14 February 2017
NEWS RELEASE from Sheffield City Partnership Board
The State of Sheffield 2017 report is launched today, exploring the real picture of life in the city. The report looks at how Sheffield is changing over time, and how we compare to other major cities in the UK.
The production of the report is a collaborative effort with organisations across the city and for the first time has been written by six different authors, each an expert in that area.
The 2017 report covers six areas, looking at Sheffield’s Vibrant Economy, Sheffield as A Youthful City, An Ageing Friendly City, A Fair and Just City, at The Ecosystem and at Sheffield’s Democracy & Engagement.
Some key findings of this year’s report include high levels of exercise and physical activity in the city, high levels of volunