile of population in Middridge

9

Figure 1.3

Household profile for Middridge

10

Figure 1.4

Population projections for Durham County

11

Figure 1.5

Age pyramid projections for Durham County

12

Figure 1.6

Housing tenure in Middridge

17

Figure 1.7

Average house prices in DL5 7

19

Figure 1.8

livin stock in Middridge

22

Figure 1.9

livin tenancy sustainment in Middridge

24

Figure 1.10 Greenfield and Middridge Police Beat Area

31

Figure 1.11: Reported incidents of crime and antisocial behaviour

32

in Middridge during December 2010 to November 2011 Figure 1.12 Economic activity in Middridge

35

Figure 1.13 Occupation profile of 16 to 74 year olds in

38

Middridge Figure 1.14 Economic inactivity in Middridge

39

Figure 1.15 Jobseekers Allowance claimants in Middridge

40

Figure 1.16 Breakdown of persons residing in Middridge

41

claiming key DWP benefits Figure 1.17 Levels of health in Middridge

52

Figure 1.18 Educational attainment within Middridge

56

Figure 1.19 Route of Environmental Assessment

63

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Section 1

Community Profile

The village of Middridge is situated in County Durham; approximately 15 miles south of Durham City and 10 miles north of Darlington. The village lies between the settlements of Newton Aycliffe and Shildon. The village of Middridge is believed to date back to before Saxon times and is recorded in the Boldon Book, compiled by Bishop Hugh de Pudsey in 1183. It is believed that the name "Middridge" was derived from its then location as the “middle ridge" between Eldon and School Aycliffe. The arrival of the industrial age in the nineteenth century resulted in two coal mines operating in Middridge; the Eden Pit and Charles Pit. These two mines were collectively known as Middridge Colliery, and at their peak provided employment for hundreds of people. Eden Pit was mined from 1872 and Charles Pit from 1874, until their closures in 1915. The head workings and the mine tip were finally cleared in the early 1970s when the village was redeveloped by Shildon Town Council and the Aycliffe Development Corporation. Middridge Drift mine was also located near to Middridge; it was worked from 1953 until its closure in 1991. The Village Hall was originally built as a school for the children of the village and local farming community. However, falling pupil numbers in the 1950s and 1960s and changes in educational policy finally saw the school’s closure. The Village Hall is now used as a community venue for parties, meetings and social gatherings. Middridge Grange was home to Captain Robert Byerley, owner of the great “Byerley Turk”, the famous Arab stallion from which all present thoroughbred racehorses are reputed to descend. There is also an old tradition of the Middridge Fairies who were said to live on a hill on the outskirts of the village. Once part of the former “Sedgefield Borough”, Middridge is now served by the unitary authority of Durham County Council and Middridge Parish Council. It is also part of the Great Aycliffe and Middridge Area Action Partnership (GAMP AAP). Great Aycliffe and Middridge AAP cover the areas of Newton Aycliffe, Aycliffe Village, part of School Aycliffe and Middridge.

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Figure 1.1: Aerial overview of Middridge Source: Ordnance Survey

1.1

Demographics

Unless stated all statistical and profile data contained within this Plan relates to the combined areas of both Middridge and part of Newton Aycliffe as it has not been possible to obtain either Census or Electoral Ward data for Middridge alone. Any AAP data or statistics contained within this Plan relates to the Great Aycliffe and Middridge AAP, as the village of Middridge falls into the area covered by this Partnership. 1.1.1 Population - now and in the future The population within the settlement of Middridge is approximately 340 (DCC Census settlement summary, 2001). 48.8% of the total population are male with the remaining 51.2% being female (Census, 2001, Lower Level Super Output Area (LLSOA), KS01, 009C).

The population of Middridge is approximately 340. (DCC, Census Settlement Summary, 2001)

Population data indicates that Middridge has a diverse range of age groups. The population of residents aged 0 to 15 years (21.2%) and 16 to 24 years (14.3%) is higher when compared to the Durham County and North East averages. The percentages of residents aged 25 to 64 years (48.3%) are significantly lower when compared to the Durham County and North East averages. To facilitate good 8


levels of economic activity within an area it is essential that a high percentage of the population are of working age and contributing to the local economy through employment or actively seeking work. The percentage of residents aged 65 years or over (16.2%) living within the village is comparable with the Durham County (16.5%) and North East averages (16.6%). 60

53.3

50

52.6 48.3

40 Middridge

% 30 20

19.1 21.2 19.8

10

Durham County 16.5 11.0 14.3 11.1

16.2

North East

16.6

0 Persons aged 0-15

Persons aged 16-24

Persons aged Persons aged 25-64 65 years or over

Figure 1.2: Age profile of population in Middridge Source: Census 2001, LLSOA KS02, 009C

The main household types within Middridge are married couples with no dependent children (28.2%), followed by households consisting of married couples with dependent children (26.2%), then single persons (18.4%). The percentage of married households with dependent children (26.2%) is significantly higher than both Durham County (17.7%) and North East averages (16.9%). The percentage of married couples with no dependent children (28.2%) is also significantly higher than both Durham County (21.7%) and North East (19.9%) averages. This higher percentage of married couples and families living in Middridge may be attributed to the age profile within the village which indicates that 62.6% of residents are aged 16 to 64 years old. The percentage of single person households (18.4%) within the village is significantly lower than both Durham County (29.2%) and North East (30.7%) averages.

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Married couple household with dependent child(ren)

0.6% 0.0%

Married couple household with no dependent child(ren)

9.1%

26.2%

Cohabiting couple household with dependent child(ren) Cohabiting couple household with no dependent child(ren)

18.4%

Lone parent household with dependent child(ren) Lone parent household with no dependent child(ren) One person household 2.4%

6.7% 4.9%

3.6%

28.2%

Multi person household: All student Multi person household: All other Multi person household: With dependent child(ren)

Figure 1.3: Household profile for Middridge Source: Census 2001, LLSOA KS02, 009C

Trend based projections from DCC indicate that countywide the population will initially decline by 2016 before increasing to an estimated total of 501,625 in 2026 (Strategic Housing Market Assessment, DCC, 2010). Figure 1.4 illustrates the actual population totals within Durham County for the period 1981 to 2007. Future population figures up to the year 2026, as projected by DCC, are shown in pink on the graph.

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2008-based projections: various trends for the overall population

555000 ONS Principal

550000 545000 540000 535000 530000 525000

Number

520000 515000 510000 505000

DCC Principal

500000

DCC NC

495000 490000 485000 480000

DCC Lower

475000

95%

actual

470000

anticipated

465000 2025

2023

2021

2019

2017

2015

2013

2011

2009

2007

2005

2003

2001

1999

1997

1995

1993

1991

1989

1987

1985

1983

1981

Figure 1.4: Population projections for Durham County Source: Durham County Strategic Housing Market Assessment, 2010

The late 1950’s through to the early 1970’s saw a steady rise in the number of births throughout the County. The progression of this ‘baby boom’ period has caused, and will continue to cause, different challenges to the County’s population. Currently this generation falls entirely within the economically active age group (generally 16 to 64 years), but An ageing population, and shortly will begin the transition into retirement and fall in the number of will be the main driver of an ageing population over persons economically the coming years. Increasing life expectancy will active by 2026 will place also contribute towards the County’s growing elderly an increased demand on population. DCC’s age pyramid (figure 1.5) fiscal, housing and health highlights the expected increase in the 65 plus age provisions throughout group, together with a decline in the economically Durham County. active age group. The projection of an increasing elderly population, coupled with an associated fall in the numbers of persons that are economically active will see an increased demand on fiscal, housing and health provisions throughout the County during the coming years. To facilitate good levels of economic activity within an area it is essential that a high percentage of the population are contributing to the local economy through employment or by actively seeking work. To encourage and attract an economically active population to reside in an area it is imperative for there to be a good supply of local sustainable jobs, affordable housing and accessible services and facilities.

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2008 based projections: the Age Pyramids for County Durham in 2008 and 2026 implied by the DCC and ONS projections ONS 2026

90+

ONS 2008

85-90

2026 DCC

80-84

2008 DCC

75-79 70-74

age groups

2 per. Mov. Avg. (2008 DCC) 2 per. Mov. Avg. (ONS 2008) 2 per. Mov. Avg. (2026 DCC) 2 per. Mov. Avg. (ONS 2026)

65-69 60-64 55-59 50-54 45-49 40-44 35-39 30-34 25-29 20-24 15-19 10-14 5-9 0-4

40000

30000

20000 year 2008

10000

0

10000

20000

30000

40000

year 2026

Figure 1.5: Age pyramid projections for Durham County Source: Durham County Council, Strategic Housing Market Assessment, 2010

Currently just under 50% of residents within the village are aged between 25 to 64 years. During the next 20 to 30 years this age group either enter, or continue their transition into retirement. If efforts are not made to continually encourage and attract younger households to the village through the provision of affordable and accessible housing, sustainable employment and access to a wide range of services and facilities then it is likely that an ageing population may become prominent. An ageing population can result in decreasing levels of economic activity which can have a detrimental effect on sustainability and the local economy. DCC estimates indicate that in 2010 there were 206,281 households countywide. This number is expected to increase by 24.9% to a total of 257,651 households by 2030 (Strategic Housing Market Assessment, DCC, 2010). By 2030 single person households (including single pensioners) are expected to double by 100.3% to 56,564; whereas two person households are only expected to increase by 18% to 14,087. Larger households of three persons or more are expected to reduce by 26.9% to 19,281. This decrease in larger households, coupled with a significant increase in single person households, will have a major impact on the supply and demand of housing throughout the County.

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1.1.2 Mosaic community profile Utilisation of Mosaic Public Sector, provided by Experian, has enabled livin to determine a community profile for Middridge. This profile will help livin to understand the key characteristics of the community with the aim of informing the efficient and effective delivery of the identified actions contained within this Plan. Due to the small number of properties owned by livin within the village, the Mosaic Public Sector profile data contained within this Plan relates to the community as a whole, not livin tenants alone. The Mosaic community profile for Middridge highlights there to be a higher than average percentage of households classified in the following profile groups when compared to the rest of Durham County:    

Group B - Residents of smaller and mid-sized towns with strong local roots Group D - Successful professionals living in suburban or semi-rural homes Group E - Middle income families living in moderate suburban semis Group L - Active elderly people living in pleasant retirement locations

There is lower than average percentage of households classified in the following group when compared to the rest of Durham County: 

Group J - Owner occupiers in older style housing in ex-industrial areas

It is expected that nearly half (48.3%) of households living in the village have strong local roots (Group B). This household type is expected to consist of persons of varying ages, with lower income levels. A further quarter of households in the village (25.5%) consist of middle income families. This household type is expected to consist of middle aged couples that are married with children, and employed in manual or white collar roles. The percentage for both households consisting of successful professionals, or active elderly persons is 9.8% each. Households in Group D, consisting of successful professionals, are expected to be married with children, with a good educational attainment, high levels of car ownership, and employed in executive, managerial or senior roles. Only 6.5% of households are expected to be owner occupiers in older style housing. This household type is expected to consist of married persons, with a below average level of income, employed in manufacturing industries or in manual skills based roles.

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1.1.3 Religion and ethnicity An understanding of the ethnic and religious structure of the local population enables livin to ensure that its services are equally accessible, responsive and tailored to the needs and requirements of all residents living within its local communities. It will also help livin to ensure that any minority groups are consulted with during future research and intelligence gathering, and allows for consideration of any specific needs in relation to access for housing, health, and employability during the creation of each community’s key priorities and Local Offers. 2001 Census data indicates that the main religion in Middridge is Christianity (84.3%). 0.2% stated their religion to be Buddhist and a further 0.2% stated their religion to be Sikh. 0.5% of the population stated their religion to be “other”. The remaining population stated they had no religion or did not provide details. (Census, 2001, LLSOA KS02, 009C). Ethnicity within the village predominantly consists of White British (99.2%). The remaining 0.8% of the population is from other ethnic backgrounds including; Mixed other white, Mixed White and Asian, or Asian or Asian British Indian, (Census, 2001, LLSOA KS02, 009C). Recent research conducted by DCC and NHS Darlington estimates that between 0.43% to 0.57% of Durham County’s population consist of people from Gypsy, Roma and Traveller Households (Renaissance Research, 2010). Further analysis of these figures is currently not possible due to a lack of further data and intelligence. DCC’s Gypsy, Roma and Traveller site at East Howle, near to Ferryhill, is the only permanent residential site within livin’s area of operation.

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Key Demographic Characteristics: 21.2% of residents are aged 0 to 15 years. This is higher than the Durham County average of 19.1%. 62.6% of residents are aged 16 to 64 years. This is marginally lower than the Durham County average of 64.3%. 16.2% of residents are aged 65 years or more. This is comparable with the Durham County average of 16.5%. 26.2% of households consist of married couples with dependent children and 28.2% of households consist of married couples with no dependent children. These are significantly higher than the Durham County averages. 18.4% of households consist of single persons. This is significantly lower than the Durham County average. County Council projections indicate that the number of single households will significantly increase over the coming years. Trend-based projections indicate that the Countywide population will increase to an estimated total of 501,625 in 2026 (DCC, 2010). 99.2% of residents are White British and the prominent religion is Christianity (84.3%). 0.2% of residents are Buddhist and a further 0.2% are Sikh.

What does this mean for livin? It is important that the available housing stock within a community is able to meet the housing demands of the current and future population. Approximately three quarters of households in Middridge consist of families and couples, the majority of whom will have a housing need for larger sized quality homes with two bedrooms or more. There is a very limited amount of social housing for families and younger couples within Middridge. livin is the main social housing provider within the village owning a total of only seven properties. Of these properties only one, a two bedroom house, can be utilised to help meet the housing need for couples and families. To facilitate good levels of economic activity in a community it is essential that a high percentage of the population are contributing to the local economy through employment or actively seeking work. To achieve this it is important that efforts are made to continually attract and encourage younger households to live in the area through the provision of affordable and accessible housing and sustainable employment. It is also necessary for there to be a range of accessible, local services and support organisations that can provide family centred support to these households over the coming years.

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livin owns a total of seven properties within Middridge consisting of six two bedroom bungalows and one two bedroom house. The lettings of bungalows are normally restricted to persons aged 60 or over, or those with a medical need. Countywide, there is currently a high demand for bungalows with two bedrooms or more and analysis of future population trends and projections will expect this level of demand to continue. An analysis and understanding of the Mosaic Public Sector profile for Middridge will enable livin to ensure that any specified actions within this Plan are tailored to meet the needs and characteristics of the identified profile Groups living within the community. An understanding of the ethnic and religious structure of the local population will enable livin to ensure that its services are equally accessible, responsive and tailored to the needs and requirements of all residents living within its local communities.

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1.2

Housing

1.2.1 Housing tenure Middridge has a range of housing tenures, this is very important as a diverse mix of different housing tenures will positively contribute towards making the village more sustainable, by meeting the needs of a cross section of the population.

0.0%

2.4%

1.6%

Owner Occupied: Owns outright

21.9%

16.1%

Owner Occupied: Owns with a mortgage or loan Owner occupied: Shared ownership

0.0% Rented from: Local Authority - including livin Rented from: Housing Association / Registered Social Landlord 58.0%

Rented from: Private landlord or letting agency Rented from: Other

Figure 1.6: Housing tenure in Middridge Source: Census, 2001, LLSOA KS02, 009C

Over three quarters of residents living in Middridge own their properties (79.9%). This is significantly higher than the Durham County average which indicates that 66.9% of 79.9% of households in households own their own homes. 58.0% of Middridge own their own households own through a mortgage or loan property. This is significantly scheme, this is substantially higher than the higher than the Durham Durham County average of 39.5%. No County average of 66.9%. households own their property through a shared ownership scheme. Social housing consists of domestic properties which are owned by Registered Providers (RP’s), or the Local Authority. All social housing in Middridge that was previously owned by Sedgefield Borough Council (SBC) is now owned and managed by livin. livin Only 16.1% of households in is the only social housing provider within the Middridge live in social village; therefore 16.1% of households in housing. This is significantly Middridge live in homes provided by livin. lower than the Durham County average of 25.4%. The percentage of households living in privately rented properties (2.4%) within Middridge is lower than the Durham County average of 5.0%. In the 17


past the private rented sector has played an important role in the housing market by offering accommodation for those households unable to access owner occupation or socially rented housing. Tighter controls and 2.4% of households in restrictions on mortgages and financial lending are Middridge live in privately likely to place an even higher future demand on this rented properties. This is already limited sector. lower than the Durham County average of 5.0% There is a residential Gypsy, Roma and Traveller site located at East Howle approximately nine miles from Middridge. The site is provided by DCC and has 25 permanent pitches. It is the only permanent residential site within livin’s area of operation. Middridge currently exhibits an unbalanced housing market with a higher than average percentage of owner occupation and lower than average percentages of social housing and privately rented properties. These characteristics are generally typical of a small rural village. To facilitate and maintain sustainability within a community it is important for there to be avaried range of housing options available to meet the demands and needs of local residents. 1.2.2 Average house prices Land Registry data for January to March 2010 indicates that the average house price in DL5 7 (covering Middridge and part of Newton Aycliffe) was £101,217. This price is over £3,000 higher than the Durham County average of £97,556 for the same period (Land Registry, 2011). Land Registry data highlights that terraced house prices for DL5 7 for this same period were on average £68,046. The average price of a terraced property in Durham During January to March 2010 the average cost of buying a County for this period was £60,742, costing on home in the postcode area of average £7,300 less than a similar property in DL5 7 was over £3,000 more DL5 7. when compared to the Durham County average. The cost of purchasing a semidetached property (£95,031) within the postcode area of DL5 7 is comparable with the Durham County average of £94,403. However the cost of purchasing a detached property (£167,500) within the postcode area of DL5 7 is over £11,000 cheaper than the Durham County average of £178,711. It has not been possible to obtain individual house price data from Land Registry for Middridge alone. It is recognised that the differing affluences and desirability of properties within the areas included in the postcode DL5 7, including Middridge and part of Newton Aycliffe, will have a bearing on the local house prices for each individual area. Information obtained from Zoopla website for the last three years, indicates that sold property prices within Middridge range from over £100,000 for a 18


terraced or semidetached property up to £285,000 for a larger sized detached property, this being substantially higher than the Land Registry data for DL5 7. £200,000 £167,500 £178,711

£180,000 £160,000 £140,000 £120,000 £95,031

£100,000 £68,046

£80,000 £60,000

£97,556

Middridge and part Newton Aycliffe (DL5 7) Durham County

£73,445 £60,742

£40,000 £20,000

£94,403

£101,217

£0

£0

Figure 1.7: Average house prices in DL5 7, including Middridge and part of Newton Aycliffe (January to March 2010) Source: Land Registry, 2011

The County Durham Strategic Housing Market Assessment (DCC, 2010) assessed affordability between lower quartile house prices and lower quartile earnings. Based on these figures buyers would need to borrow an average 4.6 times their income (based on lower quartile earnings) to purchase a property (based on lower quartile house prices) in the area of the former Sedgefield Borough. Access to lending on homes is calculated using a multiplier of 3.5 for single households and 2.9 for households with two or more incomes. For Middridge, buyers will need to borrow 5.13 times their own income to purchase a property within the area of DL5 7 (covering Middridge and part of Newton Aycliffe). This has resulted in a We could do with some ranking of SILVER. However, intelligence indicates more social housing in that this figure may be substantially higher given Middridge.” details of the sold house prices obtained from Zoopla over the last year when compared to Land Registry Resident from Middridge data. Full details of the methodology for this ranking can be found in Appendix 2. During livin’s consultation event there were comments about the affordability of property in the village and the need for a provision of additional social housing for households that cannot afford to access owner occupation.

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Although there are a number of current Government incentives available nationwide to help first time property buyers these are generally only available on new build properties. There are currently no new housing developments being built in the Middridge. Although there are a number of current Government incentives available nationwide to help first time property buyers these are only available on new build properties. A scheme called First Buy was introduced in September 2011. This scheme is jointly funded by the Government and house builders and provides a 20% loan to top up the first time buyer’s own deposit of 5%. This will allow buyers to take out a mortgage for 75% of the property’s value. The loans will be free of charge for the first five years and must be repaid when the property is resold. The funds will then be recycled to fund more homes in the scheme. The nearest FirstBuy or HomeBuy schemes (including shared ownership) are located in Shildon, Bishop Auckland, Newton Aycliffe and Spennymoor. In March 2012 the Government also launched its New Buy scheme which sees three leading high street lenders and seven of the country's biggest building firms offer mortgages on newly-built properties to people with just a five per cent deposit. Key Housing Market Characteristics: Middridge has a range of Housing Tenures; this is important as a diverse mix of tenures will contribute towards making an area more sustainable by meeting the need of a cross section of the population. 79.9% of households own their property outright, or through a mortgage or loan scheme. This is significantly higher than the Durham County average of 66.9%. The village has a substantially lower percentage of social housing (16.1%) when compared to the rest of Durham County (25.4%). 2.4% of properties in the village are privately rented properties. The private rented sector plays an important part in any local housing market as it is able to offer accommodation for those unable to access owner occupation or social housing. Land Registry data indicates that during January to March 2010 the average cost of buying a property in the postcode area of DL5 7(including Middridge and part of Newton Aycliffe) was over £3,000 higher when compared to the Durham County average. Residents are concerned about access to the housing market due to increased property prices, and restricted mortgage products and financial lending, and perceive a need for more social housing within Middridge.

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What does this mean for livin? livin only has a small stake of the housing market within this community given the lower than average percentage of social housing in Middridge. The private rented sector in the village is also comparatively small. Despite the small percentage of social housing within the village it is important that livin understand their essential role in helping to balance the local housing market whilst also making efforts to help meet housing need, as identified in DCC’s Housing Strategies. This may be through future development or the acquisition of additional housing stock. livin needs to consider the health of the local housing market and the ability of households to meet their own housing need. The high cost of properties within the village has the potential to see many households unable to access owner occupation. Limited social housing, suitable for single households, younger couples and families, and an already limited private rented sector has the potential to see increased pressure on livin’s housing stock in the surrounding communities of Newton Aycliffe or Shildon. 1.2.3 Current supply and demand for housing livin housing stock livin currently owns and manages a total of seven properties in Middridge (livin, 2011), this being approximately 16.1% of households within the village. Ownership of these properties transferred to livin in March 2009 as part of a stock transfer from the former Sedgefield Borough Council. Since March 2009, there have been no properties within Middridge purchased from livin through the “Right to Buy” scheme.

livin own 7 properties in Middridge; 6 of these are two bedroom bungalows and 1 is a two bedroom house.

livin’s properties within Middridge include two bedroom bungalows and only one two bedroom house. There are no one bedroom bungalows, or larger sized properties with three or four bedrooms owned by livin within the village. Four bedroom properties are typically found in livin’s larger towns, including Newton Aycliffe and Spennymoor. Households requiring these property types will be required to consider accessing owner occupation or the private rented sector. If these households are unable to afford owner occupation and are not able to find a suitable private let within the village this will result in them being required to move away from Middridge to meet their housing need.

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Property Types 2 Bedroom Bungalow 2 Bedroom House Total

6 1 7

Figure 1.8: livin stock in Middridge (as at 11 January 2012) Source: livin, 2011

It is important that stock levels within an area are able to meet current and future demands for housing. Within Middridge, livin do not own any one or three bedroom bungalows, and only own one two bedroom house. Together with low levels of turnover this will see many households having to consider other housing options. An inability to access owner-occupation, social housing or the private rented sector may force many households, including couples and families, to move away from the village. As the majority of persons within these households are likely to be economically active their move from the village has the potential to see a downturn in the area’s economy and the level of sustainability within the village. The provision of bungalows within an area would normally be expected to help meet the demands of an ageing population, or those wishing to remain in mainstream housing through their later years. livin has a limited number of two bedroom bungalows within Middridge. Countywide there is currently an increased demand for bungalows with two bedrooms or more (County Durham Strategic Housing Market Assessment, DCC, 2010), and it is expected that the trend will continue. There are no one, three or four bedroom bungalows owned by livin within the village. livin housing demand, need and turnover There is low demand for social housing from residents already living within Middridge.

Since 1 October 2009 livin has allocated properties through a Choice Based Lettings (CBL) scheme, known as Durham Key Options (DKO). DKO is a partnership of local housing providers across County Durham. CBL allows applicants to place an interest, or “bid”, for the type of property they require based on their circumstances.

Analysis of livin’s housing register in February 2011 found there to be very low demand for social housing within Middridge, from residents already living in the village. This may be as a result of the limited stock levels owned by livin within the village. During the 1 October 2009 to 30 September 2010 there was limited tenancy turnover in Middridge. village. 22

During the period 1 October 2009 to 30 September 2010, there was only one two bedroom bungalow available for let in Middridge making livin’s stock turnover within the village to be 14.3%. There were a total of 19 bids received for this property highlighting a good level of demand for this property type within the


Although this may be seen to be a higher level of turnover when compared to the total turnover of all livin’s housing stock (9%) for the same period, it is important to recognise that stock numbers within Middridge are small, which will have a bearing on the percentage of turnover within the village. Based on national benchmarking figures provided by HouseMark this level of stock turnover has resulted in Middridge being ranked as BRONZE for Tenancy Turnover. Full details of the methodology used for this ranking can be found in Appendix 2. To maintain sustainability within an area there will always be a need for some level of tenancy turnover. It is important that turnover does not reach a level where it becomes detrimental to housing demand, the area’s reputation or the local economy. Likewise, levels of turnover must not be as low as to restrict access to social housing for households with a housing need. A low level of turnover in a community with limited social housing stock will result in higher demand being placed on the private rented sector, or households being required to move away from the area to access affordable or social housing. Countywide there is a high demand for two bedroom properties and there is currently an increased demand for bungalows with two bedrooms or more (County Durham Strategic Housing Market Assessment, 2010). Comparison of the current population within the village to DCC’s forecasted population for 2028 expects this trend to continue. Within Middridge, livin own a total of six bungalows with two bedrooms, and only one two bedroom house, all of which have infrequent turnover. The limited availability of family homes owned by livin within Middridge will require those households with a housing need for these property types to consider other housing options. Again for many households, including first time buyers or those in receipt of a low income, buying their own home is not a viable option leading to an increased demand on the private rented sector. High market rents or a lack of availability of suitable properties within this housing sector may ultimately force some households to move out of the local area in search of suitable accommodation. During the period 1 October 2009 to 30 September 2010, there were no livin properties within Middridge that were required to be advertised with CBL on three or more consecutive bidding cycles before being let. Data from DKO’s database indicates a reasonable level of overall demand from applicants for livin’s housing stock within the village. Due to a good number of bids received per property advertised, no hard to let properties in the village and a reasonable amount of applicants indicating Middridge to be an area of preference; the village has been ranked as SILVER. Full details of the methodology used for this ranking can be found in Appendix 2. During consultation residents expressed concerns about the limited number of properties owned by livin within the village, and highlighted an increased demand for socially rented and private sector properties as a result of restricted access to owner 23


occupation for many households due to restricted mortgage products and financial lending. 1.2.4 livin tenancy sustainment There is a high percentage of long term tenancy sustainment within the seven properties owned by livin in Middridge. These high levels of tenancy sustainment are reflected in the low level of turnover of livin properties in the village.

42% of tenants who have a livin tenancy in Middridge lived in their current home for 10 years or more.

As at 11 January 2012, 29% of livin tenants have sustained their current tenancy for a period of 0 to 4 years. A further 29% of tenants have sustained their tenancy for a period of 5 to 9 years and 42% of tenants who have a tenancy in Middridge have lived in their current home for 10 years or more. Community sustainability requires an appropriate level of tenancy turnover. High levels of long term tenancy sustainment within social housing can be for a multitude of reasons. Although some may be favourable it is important to ensure that tenants are not remaining in their current home due to restrictions in their housing options (i.e. ability to purchase own property) or financial restrictions around the cost of relocating. 7

Number of tenancies

6 5 4 3 3 2

2

0-4 years

5-9 years

2 1 0 10 years or more

Figure 1.9: livin tenancy sustainment in Middridge Source: livin, 2011 (not including void properties or non livin managed properties)

High levels of tenancy sustainment can often be found in areas where there are a number of properties that are used to house older households or those with medical need. As increasing numbers of older households are now making the decision to remain in mainstream housing through their later years rather than move into specialised accommodation it is expected that tenancy sustainment will place an even higher level of demand on the availability of social housing within Middridge in 24


the future. High levels of tenancy sustainment may also result in housing stock being under occupied. Larger households may over time reduce in size due to children growing up and leaving home, relationship breakdowns or bereavement. In addition to a detrimental effect on the level of housing demand within an area there may be financial implications to the tenant as a result of the Government’s forthcoming Welfare Reform which aims to reduce benefit payments for households that are under occupying their property (excluding those over 61 years). 1.2.5 Vacant / abandoned properties High levels of void or empty properties can be an indicator of low demand for housing within an area. Middridge has no housing stock consisting of empty and/or abandoned properties; indicating a good level of demand for housing within the village. Data obtained from DCC’s Council Tax database in January 2012 indicates there to be no properties that have been empty and/or abandoned (this figure may include properties that are currently for sale) for a period of six months or more within Middridge. Key Supply and Demand Characteristics: livin currently own 7 properties within Middridge; six of these are two bedroom bungalows and one is a two bedroom house. There are no one, three or four bedroom properties owned by livin in the village. Households requiring these property types may be forced to access the private rented sector or move away from the village to meet their housing need. Demand for social housing is low from residents that currently live in the village. During 1 October 2009 to 30 September 2010, only one two bedroom bungalow became available for let; making tenancy turnover within Middridge 14.3%. There were no properties that were hard to let during the period 1 October 2009 to 30 September 2010. Local residents are concerned about access to the housing market due to reduced mortgage products and financial lending, and the impact this is having on increasing demand for social housing. 42% of livin tenants living within the village have sustained their tenancy for a period of 10 years or more.

25


What does this mean for livin? Demand for livin’s housing stock in Middridge has been ranked as SILVER. It is essential that this ranking is maintained to this level or enhanced to Gold over the coming year. However the identification and development of interventions to increase demand will be challenging due to low levels of stock turnover and the limited amount of stock owned by livin in the village. It is important that to maintain sustainability within the village there is a good supply of accessible and affordable family homes. livin only owns one two bedroom property within Middridge that can be used to meet this demand. Currently the majority of livin’s housing stock within this community consists of two bedroom bungalows; therefore meeting the County Council’s identified need for this property type. Consideration of the village’s current population and the 2028 forecasted population projection by DCC indicates that this demand for larger sized bungalows will continue to increase over the next 10 years. The existing housing stock owned by livin can play an important role in helping to balance the housing market and meet the housing need of local residents. However feedback from residents highlights concerns about limited access to social housing for families and young couples. livin must also consider concerns from residents about the current economic climate and how mortgage and lending restrictions are increasing the levels of demand for social housing. There must be consideration for affordable housing that will meet the needs of the wider community, including families and young couples. 1.2.6 Future demand for housing Population and household projections for a community can be utilised by a number of different service providers to predict the future level of demand on their services. In conjunction with other social, economic, and environmental indicators these projections may be used to forecast the demand and need for housing in a community. DCC have conducted a Strategic Housing Market Assessment (DCC, 2010) which can be utilised by RP’s to help determine the expected level of demand for housing over the coming years and assist them in developing future housing strategies. Population and household projections within this Community Plan are based on this assessment. It is expected that the vast majority of older persons will decide to remain in their own homes with mainstream housing providing the primary means of meeting this demand. Local RP’s will be required to support this by providing extra support services and help for people to adapt their homes to meet their changing needs. Some vulnerable groups will require support or bespoke housing solutions and it is 26


expected that there will be a sharp growth in demand for specialist housing projects for persons aged 75 years or older during the coming years. The decisions of older households to remain in their homes will influence the supply of housing available for other household groups. As a result it is important that local RP’s recognise the potential opportunities for supporting older households to downsize, thus releasing a supply of larger family homes for other household groups. In recognition of this increased demand on mainstream housing the Northern Housing Consortium (NHC) published a guide to Age Friendly Communities in the North: People and Places 2020. This publication is the result of a two year project involving consultation with local communities and key consortium members, and focuses on building an evidence base to demonstrate the significant impact housing can have on the physical and mental health and wellbeing of older people. During livin’s consultation local residents did not provide any comments relating to energy saving measures or increasing energy efficiency within their homes. Key Future Demand Characteristics: An ageing population, and fall in the number of persons economically active by 2026 will place an increased demand on fiscal, housing and health provisions.

By 2030 the County is expected to see:   

single person households increase by 100.3% two person households increase by 18% three person households or more decrease by 26.9%

The majority of older persons will want to remain in their own homes through their senior years. This will place an increased demand on mainstream and social housing. Increased future demand is expected for support services for vulnerable groups, and a need for bespoke housing solutions or specialist housing projects for persons aged 75 years or more. It is important that livin’s housing stock is able to meet the future demands of an ageing population.

What does this mean for livin? livin’s Development and Asset Management strategies must take into account future population projections and consider the expected demand for social housing within communities to ensure housing stock meets the future needs and demands of local residents.

27


livin will also have to consider its current housing provision and how it will meet the needs of an increasing elderly population whilst also finding bespoke solutions to meet the individual needs of vulnerable groups. Anticipation of an ageing population and an increased countywide demand for two bedroom bungalows highlights the need for livin to consider a review of its current provision of housing stock for older persons. There may also be potential opportunities for housing providers to support older households to downsize thus releasing a supply of larger family homes for other household groups. The current economic climate and an increasing public awareness surrounding the benefits of installing energy efficient measures within homes may over the coming years begin to influence the levels of demand for livin’s properties. This will require livin to investigate the potential benefits of installing a range of energy efficient measures within its current properties and future developments. In addition to helping reduce the consumption of energy in livin homes these measures may also see cost saving benefits for tenants through reduced energy bills. 1.2.7 Average cost of repairs to livin properties The repair and maintenance of livin’s properties is essential to ensure that they remain in excellent condition and to the high standards expected by tenants. Middridge has been awarded a ranking of GOLD for average repair costs per property during 1 April 2009 to 31 March 2010 when compared to other livin communities. Full details of the methodology used for this ranking can be found in Appendix 2. During the period 1 April 2009 to 31 March 2010 livin, together with its repairs and maintenance partner Mears, completed 25 repairs (including gas safety) to properties in Middridge. 28% of these repairs were emergency repairs which required immediate attention. During 2009/2010, livin’s average repair cost per property in Middridge was £582, during 2010/2011 this increased to £628 per property The average repair cost (including gas safety) per property across all of livin’s 19 communities for the period 1 April 2009 to 31 March 2010 was £604. During 1 April 2010 to 31 March 2011, the number of completed repairs (including gas safety) to livin properties in Middridge decreased to 21. 29% of these repairs were emergency repairs which required immediate attention.

28


1.2.8 Average cost of improvement programmes for livin properties Over the next few years, and as part of promises to tenants, livin is investing over £100 million in a rolling programme of modernisation and improvements to the properties that it owns. The modernisation and improvement programme that livin is carrying out on its properties is to a much higher standard of works than that of the Government's Decent Homes Standard. The improvements that livin are completing include:      

New kitchens New bathrooms Central heating replacement Electrical works Internal and external door replacement Roofing works

During a programme of works not all of livin’s properties will receive all of the above improvements at the same time. There are a number of factors that determine which improvement works are completed at the property during forthcoming programmes. For example some properties may only receive new internal and external doors, whereas others may be due new internal and external doors plus a replacement kitchen and bathroom. During 2011/2012, livin will have improved all of its properties in Middridge at an average cost of £2,158 per property.

During 2010/2011, internal modernisations and improvements were made to all of livin’s properties in Middridge at an average cost of £1,187 per property. These properties received new internal and external doors. During 2011/201, livin expects to carry out a full electrical rewire to all of its properties at an expected average cost of £2,158 per property. What does this mean for livin? Middridge has a good repair cost per property for 2009/2010 resulting in a ranking of Gold. Since 2010, livin has completed a number of improvement and modernisation programmes to its properties within Middridge. It is expected that these improvement programmes, together with the programmes scheduled for completion during 2011/2012, will provide a reduction in the average repair cost per property 29


and help to increase the sustainability of livin’s homes within the village during the coming years.

30


1.3

Crime and Antisocial Behaviour

The village of Middridge is located in the Police Beat area of Greenfield and Middridge Ward. The nearest staffed Police stations are located in the nearby towns of Newton Aycliffe, Bishop Auckland and Spennymoor.

Figure 1.10: Greenfield and Middridge Police Beat Area Source: Police.uk

During December 2010 to November 2011 the police received 12 reported incidents of crime and antisocial behaviour within Middridge.

(Police.uk, 2012) For the period 01 December 2010 to 30 November 2011, Durham Constabulary reported the level of crime and disorder within the Greenfield and Middridge Ward to be “Average” when compared to the rest of the Police Beat Wards within England and Wales.

“It’s dangerous to cross the road – a lot of HGV’s pass through the village and lots of drivers speed.”

During this period there were a total of 12 reported incidents of crime and antisocial behaviour within Resident from Middridge the village (Police.uk, 2012). Of this total 6 were in relation to antisocial behaviour, 4 were in relation to “other” crimes (including criminal damage, shoplifting and drugs), and 2 were in relation to vehicle crime.

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5 Burglary

Number of Reported Incidents

4

Antisocial Behaviour Robbery

3 3

Vehicle Crime 2

Violent Crime

2

Other crime 1

1

1

1

1

1

1 1

1

1

1

0 0

00

0

00

00 0 0

00 0 0 0

00 0 0

00

0

Figure 1.11: Reported incidents of crime and antisocial behaviour in Middridge during the period December 2010 to November 2011 Source: Police.uk, 2011

livin’s Support and Intervention Team received no complaints of nuisance or antisocial behaviour occurring within Middridge during the period 1 April 2010 to 31 March 2011. Recent consultation completed by DCC (Residents Survey, 2010) highlighted that within the Great Aycliffe and Middridge AAP area, less than 1% of residents feel unsafe in their local communities during the day. The AAP’s with the highest fear of safety during the daytime were Bishop Auckland and Shildon, and 4Together, both with a percentage of 3%. 9% of Great Aycliffe and Middridge AAP residents stated they felt unsafe in their local area during the evening, this being the 6th lowest out of all of the County’s 14 AAP’s. The AAP with the highest fear of safety during the evening was Bishop Auckland and Shildon with 15%. Countywide, 42% of residents completing the survey indicated the main reason for feeling unsafe in their local community is due to youths congregating on the streets. During livin’s consultation event there were no concerns raised by residents about antisocial behaviour. This corresponds to information received from the village’s Police Beat Team, confirming there to be no current problems with youths causing nuisance or antisocial behaviour in Middridge. However, residents did comment upon a lack of recreational facilities and activities for children and young persons within the village.

32


Feedback from livin’s consultation event highlighted significant concerns from resident about increasing incidents of vehicles speeding through the village. It was explained that due to this many older residents within the village are fearful of crossing the main road that runs through the centre of the village. The Police Beat Team advised that this issue is often raised at local PACT meetings. Mosaic profile data highlights that that the majority of households in the village will have a “very low” to “low” fear of becoming a victim of crime in their community. Households in Groups E (middle income families living in moderate suburban semis) and J (owner occupiers in older style housing) are expected to have an average fear of becoming a victim of crime. During livin’s consultation event there were no comments raised by residents about issues or a fear of crime and antisocial behaviour. Key Crime and Antisocial Behaviour Characteristics: For the period December 2010 to November 2011 the level of crime and disorder within the Greenfield and Middridge Ward was considered by the Police to be “Average” when compared to the rest of the Police Beat Teams in England and Wales. During the same period there were 12 reported Police incidents of crime and antisocial behaviour in Middridge:   

6 reported incidents were in respect of antisocial behaviour 2 incidents related to vehicle crime 4 incidents related to other crimes, such as criminal damage, shoplifting and drugs

During the period 1 April 2010 and 31 March 2011, livin’s Support and Intervention Team received no complaints of nuisance or antisocial behaviour. Consultation highlights that local residents are concerned about motorists speeding through the village. The DCC Residents Survey found that less than 1% of residents living in the Great Aycliffe and Middridge AAP area feel unsafe in their community during the day and 9% during the evening.

What does this mean for livin? It is important that livin maintains its commitment to providing a robust and responsive service for dealing with incidents of nuisance and antisocial behaviour in local communities.

33


livin is aware that partnership working is essential when addressing and dealing with both the fear of, and actual incidents of crime, nuisance and antisocial behaviour in its communities. As such livin will continue to actively work with local residents and community groups, the Police, DCC and other agencies through the attendance of staff members at PACT meetings, residents meetings and other local events to promote its services, help reduce the fear of crime, nuisance and antisocial behaviour and offer help and support to victims.

34


1.4

Economy and Employment

1.4.1 Economic activity “Economic activity relates to persons aged 16 to 74 years who are in employment, or actively seeking employment and are available to start work within 2 weeks.� (Source: Census, 2001) During 2001 economic activity within Middridge was 70.6%; this was substantially higher than the Durham County average of 60.1%. (Source: Census 2001) Of this total economic activity 46.5% were in full time employment, this being significantly higher than the Durham County average of 38.5%. 11.8% of residents were in part time employment, this being comparable with the County average of 10.7%. 6.1% of residents were self-employed; this was marginally higher than the Durham County average of 5.4%. It is acknowledged that as a result of the current economic climate the level of economic activity within Middridge may have changed since this data was collated in 2001. 50 45 40

46.5 38.5

35

Middridge

30 Durham County

% 25 20 15 10.7 10

11.8

5

5.4 6.1

3.7 4.3

1.9

1.8

0 Employees Full-time

Employees Part-time

Self Employed Unemployed

Full time Student

Figure 1.12: Economic activity in Middridge Source: Census 2001, LLSOA, KS09A, 009C

The 2010 Indices of Deprivation indicates that in relation to employment, 26.0% of residents living in the Great Aycliffe and Middridge AAP area are deemed to be in 35


the top 10% nationally deprived and 77.1% in the top 30% nationally deprived (Communities and Local Government (CLG), 2010). The percentage of residents in the top 10% deprived is notably lower than the Durham County average of 30.8%. There has been a small decrease in the levels of employment related deprivation since 2007, when 26.3% of residents were deemed to be in the top 10% most deprived. It is important to note that this data relates to the Great Aycliffe and Middridge AAP area, not Middridge alone. Nearly three quarters of businesses in the Great Aycliffe and Middridge AAP area are classed as small with 10 or less employees (DCC, 2011). During the period 2006 to 2008, the Great Aycliffe and Middridge AAP area was home to 5.8% of the total number of businesses that were operating within Durham County. 73.7% of these businesses employed 10 employees or less, whilst 26.3% employed 11 or more employees (Annual Business Inquiry, 2008). Neighbouring Newton Aycliffe is home to the second largest industrial estate in the area. There are also a number of smaller industrial estates located at Shildon. All are home to a number of local, national and international businesses. “Most residents Large industrial estates are also located at commute to nearby Darlington, Peterlee, Sedgefield and Wynyard. towns for work.” NETpark in Sedgefield is seen to be one of the fastest growing science, engineering and Resident from Middridge technological business parks in the Country with good access to the major roads of the A1 and A19. Wynyard Park, located at nearby Wynyard, is home to a number of local, national, and international businesses. There are smaller estates located within the surrounding area at Bowburn, Fishburn, Meadowfield, Willington, Chilton and Spennymoor. Development is also currently under way on DurhamGate in Spennymoor, a large mixed-use regeneration scheme which will incorporate business, living and leisure. The proposed retail and commercial developments at the DurhamGate site in Spennymoor and the Hitachi factory in Newton Aycliffe are expected to help boost economic activity and employment opportunities for local residents. Although livin own a number of retail units in neighbouring Newton Aycliffe and Shildon there are none located within Middridge. The importance of sustainable employment and enhanced job prospects within the local area has been acknowledged during Forum Events conducted by Great Aycliffe and Middridge AAP. During 2011/2012, “employment, job prospects and enterprise” was a key priority for the AAP to tackle. At the AAP’s Forum Event in November 2011, the issue of “employment, enterprise, education and training” was voted by Forum members as the second highest issue within the AAP area. As a result this 36


will continue as one of Great Aycliffe and Middridge AAP’s key priorities for 2012/2013. Economic activity within the village is good, with a high percentage of residents in full or part time employment. Although there was no feedback from livin’s consultation in respect of the local economy and employment opportunities it is important to recognise that there may be some residents within the village, who with help and advice from livin and its partners, can benefit from enhanced employment prospects, educational opportunities and increased financial confidence. This is particularly important amongst residents aged 16 to 24 years and 50 years or over. Census data indicates that residents within Middridge are employed in a wide range of different occupations (Census 2001, LLSOA, KS12A, 009C). The village has a high percentage of persons (38.7%) employed as Professionals, Managers, or in Associate Professional and Technical roles when compared to the rest of the Durham County (32.9%). (Source: Census, 2001)

There is a marginally higher percentage (13.7%) of residents employed in administrative or secretarial roles in the village when compared to the Durham County average (11.7%). The percentage of residents employed in plant and machine processing roles (13.4%) is comparable with the Durham County average of 13.3%. There are a lower percentage of residents employed in elementary occupations (10.9%), such as labourers, kitchen assistants, and bar staff when compared to the rest of the County (13.7%). There is also a lower percentage of residents employed in skilled trades (9.4%) when compared to the Durham County average (12.7%). High levels of employment within professional or management/senior roles reflects the high percentage of residents in Middridge who hold an educational qualification at levels 3 to 5 (section 1.7). Level 3 qualifications are necessary for progression to higher education or University. Qualifications at levels 4 to 5 are equivalent to degree or professional level. Over the past ten years the plant and machine processing industry has been one of the hardest hit resulting in many large scale local employers such as Black and Decker, Thorn and Electrolux within Spennymoor relocating or ceasing to trade. As the majority of residents within Middridge were not employed within this industry it is expected that a good level of economic activity will have been maintained within the village.

37


18 16 14 12 %

12.1

11.6

11.7

13.3

12.7

9.2

10

7.3

8

13.7

8.4

Middridge

6 4 2 0

16.2

7.7

14.8

13.7

9.4

6.9

7.1

13.4

10.9

Durham County

Figure 1.13: Occupation profile of 16 to 74 year olds in Middridge Source: Census, 2001, LLSOA KS12A, 009C

Economic inactivity was substantially lower when compared to the County average (39.8%) with a total of 29.4% of the population not employed, and not actively seeking work. “Economic inactivity relates to persons aged 16 to 74 years who are not in employment, or not actively seeking employment and available to start work within 2 weeks.� (Source: Census, 2001) The number of residents that are retired (10.4%) within the village was lower than the Durham County average of 14.8%. A lower percentage of persons (8.9%) were also unable to work due to being permanently sick and / or disabled when compared to the rest of the County (10.3%). During the period 2008 to 2010, the Great Aycliffe and Middridge AAP area saw an increase in the percentage of residents aged 16 to 18, who are not in education, employment or training (Connexions, 2011).

38


16

14.8

14 12 10.3 10 %

10.4 8.9

8

Middridge

6.3 6

Durham County

5.1

4

3.3

4.8

2

2.9

2.4

0 Retired

Student

Looking after Permanently home/family sick/disabled

Other

Figure 1.14: Economic inactivity in Middridge Source: Census, 2001, LLSOA KS12A, 009C

Analysis of Department for Works and Pensions (DWP) data from March 2011 highlights that the Ward of Greenfield and Middridge has a marginally higher percentage of persons who have been claiming Jobseekers Allowance for up to six months (74.4%) when compared to the County There are high average (73.5%). percentages of residents 9% of residents were claiming Jobseekers Allowance claiming Jobseekers for a period of 12 months or more, this being higher Allowance for periods of than the Durham County average of 8.4%, but lower up to six months, and than the National average of 14.2%. over 12 months when compared to the Durham Longer term unemployment for a period of six to 12 County averages. months is lower when compared to the Durham County average. 16.5% of residents have been claiming Jobseekers Allowance for a period of six to 12 months when compared to 18% throughout the rest of Durham County and 17.3% at National level. This low percentage of residents claiming Jobseekers Allowance for a period of six to 12 months has resulted in Middridge being ranked as GOLD. It is important to note that the data used to compile this ranking relates to the Ward of Greenfield and Middridge, not Middridge alone. Full details of the methodology for this ranking can be found in Appendix 2. The nearest Jobcentre Plus office can be found in neighbouring Newton Aycliffe. Sustainable communities require high levels of economic activity; this can be facilitated by a high percentage of the resident population being economically active. 39


Although longer term unemployment is low when compared to County and National levels, it is important that local service providers work in partnership to proactively identify and minimise the barriers to work experienced by residents who have become unemployed within the last six months or 12 months or more. During the Great Aycliffe and Middridge AAP forum event in November 2011, a number of forum members highlighted a need for increased training and apprenticeship opportunities for local residents in partnership with local businesses. 1.4.2 Jobseekers Allowance claimants There is a need to provide help and support for residents aged between 16 to 24 years and 50+ to help them into employment.

During August 2010, there were a wide age range of persons that were claiming Jobseekers Allowance (DWP, 2010). The percentage of persons aged 25 to 49 years claiming Jobseekers Allowance (40%) was substantially lower than the County average of 52%.

40% of persons claiming Jobseekers Allowance were aged between 16 to 24 years; this being higher than the County average of 34%. The percentage of persons aged 50 years or more (20%) was also higher than the Durham County average of 14%. This highlights a need for service providers to target these age groups when delivering future skills and training courses. It is important that future skills and training courses targeted at these age groups will help the individual to meet their training needs and gain sustainable employment. 60 50

52

40 34

% 30

Middridge Durham County

20 14

10 40

40

20

0 Claimants Aged 16- Claimants Aged 25- Claimants Aged 50+ 24 49 Figure 1.15: Jobseeker Allowance claimants in Middridge Source: DWP, August 2010 40


To help reduce unemployment in a community it may be necessary to provide opportunities that allow residents to retrain and learn new skills that will enable them to enter new industries and gain sustainable employment. Alternatively there may be a need for increased opportunities for school leavers and younger residents to obtain work placements in a business environment; this can help them gain the skills and experience required to obtain sustainable future employment. livin recognises the need for enhancing employment opportunities and is currently developing an economic sustainability strategy to help provide training and employment opportunities in its local communities. The strategy will also incorporate the “livin Futures� partnership programme which has been established to provide apprenticeships opportunities. 1.4.3 Department for Works and Pensions key benefit claimants During August 2010, the total percentage of residents claiming a key DWP out of work benefit was substantially lower than the Durham County average of 20%. The majority of residents in Middridge claiming a key benefit were in receipt of Incapacity Benefit (7%); this is lower than the County average of 10%. These figures are comparative with the intelligence contained in Section 1.6 which indicates the general health of the population within Middridge to be better when compared to the rest of the County. 8 7 7 6 5 % 4 3 2 2

2

2

1 1

0

0

Bereaved

Unknown

0 Incapacity Lone Parent Benefits

Carer

Others on Income Related Benefits

Disabled

Figure 1.16: Breakdown of persons residing in Middridge claiming key DWP benefits Source: DWP, August 2010 41


1.4.4 Household income During 2001/2002 estimates of mean weekly household income (gross) in the Ward area of Greenfield and Middridge was £70 per week higher than the North East average of £410 (ONS, 2005). Data collection limitations have restricted further detailed analysis of this information to Middridge only. During 2001 the weekly Based on this intelligence Middridge has been ranked as GOLD for average household income. It is important to note that the data used to compile this ranking relates to the Ward of Greenfield and Middridge, not Middridge alone. Full details of the methodology for this ranking can be found in Appendix 2.

household income in the Ward of Greenfield and Middridge was £70 higher than the North East average.

Recent data obtained by DCC, for the Great Aycliffe and Middridge AAP area also indicates a higher than average level of household income. The average level of household income within the AAP area is estimated to be £32,038, this is nearly £1,500 more than the Durham County average of £30,614 (CACI, 2011: DCC). Although residents raised no specific concerns during consultation about levels of household income livin recognises that the effects of the recession and current economic downturn will be felt by a number of households within its local communities. 1.4.5 Vehicle ownership and cost of travel In 2001, only 16.0% of households in Middridge did not own a car or van; this being substantially lower than the County average of 31.4%. 44.3% of households owned one car or van, and the remaining 39.7% owned two or more cars or vans (Census, 2001, LLSOA, KS17, 009C). The 2001 census also indicated that 68.7% of residents in Middridge travel to work driving a car or van (Census, 2001, LLSOA, KS15, 009C). Although levels of vehicle ownership may have altered since 2001, the rising cost of fuel and other related costs will now have a significant impact on vehicle usage, particularly amongst low income households. Low levels of vehicle ownership and restricted use can affect residents’ lifestyles by restricting access to services and facilities outside of the local area. During consultation residents highlighted the essential need for travel out of the village for access to shopping, health, education and employment. This reliance on travel outside of the local area will place an increased need on a reliable public transport system for households that do not own their own vehicle. The absence of a reliable and functional public transport service in a community has the potential to 42


see many residents become isolated and detached from obtaining specialist services, whilst also restricting their ability to gain sustainable employment. Residents feel that that the village provides good access to public transport and is well served by a number of buses routes that stop within the village. Key Economic Characteristics: During 2001, economic activity within the village was 70.6%; this is significantly higher than the Durham County average. 29.4% of residents in 2001 were not in employment, and not actively seeking work. 8.9% of residents were economically inactive due to being permanently sick or disabled; this is lower than the Durham County average. In 2001, 38.7% of residents in Middridge were employed in professional, professional associate and technical or management roles. This is higher than the Durham County average of 32.9%. 10.9% of residents were employed in elementary roles (e.g. labourers, kitchen assistants and bar staff), and 9.4% in skilled trades. These are lower than the Durham County averages. During March 2011, the percentage of residents claiming Jobseekers Allowance for up to 6 months and for 12 months or more was marginally higher than the County average. The percentage of persons aged 16 to 24 years, or 50 years or over claiming Jobseekers Allowance is significantly higher when compared to County averages. During 2001/2002 the weekly household income estimate was £70 more than the North East average of £410.00. Levels of household income for the Great Aycliffe and Middridge AAP are also estimated to be higher than the Durham County average.

1.4.6 Rental debit in livin properties To assess the rent payments made by tenants within livin properties in Middridge an analysis and comparison of livin’s rental debit figures for 2009/2010 and 2010/2011 have been used. For the financial year 2009/2010, the total rental debit charge (rent charged for all of livin’s properties in Middridge) was £24,703. At the end of this financial year there were no outstanding arrears (unpaid rent). 43


For the financial year 2010/2011 the total rental debit charge was £25,478. At the end of this financial year there were again no outstanding arrears. Based on the unpaid rental debit charge of 0.0% for the financial year 2010/2011, Middridge has been ranked as GOLD. Full details of the methodology for this ranking can be found in Appendix 2. At the end of the financial year 2009/2010 and 2010/2011 there was no outstanding rental debit figure (unpaid rent) for properties in Middridge.

Since 2009, livin have introduced and promoted a number of different payment options to make paying rent as easy and accessible as possible for tenants. These include Direct Debit or the option to pay their rent via payment card. Payment cards can be accepted at over 60 local outlets (including Post Offices) wherever the “Paypoint” sign is displayed. There are a number of outlets in neighbouring Shildon or Newton Aycliffe that accept “Paypoint” payments. Although there were no specific comments made by residents during consultation livin is aware that the rising level of housing costs and the current economic climate has the potential to increase the level of debt for many households. What does this mean for livin? The village of Middridge can generally be classed as an affluent community with high property prices, good levels of educational attainment, a high percentage of residents employed in management and professional roles and an estimated weekly income of £70 more than the North East average. However, it is important to recognise that although affluence within Middridge as a whole is good there may be specific residents, who with help and advice from livin and its partners, can benefit from enhanced employment prospects and increased financial confidence. The effects of the recession and current economic downturn are being felt by a large number of households within livin’s local communities. As a result livin must be mindful that its tenants and local residents will potentially need support through these financial difficulties. This could mean signposting tenants and residents to debt management and financial inclusion support agencies. livin must be aware of the contribution made by partners in supporting residents and tenants to gain new skills and employment, and increase their economic wellbeing. It must support local community organisations that offer these services by ensuring their resources are fully utilised by local residents and that their existence is widely publicised throughout the local area. When publicising local services and resources it is important that appropriate methods of communication are utilised. Mosaic profile data for the community highlights that the majority of households within the village are more likely to access information and services through direct face to face 44


contact, or through indirect contact via post, local papers, and magazines (see section 1.5). 35.3% of households in the village are likely to access local services through the internet and telephone. As part of its ongoing commitment to improving economic sustainability within its communities, livin has appointed an employability coordinator to help develop and implement its approach to tackling employability issues, and established the “livin Futures� programme which provides opportunities for training apprenticeships and employment. livin will also be required to understand the barriers to employment experienced by local residents and tenants and assess the level of support it can offer. It is evident from the analysis that any employability work undertaken by livin within the community must help reduce the number of persons claiming Jobseekers Allowance, with extra emphasis being placed on residents aged 16 to 24, and 50 years or over.

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1.5

Access to Services and Facilities

Middridge is a small village with limited services and amenities. Health services There is no access to health based services within Middridge. Access to a GP surgery or dentist surgery requires residents to travel to the neighbouring settlements of Newton Aycliffe or Shildon. Access to specialist healthcare for children can also be found at the One Point Hub and Surestart Children’s Centre in Newton Aycliffe, or at the Surestart Children’s Centre in Shildon. There is also no access to a local pharmacy within Middridge, with the nearest again being located in Newton Aycliffe or Shildon. Retail services Retail services within the village are very limited. There is a public house, the Bay Horse but no local shops or convenience stores. To obtain grocery shopping, or for more specialised goods and services residents are required to travel out of the village to neighbouring Newton Aycliffe or Shildon. During “We have no shop in livin’s consultation event residents commented the village – a small upon the lack of amenities within the village. newsagents would be useful.” Feedback from residents highlights that there were previously two shops, and a Post Office Resident from Middridge located within the village. However, due to low demand and problems with the Post office being broken into these facilities were closed. There is general consensus from the residents that livin spoke to that it would not be feasible to maintain a local shop or convenience store within the village due to many residents tending to travel to nearby Newton Aycliffe or Shildon for their grocery shopping. Although livin own a number of retail and commercial units in neighbouring towns and villages there are none located within Middridge. Community services and facilities Although there is no resident library within the village, DCC provides a fortnightly mobile library that can be utilised by residents. There are no active tenants or residents groups that are supported by livin in Middridge. There are no places of worship located within Middridge. 46


Middridge Village Hall There is a village hall located within Middridge which is well utilised by a number of local groups and clubs for health and social related activities. The hall dates back to 1817 and was originally built as the local church school. Upon its closure in the late 1950’s it became the local village hall “Something for older and was used by the WI until its closure in the early residents at the village 1970’s. In 1973, Middridge Village Association, a hall would be good.” registered charity, was formed and raised funds to Resident from Middridge purchase and restore the hall which was reopened in 1978. The village hall is still managed by Middridge Village Association, and has recently been completely refurbished. Residents told livin that although the village hall plays an essential role in bringing together local residents and helping to improve community cohesion they would like to see the range of activities it provides extended. Suggestions included more day time activities provided within the hall for older persons. There are currently no youth related activities held at the village hall. Services and facilities for children and young persons There is a well maintained play area located to the west of the village, which is maintained by Middridge Parish Council. The play area has a range of play equipment, which was refurbished in 2007, and a grassed playing field. This is the only facility for children and young persons located within the village. Although there are a number of youth based activities in Newton Aycliffe or Shildon, there are none within Middridge resulting in a requirement for youths to travel out of the local area to access after school and weekend activities. There are County Council ran leisure centre’s also located within these towns, providing access to a swimming pool and fitness facilities at Newton Aycliffe, and fitness facilities and outdoor athletics track at Shildon. “There is nothing for teens to do in There are a number of established sporting clubs in the the village.” surrounding settlements for youths to access, although access to transport is required. There are a number of Resident from local boxing, cricket, football, and sporting clubs located Middridge in Newton Aycliffe or Shildon. During livin’s consultation event there were comments about the lack of facilities and activities for children and young persons within the village. However, it was also highlighted that there is only a small population of children and young persons living within the village, therefore limiting demand for youth related activities. Residents 47


also commented upon the tendency for youths to travel out of the village to either Newton Aycliffe or Shildon to attend youth based recreational activities and facilities. During 2011/2012, one of the key priorities for the Great Aycliffe and Middridge AAP, as voted for by Forum members, was the provision of “Activities for young people”. At the 2011 AAP Forum event “Activities for young people” was again voted by forum members to be most the important priority for the AAP to tackle. As a result this will remain a key priority for the Great Aycliffe and Middridge AAP throughout 2012/2013. There are no nursery or childcare facilities within the village. Access to preschool education is located at nearby Newton Aycliffe and Shildon, and requires access to either public or private transport. The nearest schools providing nursery provision are located at Stephenson Way Primary and Horndale Infants at Newton Aycliffe or Timothy Hackworth Primary at Shildon. Residents can also access childcare at local Surestart centres in Newton Aycliffe and Shildon.

“There isn't much in the way of childcare provision for villagers.” Resident from Middridge

Technology, communication and access to services The village is currently served by a broadband Internet connection. The cost implications of a broadband internet connection within the home may prove unaffordable for some households. Free internet access is available at the libraries in Newton Aycliffe and Shildon. For residents able to access the internet the village has a community website which is a valuable resource for communicating with local residents and informing them about events and information in their local village. The website also enables residents to sign up for “Middridge Mailshots”, which provides an email detailing forthcoming events in the village. There are also a number of local free papers and magazines providing local community based news and information to local residents. These include the Newton News and the Shildon Town Crier. The village also has its own newsletter which is issued on a quarterly basis to residents. Mosaic profile data indicates that the majority of households within the village are likely to access information and services through direct face to face contact, or through indirect contact via post, local papers, and magazines. Households in Group E which is likely to be 25.5% of households in the village are likely to access information through the internet or interactive television. Households in both Groups D and E are more likely to access information through the use of the telephone. 48


Households in profile Groups B, J and L are more likely to access local services through direct face to face contact. This equates to nearly two thirds (64.7%) of households in the village. Households in Group L, consisting of active elderly persons, are unlikely to access local services through the internet, telephone or mobile phone. Households in Groups D and E, equating to 35.3% of total households in the village, are more likely to access local services through the internet, telephone, or mobile telephone. These Groups are unlikely to access local services through direct, face to face contact. Apart from households in Group L, consisting of active elderly persons, the remaining household groups within the village have an average to high likelihood to self-serve (i.e. help themselves, or access services on their own behalf). Public transport A recent survey of residents living within the Great Aycliffe and Middridge AAP area indicated that 69% were satisfied with public transport; this being the fourth lowest levels of satisfaction throughout the County (DCC, 2010). Feedback from livin’s consultation event found no concerns from residents about access to public transport within the village. As the village is located between the towns of Shildon and Newton Aycliffe, it is served by a number of local bus companies that run regular services to Bishop Auckland, Durham, Darlington, Hartlepool and Middlesbrough.

“Middridge has a great bus service – most buses pass through so we get lots of available services.” Resident from Middridge

There are local railway stations at both Newton Aycliffe and Shildon. Both are located on the Tees Valley Line, which runs from nearby Bishop Auckland to Saltburn via Darlington and Middlesbrough. Greener living There are a small number of allotment gardens located to the West of the village, which can be used to grow fresh vegetables, fruit and flowers. The allotments are managed by the Allotment Association. Although livin owns a number of garden sites in other areas there are none located within Middridge. During consultation there were no comments from residents relating to healthy eating or greener living.

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Key Services Characteristics: Middridge has very limited access to public services and amenities. There is no access to public health care within the village. Residents have highlighted an essential need for travel out of the area for shopping, specialised goods or services, employment, education, and youth activities. There is a Village Hall is currently utilised by a number of local groups. The village has a play area with play equipment and small grassed play field. These are the only sporting and recreational facilities within the village. Satisfaction with the public transport service in the area is good with residents feeling that the current provision provides access to a number of local towns and cities. The village has a website and quarterly newsletter which provide online information about events and information in the village. What does this mean for livin? livin needs to be aware of the positive impact that local services and service providers can have on sustaining local communities. livin must also understand the pressures that local communities are under as a result of service cuts, and work in partnership with organisations such as DCC to ensure that the effects of any service reductions are minimal and that tenants, residents and service providers are aware of their implications. Limited retail services and restricted access to healthcare and educational establishment places an increased need on a reliable and accessible public transport service that provides easy access to the neighbouring towns of Newton Aycliffe and Shildon. It is important to recognise that any potential future reductions in current services or routes has the potential to not only increase the barriers to employment experienced by local residents, but will also restrict vital access to supermarkets, education, sporting facilities and healthcare. There are no youth related activities within the village, resulting in the requirement for youths to travel out of the area to access after school and weekend activities. Within any community there should be a good provision of youth based activities that will actively encourage engagement and participation in health and social related activities. However, demand for youth based activities and facilities with the village are reported to be low. This highlights opportunities for livin to work closely with DCC, Great Aycliffe and Middridge AAP, and other local community organisations to ensure that children and young persons living within Middridge are actively 50


encouraged, and have the opportunity to access youth engagement services in neighbouring Newton Aycliffe and Shildon. Participation and community involvement are key components of a sustainable community making it important that livin considers it ability to promote, support and help develop opportunities for volunteering within Middridge. It is important that any promotion or publicity around raising awareness of local services and facilities that can be accessed by residents is appropriate to their communication preferences. Mosaic profile data indicates that the majority of households within the village are more likely to access information and services through direct face to face contact, or through indirect contact via post, local papers, and magazines. The percentage of households that are likely to use the internet to access information and services is expected to be lower.

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1.6

Health and Wellbeing

The general level of health in Middridge is notably better than that of the County as a whole (Census, 2001, LLSOA, KS08, 009C). The During 2001, the number total percentage of persons in “Good” general of persons in “Not Good” health is 5.9% higher than the County average. health in Middridge was The percentage of residents who indicated that 5.9% higher than the they were in “Not Good” general health is 2% lower County average. when compared to the County average. A recent survey completed by DCC (Residents Survey, 2010) highlighted that within the Great Aycliffe and Middridge AAP area, 77% of residents regarded their health as either good or very good. This is higher when compared to the rest of Durham County (74%). 2001 Census data indicates that 18.7% of persons of working age suffer from a limiting long term illness (Census, 2001, LLSOA, KS08, 009C). This is marginally lower than the County average of 19.8%. “A limiting long-term illness covers any long-term illness, health problem or disability that limits daily activities or work. Working age is defined as persons aged between 16 to 64 years inclusive for men and 16 to 59 years inclusive for women.” (Census 2001) 80 70 60

68.5 62.6

50 % 40

Middridge Durham

30 20 20.3

24.2

10

11.2

13.2

0 General health: Good

General health: Fairly good

General health: Not good

Figure 1.17: Levels of health within Middridge Source: Census, 2001, LLSOA, KS08, 009C

The percentage of Incapacity Benefit claimants within the village is lower than average. During 2010, only 7% of residents in Middridge that were claiming a key DWP benefit were claiming incapacity benefit (DWP, 2010). This is 3% lower than the Durham County average and 2% lower than the national average. 52


Mosaic profile data for the village finds that households in Groups B and J, consisting of residents with strong local roots, and owner occupiers in older style housing have an “average” likelihood of being a smoker. This is likely to be more than half (54.9%) of households located within the village. It is expected that households in the profile Groups E and L, consisting of middle income families and active elderly persons, have a low likelihood of being smokers. Successful professionals in Group D are expected to have a very low likelihood of being smokers. Compared to national figures the level of health related deprivation within the Great Aycliffe and Middridge AAP is high. The 2010 Indices of Deprivation highlights that 37.0% of residents living within the AAP area are deemed to be in the top 10% nationally deprived. This percentage is higher when compared to the Durham County average where 27.5% of residents are deemed to be in the top 10% nationally deprived (CLG, 2010). It is however important to remember that this data relates to the areas of Newton Aycliffe, Aycliffe Village, and part of School Aycliffe, not Middridge alone. Therefore the varying levels of deprivation within each of the electoral wards within the AAP area will have an impact on the overall level of deprivation in the area, and may not be a true reflection of Middridge alone. There is no access to health services within the village. To access health services residents must travel to neighbouring Newton Aycliffe or Shildon. Access to a pharmacy is also restricted, with the nearest being found in either Newton Aycliffe or Shildon. Access to hospitals and specialist healthcare can be found at Durham, Darlington, Hartlepool and Stockton, with all requiring access to transport. The nearest hospitals are located at Bishop Auckland, Durham and Darlington, although Bishop “Most residents go to Auckland does not provide access to Accident and Shildon to see the Emergency Services. Access to hospital services doctor or visit the within 30 minutes, for residents living within dentist.” Middridge is deemed to be poor when walking, using public transport, or cycling. However, 100% of Resident from Middridge residents living within Middridge are deemed to be able to access a hospital within 30 minutes when travelling by car (NHS Choices, 2009). Mosaic profile data indicates that emergency hospital admissions are expected to be higher in households in profile Group L, consisting of active elderly residents. This is 9.8% of the total households living within Middridge. Emergency admissions for other households in the village are expected to be low to average.

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Access to family related support services can be found in neighbouring Newton Aycliffe or Shildon. The newly created One Point service hub which is located in Burn Lane, Newton Aycliffe, offers a one stop shop approach with staff from DCC, the local Health Authority and others family related service providers. Residents can also access the existing Surestart Children’s Centres in Newton Aycliffe or Shildon. The Centres provides a number of health based services including advice and support on adopting a healthy lifestyle, healthy eating and nutrition for children and families, and access to health visitors and other health related professionals. During livin’s consultation residents commented upon the need to travel out of the village for access to health related services. There are no purpose built leisure facilities within Middridge; to access sporting facilities residents are required to travel outside of the village to leisure centres at neighbouring Shildon or Newton Aycliffe. When asked about the provision of health related facilities and activities within Middridge residents raised issues about the lack of activities and facilities for children and young persons. There is a small play area located within the village which is owned and maintained by the Parish Council. It was highlighted during consultation that there is only a small population of children and young persons living within the village, therefore limiting the demand for youth related activities. There are also a number of footpaths around the village for residents and visitors to use for recreational purposes. The Pioneering Care Partnership (PCP) is a local charity whose aim is to improve people’s health and wellbeing. The charity is responsible for running the Pioneering Care Centre in neighbouring Newton Aycliffe and provides a number of outreach projects in local communities across County Durham and Darlington. There are also a small number of allotment gardens located to the west of the village, which can be used to grow fresh vegetables, fruit and flowers. The allotments are ran and maintained by the Allotment Association. Although livin owns a number of garden sites in other areas there are none located within Middridge.

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Key Health Characteristics: During 2001, general levels of health in were notably better when compared to the County average. 18.7% of “working age” residents are suffering from a limiting long term illness. This is marginally lower than the Durham County average. There is no access to health services within the village. The nearest are located within Newton Aycliffe and Shildon requiring access to transport. There is no access to sporting facilities or activities. Residents must travel out of the area for access to leisure centres and gyms. There is a small play area within the village; this is the only outdoor recreational facility for children.

What does this mean for livin? There has been a long established connection between health and housing. As a result of the Government’s Health Reform proposals a stronger role will emerge for livin to act in partnership with local health providers to improve the health and wellbeing of tenants and their families. As a “frontline” service provider livin has privileged access to tenants and their families. This can provide the potential for signposting to health related services and enable targeted actions that can help enhance health levels within a community. Good levels of health can have positive effects on educational achievement and can help increase employment levels. There are already good levels of health within Middridge. It is important that livin utilises involvement and interaction with tenants and their families to maintain and even enhance health levels. There may be a number of local and national projects that livin can support that will link to the preventative health agenda; making it critical that livin works in partnership with other local health based stakeholders to ensure maximum use of resources. It is important that health related activities and facilities within a community and surrounding areas are accessible and affordable by all.

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1.7

Education and Training

Levels of educational attainment for residents are higher within Middridge when compared to the Durham County average (Census, 2001, LLSOA, KS13, 009C).

2001 census data indicates that 25.8% of residents have no qualifications.

The percentage of residents attaining a level 1 (19.7%) qualification is higher than the Durham County average of 17.0%. The percentage of residents attaining qualifications at level 2 (24.3%) is notably higher when compared to the Durham County average (18.1%).

Level 1 qualifications include 1+'O' level passes; 1+ CSE/GCSE any grades; NVQ level 1; or Foundation level GNVQ. Level 2 qualifications include 5+GCSEs (grades A-C); 1+ 'A' levels/'AS' levels; NVQ level 2; or Intermediate GNVQ. Based on 24.3% of residents attaining level 2 qualifications (5+ GCSEs A-C grades) Middridge has been ranked as Gold for educational attainment. Full details of the methodology for this ranking can be found in Appendix 2. 40 35 30

25.8

24.3

25

Middridge

19.7

% 20

15.1

15 8.4

10

Durham County

6.8

5 36.0

17.0

18.1

7.4

14.5

7.1

0

Figure 1.18: Educational attainment within Middridge Source: Census, 2001, LLSOA, KS13, 009C

8.4% of residents hold qualifications at level 3; this being comparable to the County average of 7.4%. Level 3 qualifications are necessary for advancement into University, higher education or professional qualifications and include 2+ 'A' levels; 4+ 'AS' levels; NVQ level 3; or an Advanced GNVQ. 56


There is also a comparable percentage of residents (15.1%) that hold qualifications at levels 4/5 when compared to the rest of Durham County (14.5%). A level 4/5 qualification is equivalent to a First Degree, Higher Degree, NVQ levels 4 and 5, HNC, HND, or professional qualifications including qualified teacher, medical doctor, dentist, nurse, midwife, or health visitor. Mosaic profile data for the village highlights that households within Groups D and E, successful professional living in suburban or semi-rural homes, and middle income families living in moderate suburban semis are likely to be educated to degree level. There is a lower likelihood of households in Groups J and L, consisting of owner occupiers in older style housing, or active elderly persons being educated to degree level. The 2010 Indices of Deprivation indicates that in relation to education, 16.1% of residents living in the Great Aycliffe and Middridge AAP area are deemed to be in the top 10% nationally deprived (CLG, 2010). This is comparable to the Durham County average where only 15.3% of residents are deemed to be in the top 10% nationally deprived. It is however important to remember that this data relates to the areas of Newton Aycliffe, Aycliffe Village, and part of School Aycliffe, not Middridge alone. Therefore the varying levels of deprivation within each of the electoral wards within the AAP area will have an impact on the overall level of deprivation in the area, and may not be a true reflection of Middridge alone.

There is no access to education or training facilities within the village

There are no educational establishments located within the village. Access to preschool and primary education is located at nearby Newton Aycliffe and Shildon, and requires access to either public or private transport. The nearest schools providing nursery provision are located at Stephenson Way Primary and Horndale Infants at Newton Aycliffe or Timothy Hackworth Primary at Shildon. The nearest secondary schools can be found at Shildon and Newton Aycliffe, all requiring access to travel. Sunnydale Community College is located in nearby Shildon, and both Greenfield Community College and Woodham Community Technology College are located within Newton Aycliffe. During their last OFSTED inspection reports Sunnydale Community College and Greenfield Community College both received a “Good” report. Greenfield Community College received a “Satisfactory” report at its last OFSTED inspection. (Directgov, 2012). There are no “faith” schools located within Middridge. The nearest faith primary schools are St Francis Church of England Aided Junior and St Joseph’s RC Aided Primary in Newton Aycliffe, and St John’s Church of England Aided Primary School in Shildon. The nearest “faith” secondary school is St John’s Catholic School and Sixth form centre in Bishop Auckland. 57


The nearest further education colleges are located at Bishop Auckland, Durham and Darlington; again all requiring access to public or private transport. There is also no Surestart provision within the village. The nearest Children’s Centre can be found at either Newton Aycliffe or Shildon. The centres provide access to information, help and support, together with access to preschool education and day care for local families with children under the age of five.

The Local Learning Partnership (LLP) is a partnership of local centres and learning “Sunnydale Community providers which aims to provide learning College offers some great opportunities to residents within the local courses, but we need more community. However there are currently no information on what they courses provided within Middridge. The LLP’s for offer and when.” Newton Aycliffe and Shildon offer a range of nonaccredited and accredited courses ranging from Resident from Middridge DIY, music and performing arts to exercise and healthy eating in various community venues, including Community Centres, and Children’s Centres. There are also a number of courses and activities provided at the local Community Colleges in both Newton Aycliffe and Shildon. In partnership with Bishop Auckland College, Newton Aycliffe Community Learning Centre provides a number of educational courses, including access to basic skills, first aid course, computer courses and Work Clubs. The Pioneering Care Centre in Newton Aycliffe (part of the PCP) also provides free confidential advice and guidance to anyone who is currently unemployed and looking to return to volunteering, training or employment, and provides a range of community based learning courses. Feedback from livin’s consultation event found that although residents are aware of the provision of community based learning courses in neighbouring Shildon and Newton Aycliffe they would like to see better promotion of the available courses. At the 2011 AAP Forum event “Employment, enterprise, education and training” was voted one of the three most important priorities for the AAP to tackle by the local community. As a result this will be a key priority for the Great Aycliffe and Middridge AAP throughout 2012/2013 livin is aware of the potential need for an increased provision of training, skills based and educational courses within its local communities. As a result of the current economic crisis and increased competition for employment opportunities there may be a need for increased support and advice services that can help local residents

58


secure future long term employment or enable them to enter further or higher education. Key Education Characteristics: In 2001, 25.8% of residents held no formal educational qualifications; this is significantly lower than the Durham County average. 24.3% of residents have attained qualifications at level 2 (5+ GCSE’s grades A-C or equivalent). 15.1% of residents are educated to Degree or Professional level. This is comparable with the Durham County average. There is no access to educational establishments within Middridge. Access to preschool, primary and secondary education required residents to travel to nearby Newton Aycliffe or Shildon. Access to further and higher education colleges, or university requires access to public or private transport. There are no community based learning opportunities available within the village, with residents being required to travel to neighbouring Newton Aycliffe or Shildon. What does this mean for livin? Education is a cornerstone of a sustainable community as it will promote financial inclusion and help increase economic activity. It is likely that at least 25.8% of residents have no formal educational qualifications. Although livin cannot play a direct role in the provision of education there may be opportunities to develop links with local education and training providers such as Surestart Children’s Centres, local schools, and colleges, Newton Aycliffe Community Learning Centre and the Local Learning Partnerships to help increase educational opportunities for tenants and local residents. It is also important that livin establish links and work in close partnership with local primary and secondary schools to help increase educational attainment, inspire confidence and raise the aspirations of the children and young persons within its communities. Opportunities for community training and employment courses is limited within the village, with residents being required to travel to neighbouring Shildon or Newton Aycliffe to access these services. Intelligence suggests that residents aged 16 to 24 and 50 years or over find it more difficult to access employment. Therefore, there 59


should be extra emphasis placed on assisting and encouraging residents within these age groups to access community based educational and skills based courses.

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1.8

Reputation of Middridge and Community Cohesion

To increase sustainability within an area it is important that the area is seen as a good place to live with high levels of community cohesion. Feedback gained from livin’s consultation event indicates that Middridge is generally perceived to be a pleasant and quiet place to live.

“I like the identity that Middridge has.” Resident from Middridge

A good level of community spirit is reported within the village, although it was felt that more events and activities available in the village hall would help to increase this further. What does this mean to livin? It is important that as the main provider of social housing within Middridge, livin understands its role as “place maker” within the community. livin is aware that to increase the reputation of a community and to enhance cohesion the involvement of local residents and other service providers is paramount. “Residents help each other – there is good To enable the success of this Community Plan and community spirit within the achievement of the Local Offers it is important the village.” that local residents and community groups play an important role. The involvement of the local Resident from Middridge community when determining key priorities and delivering Local Offers can help empower residents to make a difference in their communities, and develop partnership working to maintain the overall reputation of the community and further enhance community cohesion.

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1.9

Local Environment

There was little environmental feedback received from residents during livin’s consultation event. Public open spaces within the village are well maintained, and generally free from litter and dog faeces. Middridge Parish Council is responsible for a number of environmental services within the village, including grass cutting, trees and green maintenance, provision of flower tubs and litter and dog fouling bins. The Council is also responsible for the provision and maintenance of the village bus shelter, parish paths and the local children’s play area.

“Traffic is very busy and fast through the village.” Resident from Middridge

Residents are however concerned about increased incidents of speeding vehicles, and highlighted the need for traffic calming measures to deter motorists from speeding through the village. Residents highlighted a particular need for traffic calming measures on Middridge Road, particularly around the installation of a Zebra crossing.

“Crossing the road is an issue due to vehicles speeding.”

On the 6 January 2012 an Environmental Assessment of Middridge was conducted by members of livin’s Communities Team. The Assessment was completed by assessing a number of environmental indicators at a designated “stopping” point on a pre-determined route through the village.

Resident from Middridge

At the designated stopping point a number of environmental indicators were assessed and a number of points awarded. During the assessment the village was found to be clean, tidy and well maintained. There was no evidence of litter, fly tipping or dog faeces in public areas. Properties within the vicinity of the stopping point were well maintained with tidy gardens. Based on the points awarded at the pre-determined stopping point, the village scored a total of 33. As a result the overall condition of Middridge has been ranked as GOLD. The full methodology relating to the Environmental Assessment can be found in Appendix 2.

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Figure 1.19: Route of Environmental Assessment

What does this mean for livin? A high Environmental Assessment scoring and Gold ranking is a good result for Middridge. It means that the village does not require intensive support and may only require targeted work in specific hotspots area. However, it is important that livin ensure that future Environmental Assessments within Middridge are conducted at appropriate intervals to ensure the village is able to maintain this high ranking.

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Section 2

Community Priorities

Based on the information contained within this Community Plan livin has been able to identify and assess a number of key strengths and challenges that are being faced by residents living in Middridge. To improve the levels of sustainability within this community it is important that key strengths are maintained; together with conscientious efforts being made by livin, other community stakeholders and local residents to address and reduce identified challenges. Taking into account these challenges livin has developed two key priorities for the community:



Develop a partnership approach to reducing barriers to work and increasing employment opportunities for local residents, specifically those aged 16 to 24 years, and 50 years and over (including supporting the provision of local skills and training courses in Newton Aycliffe and Shildon).



Help to influence and maintain services in the local area (including Newton Aycliffe and Shildon) that benefit the needs of residents.

The development of these key priorities and the creation of realistic Local Offers that can be used by livin, community stakeholders and local residents to address and achieve them will enable the maximisation of internal and external resources available throughout the community. Intelligence contained within this Community Plan highlights that residents living within the village utilise the services and facilities provided in the neighbouring towns of Newton Aycliffe and Shildon. There is low demand for specific services, such as youth engagement, access to training and retail services, and there are currently good levels of health in the village. Therefore a number of the actions proposed by livin will be delivered in the areas of Newton Aycliffe and Shildon with encouragement and participation opportunities provided for residents living in Middridge.

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Section 3

Review of the Community Plan

The original actions contained within this Community Plan were revised in March 2013. Based on what livin has learnt from your community, and our work with local partners we have now developed a set of Local Offers for Middridge. The Local Offers have taken into account the original actions from the community plan and the views of the community obtained through consultation, leading to a new set of standards and actions aimed at supporting and benefiting your area. Delivery of the Local Offers will be monitored by livin tenants. A copy of livin’s Local Offers for Middridge can be found on our website at www.livin.co.uk. This main Community Plan will be revised in 2014.

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APPENDIX 1

livin STRATEGIC FRAMEWORK & REGULATORY REQUIREMENTS

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livin Strategic Framework livin’s role as a Registered Provider of social housing extends beyond managing houses. This has been identified within livin’s Corporate Plan for 2012-2015 which highlights the importance of improving the economic viability of local communities, followed by social factors such as health and education, and enhancing the local environment. As such livin is focused on supporting the development of sustainable communities for the current and future generation of residents. This is articulated through the organisation’s vision, mission and personality which are; Mission “working with the community at heart” Vision “sustaining and growing safe, cohesive and vibrant communities through excellent customer services” Personality “Caring, supportive, helpful and community orientated” It is acknowledged that livin can play a key role in contributing to the delivery of sustainable communities. By developing strong and coordinated partnership working with residents and key stakeholders livin will develop strategies to tackle: 

Economic Factors - addressing economic viability of communities by helping people to improve their financial circumstances, become less dependent on benefits, positively address employability and increase financial confidence.

Social Factors – addressing social wellbeing, community safety and cohesion and health inequalities by improving health and wellbeing, secure access to further opportunities and develop their aspirations.

Environmental Factors – addressing environmental quality and sustainability by enhancing the setting of homes and promoting and supporting green initiatives in communities.

During April 2011, livin introduced the “Your Voice, Local Choice”, Local Offer document to ensure that “the right services are delivered in the right place for the right people”. The Local Offer is a list of ten pledges that livin has made to tenants in order to deliver key priorities. Full details of the pledges contained in livin’s Local Offer can be found on the website at livin.co.uk or alternatively a copy can be requested by contacting livin on 0845 505 5500 or 0300 111 2234 (low rate from a mobile depending on network). In addition to helping livin work towards sustaining and growing safe, cohesive, and vibrant communities the Community Plans will play an important role in shaping and 67


articulating the Local Offer to tenants. They are the delivery mechanism for the pledges contained within the Offer and will enable livin, community stakeholders and local residents to tailor services and resources to the specific needs of each individual community and enhance local service delivery. This relationship is illustrated in the diagram below:

Local Offer Established guiding principles

Community Plan Strategy

Locality 1

Locality 2

Locality 3

Locality 4

Locality 5

Byers Green

Dean Bank

Trimdon Village

Shildon

Aycliffe Old Town

Kirk Merrington

Ferryhill Village & Cleves Cross

Trimdon Grange

Middridge

Aycliffe New Town

Middlestone Moor

West Cornforth

Trimdon Colliery

Spennymoor Town

Bishop Middleham

Fishburn

Chilton & Chilton Lane

Sedgefield

Aycliffe Village

The development and implementation of the Community Plans represents a strategic change in livin’s approach to supporting the sustainability of its communities and will help deliver the corporate improvement themes of “Customer Focussed Services” and “Efficient Assets” by:   

improving lives, neighbourhoods and communities improving customer involvement and empowerment, and increasing the sustainability of tenancies and homes

The Plans will be utilised to inform and enhance livin’s strategic planning and asset management framework whilst helping to deliver customer and community focused investment. They have an impact on all areas of service delivery, renewal and regeneration, and have departmental cross cutting themes.

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Each Plan takes into account a whole spectrum of current national, regional and local strategic agendas whilst retaining enough flexibility to address future emerging policy and structural changes at all levels. They complement the Government’s Localism Bill by facilitating and empowering local communities to improve local services in their local area and careful consideration has also been given to relevant strategies adopted by Durham County Council and the implications of the Homes and Communities Agency (HCA) new role in regulating social landlords. Tenant Services Authority Regulatory Requirements The development and implementation of Community Plans also reflects livin’s commitment to adhering to the Tenant Services Authority’s (TSA) current regulatory regime. This regime requires livin to meet six separate service standards:      

Tenant Involvement and Empowerment Home Tenancy Neighbourhood and Community Value for Money Governance and Financial Viability

Comprehensive consultation to support each Plan will help livin to enhance customer services and encourage local residents to become more responsible for local services and the improvement of their communities thus addressing the Tenant Involvement and Empowerment standard. The Home standard will be addressed by assessing the current condition of the current housing stock in each community to ensure that it is of high quality, well maintained and suitable for demand. It is crucial that the Tenancy standard be incorporated into the outcomes of the Community Plan through the consideration and effective use of lettings policies, rent management policies and the enhancement of tenancy sustainment. As part of the Neighbourhood and Community standard livin is required to deliver on three separate outcomes; local cooperation, antisocial behaviour and neighbourhood management. All of these will outcomes will be considered and addressed within the outcomes of each Plan. The Plans will also address the Value for Money standard by ensuring that livin prioritise resources based on the actual needs and requirements of local residents whilst enabling confidence for external stakeholders and businesses to invest in the communities.

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Durham County Council Strategic Framework Durham County Council’s “Sustainable Communities” Strategy 2010-2030 is the overarching plan for delivering long lasting improvements throughout the County. It sets out five key strategic priority themes that will be focused on during the next 20 years:     

Altogether Wealthier Altogether Better for Children and Young People Altogether Healthier Altogether Safer Altogether Greener

Whilst, Registered Providers are essential partners in delivering sustainable communities, local authorities have the key strategic responsibility in this area. This is particularly important for livin given its current geographical boundary within County Durham and its relatively high levels of deprivation. Therefore the organisation’s approach of aligning key elements of its Corporate Plan 2012 – 2015 to the priorities set out in Durham County Council’s Sustainable Communities Strategy is vital in allowing the organisation to play its role as a key partner in delivering sustainable communities. The provision of sustainable communities and vibrant and successful towns sits within the key strategic theme of “Altogether Wealthier” and places a significant emphasis on local housing markets and improvements in employability and skills as key drivers in this achievement. Although the provision of a successful housing market is predominantly featured in the theme of “Altogether Wealthier” there can be cross cutting themes across the other four priority themes as demonstrated in the Community Plans. The theme of housing being a key driver in creating sustainable communities is further detailed in “Building Altogether Better Lives: A Housing Strategy for County Durham 2010-2015” (DCC, 2010). This strategy focuses on the ability for housing and other related services to create better life chances for persons living in County Durham by delivering better housing markets and high quality housing stock through enhanced partnership working. National Housing Federation Research conducted by the National Housing Federation (NHF) found that numerous RP’s are now using their presence and impact within their local communities to provide services outside of their core housing management activities. These activities are centred on employment and enterprise services, education and skills services, wellbeing services, poverty and social inclusion, safety and community cohesion. 70


During 2006/2007 the NHF found that RP’s nationally delivered 6,800 neighbourhood services (including facilities) and invested £435 million (£272 million internal and £163 external) into resources outside of their core areas of activity. This study highlighted the prominence that RP’s have within their local communities and their perfect position to act as place makers in their neighbourhoods. Further information and details relating to this research is contained within the full NHF report, “The scale and scope of housing associations activity beyond housing”.

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APPENDIX 2

METHODOLOGY

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livin Communities With the help of livin’s Tenants Panel 19 local communities have been defined. These 19 communities are loosely based around Durham Constabulary’s local Police “Beat” patches and are detailed below: Locality Community Byers Green Kirk Merrington Middlestone Moor Spennymoor Town 1

Dean Bank Ferryhill Village and Cleves Cross 2

West Cornforth Bishop Middleham Chilton and Chilton Lane

3

Trimdon Village Trimdon Grange Trimdon Colliery Fishburn Sedgefield Shildon

4 Middridge Aycliffe Old Town

Aycliffe New Town 5

Aycliffe Village

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Estates Byers Green Kirk Merrington Middlestone Moor Town Centre (inc Bessemer Park) York Hill Tudhoe Tudhoe Grange Dean Bank Ferryhill Village Cleves Cross Topside Lowside Bishop Middleham The Poets Windlestone Trimdon Village Trimdon Grange Trimdon Colliery Fishburn Sedgefield Central Shildon Jubilee Fields New Shildon Middridge Shafto Simpasture Central Horndale Agnew Burnhill Western Aycliffe Village


Data Sources To successfully complete each individual Plan a wide range of quantitative and qualitative data from an extended range of sources has been utilised. Data obtained from these sources has focused on several social, economic and environmental indicators. Census data has been obtained from the Lower Level Super Output Area 009C for the area of Middridge and part of Newton Aycliffe. Electoral Ward data has been obtained for the Greenfield and Middridge Ward. Statistical data is not available for Middridge alone. Mosaic Public Sector classifies all consumers in the United Kingdom by allocating them to one of 15 individual profile Groups. Each Group contains a number of key characteristics and attributes which can be used by organisations to gain a detailed and accurate understanding of consumer locations, their demographics, lifestyles and behaviours. The utilisation of Mosaic Public Sector has enabled livin to determine household profiles for individual communities. This profile enables livin to understand the key characteristics of the community as a whole, with the aim of informing the efficient and effective delivery of the identified actions contained within this Community Plan. Further information on Mosaic Public Sector, provided by Experian can be found at www.publicsector.experian.co.uk. Qualitative data collection methods has required livin to hold a consultation event within the community to gain the views and opinions of local residents, children and young people together with anecdotal data from interviews with members of livin’s staff and the local Police Beat Team.

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Social, Economic and Environmental Indicators Several social, economic and environmental indicators have been established for each community; with some being benchmarked against County and National data averages. The table below shows the themes and topics each Community Plan has explored and the data sources used to populate the required intelligence. Themes

Housing

Crime Rates and Perception of Crime

Economy and Employment

Accessibility to Services and Facilities

Health and Wellbeing

Education and Training Reputation and Community Cohesion Local Environment (including built environment, management of public areas)

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Method  Quantitative- National statistics, livin stock data, DKO lettings data, Council tax data, Durham County Council strategic housing market assessment, House price websites and Land Registry data  Qualitative – Interviews and consultation events  Quantitative – Durham Constabulary crime data and livin internal data, Mosaic profile data  Qualitative – Interviews and consultation events  Quantitative - National statistics and DWP Benefit data  Qualitative – Interviews and consultation events  Quantitative – Mosaic profile data  Qualitative – Interviews and consultation events  Quantitative - National Statistics, Mosaic profile data  Qualitative – Interviews and consultation events  Quantitative - National Statistics, Mosaic profile data, OFSTED reports  Qualitative – Interviews and consultation events  Qualitative – Interviews and consultation events  Qualitative – Interviews, consultation events and environmental assessments


Community Views and Opinions The community in Middridge were invited to tell livin their views, concerns and opinions about their local community. A consultation event took place in December 2011 at the Village Hall. Community representation at this event was low. Anecdotal evidence to support the intelligence contained in this Plan has also been obtained from the Police Beat Team for Middridge and livin staff members. The table below highlights the main concerns and areas for improvement highlighted during livin’s public consultation events: Themes

Housing

Crime and Antisocial Behaviour Economy and Employment

Access to Services and Facilities 76

   

Community Comments The current rewiring works to our livin home has caused a lot of mess Problems with choosing which room to have decorated after improvement works in livin homes Time has been strict for the decorating of my house after recent works have been completed I have been waiting too long for my house to be decorated An idea for livin for the future may be to have a number of different agencies hired to complete the decorating so that the process can be quickened We could do with some more social housing in Middridge Young people find it hard to get a mortgage Property prices are high for first time buyers It’s dangerous to cross the road – a lot of HGV’s pass through the village and lots of drivers speed

Most residents commute to nearby towns for work

 

Aycliffe have free bus trips in the summer. Something similar for the older people in Middridge would be great There is a small group that meet in the pub, mostly elderly people. There needs to be more involvement from the community. The Village Hall has recently been refurbished, however there are still a few issues such as damp Something for older people at the Village Hall would be good, such as a group or something that they could attend weekly

    

 


           

Health and Wellbeing Education & Training Reputation and Community Cohesion Environment

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The Three Rivers Service (handyman by DCC) is good but not very well publicised. We now have no shop in the village, - our Portacabin idea didn’t work – Post Office. Little newsagents could be useful We do have good access to shops via the buses Shildon is used a lot by residents for their Dr's, dentists, post office and shops etc. There isn't much in the way of childcare provisions for villagers, also nothing for the teens to do Community involvement is dwindling. Sunnydale offer some great courses etc., it would be great if we could have more information on what they offer, and more frequently Too scared to get the bus because crossing the road is such an issue Middridge has a great bus service, most service pass through so we get lots of available services Middridge has a village website and a village newsletter which is released quarterly It’s dangerous to cross the road and I have received complaints from elderly residents who are actually scared to cross the road and this stops them from leaving the house

 

There's no real need for a GP surgery here Most residents go to Shildon to see the doctor or visit the dentist

No comments received

  

I like the identity that Middridge has Residents here do help each other There is a good community spirit, people keep an eye on each other

 

Traffic is very busy and fast through the village; we get a lot of HGV's! Crossing the road is an issue due to vehicles speeding


Community Ranking Methodology Based on the intelligence contained within this Community Plan livin has been able to rank the community based on; Bronze (potential), Silver (aspiring) or Gold (performing). This will enable the identification of the communities which require more immediate and more intensive interventions whilst ensuring there are mechanisms in place to maintain Gold standards. The following are details of the methodology used by livin when determining the ranking for each community indicator: Indicator

Housing Market Affordability

Tenancy Turnover

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Ranking Affordability ratios have been devised by comparing income to house prices in order to calculate how many times their average income an individual would be required to borrow to purchase their own property. It is particularly interesting to assess how well lower income households can access the housing market. To gauge access to entry level housing the data used is the lower quartile income of residents within the former area of Sedgefield Borough and the average price of terraced housing within the community (the assumption is that this house type is often the lower quartile house type). Data sources for this information were the Annual Survey of Hours and Earnings (ASHE) 2010 and land registry house price data. To assess the level of affordability it is important to rank the multiplier by the England average. In England during 2009 the lower quartile house price was 6.28 times the lower quartile full-time individual earnings (http://www.communities.gov.uk/publications/corporate/statistics/housingplanningstatistics2010). Access to lending on homes is still calculated using a multiplier of 3.5 for single households and 2.9 for dual income households, therefore a multiplier of 3.5 or less can be deemed as affordable. livin’s Tenancy Turnover is determined by the percentage of houses available to let compared with the total housing stock in a community. It is recognised that this methodology is very simplistic and there are several factors that should be considered in conjunction with this ranking. These include:  Turnover rates in specific house types are generally higher than others (one bedroom bungalows) so consideration must be given to the total stock profile of the community  Gold communities will normally have a lower tenancy turnover. However a Gold ranking could also indicate lack of access to housing and affordability issues requiring more households to have a housing need for socially rented properties in a particular community.

Gold = Multiplier of 0 to 3.5 is affordable Silver = Multiplier of 3.6 to 6.3 Bronze = Multiplier of 6.4 and above

Gold = 5% turnover or less Silver = 8-9% turnover Bronze = 10% turnover or more


Demand for livin housing

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It is important that when considering tenancy turnover; further investigation be given to the circumstances surrounding the ranking and circumstances that may have contributed towards a high level of turnover. Further investigation should also be made into stock types within the community and the accessibility and affordability of housing. To compile the percentage rates used to calculate this ranking consideration has been given to Housemark’s national Benchmarking figures Demand for livin properties has been determined by the comparison of three indicators of demand taken from Durham Key Options (DKO) data. Each of these indicators have been scored accordingly with the overall score of all three determining the ranking allocated to the community:  Hard to let properties in a community: This is defined as properties that have been advertised in three or more bidding cycles with DKO before being let. It is important to note that the presence of low demand house types within a community can increase the percentage of hard to let properties. - No properties hard to let = 5 points - 1 to 2% of properties hard to let = 3 points - 3% or more properties hard to let = 1 point  Area of preference: Upon application households can choose their areas of choice. These indicate a “perception” of an area therefore producing a demand. Areas of preference between communities have been determined by analysing the number of applicants showing a preference for each community compared to the amount of applicants received by livin (by percentage). Applicants can indicate a preference for more than one area and it must be noted that area of preference is made at point of first application to DKO and is a snapshot in time. Often applicants do not update their areas of preference and these areas of preference may differ from their original indications during time spent on the housing register. - 50% or more applicants expressing the community as an area of preference = 5 points - 21 to 49% of applicants expressing the community as an area of preference = 3 points - 0 to 20% of applicants expressing the community as an area of preference = 1 point  Average (mean) bids per property by community: Demand is evident by the volume of bids received for a property. It is noted that this method will disguise some house types or localised areas where the bids per property are very low and in some areas where there are exceptional number of bids per property. - 20 bids or more = 5 points - 10-19 bids = 3 points - 9 bids or less = 1 point These three indicators considered together give livin a fair indication of demand for livin’s

Gold = 11 to 15 points Silver = 6 to 10 points Bronze = 1 to 5 points


communities. However, anecdotal evidence from staff has uncovered that this methodology may disguise the actual experience of demand in livin’s communities by using a general mean average over all house types and sizes. This ranking together with the analysis does indicate areas of further in depth analysis. This has been calculated by analysing the total repair costs for livin properties within each of the 19 communities for the period 01 April 2009 to 31 March 2010. Average Repair Costs Per Property

To calculate the average repair cost per property the total cost of all repairs for all livin properties in the village has been divided against the total number of stock livin owns within the community.

Gold = £599 or less Silver = £600 to £650 Bronze = £600 or more

This ranking is based on data supplied by the DWP in March 2011 and relates to the percentage of persons residing in the Ward of Greenfield and Middridge (including part of Newton Aycliffe) claiming Jobseekers Allowance for a period of 6 to 12 months. Long Term Unemployment (6 to 12 months)

This data has been compared to the overall percentage for Durham County of 18%. Data was obtained from the NOMIS Official Labour Market Statistics supplied by the Office for National Statistics.

Gold = 17% or less (lower than the County percentage) Silver = 18% (equivalent to the County percentage) Bronze = 19% or more (higher than the County percentage)

Average Household Income

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This ranking is based on national statistics and relates to model-based average weekly household Gold = £411.00 or total income estimates for households in the Ward of Greenfield and Middridge (including part of more Newton Aycliffe) for 2001/02. Silver = £410.00 This data has been compared to the North East average weekly household total income estimate Bronze = £409.99 or of £410.00. less Data was obtained from the Office for National Statistics.


To assess the rent payments made by tenants within livin properties in Middridge an analysis and comparison of livin’s rental debit figures for 2009/2010 to 2010/2011 were utilised. The total rental debit charge is the total rent charged for all livin properties within Middridge throughout a financial year. At the end of the financial year the total amount of rent payments collected by livin is offset against the total rental debit.

livin Rental Debit

The total amount of rent payments collected by livin is calculated within the first week of the following financial year; this ensures that any housing benefit payments have been processed and credited to the relevant rent account. All housing benefit payments paid by DCC are received every 4 weeks and are paid in arrears. By offsetting the amount of rent paid throughout the year against the total rental debit charge for the year livin are able to calculate how much outstanding debt it has within each individual community. This outstanding debt is commonly referred to as “rent arrears”. This figure is then calculated as a percentage of the total rental debit charge and has been used to provide the community’s ranking.

Gold = 0 to 0.99% Silver = 1.00% to 1.99% Bronze = over 2.00%.

livin has not been able to base the ranking of rental debit against any validated local benchmarking figures.

Educational Attainment (5 GCSE’s Grade C & Above)

81

This ranking is based on national statistics from the 2001 Census data and relates to the percentage of persons residing in Middridge (and part of Newton Aycliffe) that have an educational attainment of 5 GCSE’s Grade C and above. This data has been compared and ranked against the County and North East averages of 18%. Data obtained from the Office for National Statistics at www.statisics.co.uk

Gold = 19% or more Silver = 18% Bronze = 17% or less


Environmental Assessment

On 6 January 2012 staff from livin’s Communities Teams conducted an Environmental Assessment on a pre-determined route through the village. At the “stopping point” a number of economic indicators were scored. The maximum number of points that can be awarded at each stopping point is 35. Environmental indicators include:  Grassed areas & shrubs  Fly tipping & litter  Garages  Pathways, roads & parking  Trees  Boundary walls & fences  Gardens The route through the village began at Charles Row and onto The Meadows before turning onto Middridge Road and continuing through to the east end of the village. The total number of points attained throughout the assessment is then divided by the number of stopping points to provide an average total for the village. The village scored a total of 33 points (33 divided by 1 = 33). Full details of the Environmental Assessments can be found at: www.livin.co.uk

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Gold = 30 to 35 points Silver = 21 to 29 points Bronze = 0 to 20 points


15 Substantial issues

10 Prominent issues

5 Low level issues

0 Economic

Total Score for Middridge

Social

Environmental

16

This score is based on a range of economic, social, and environmental indicators contained within the Community Plan for Middridge. These issues have been scored against strategic priorities from livin’s Corporate Plan 2012-2015. The maximum a community can score is 36. This is based on a maximum of 15 points for economic issues, 12 points for social issues and 9 points for environmental issues.

Contact Us: livin, Farrell House, Arlington Way, DurhamGate, Spennymoor, Co Durham, DL16 6NL visit: livin.co.uk e: contactus@livin.co.uk t: 0800 587 4538 (free from a landline) or 0300 111 2344 (cheap rate from mobiles depending on your network) 83


Middridge Community Plan 2012 2014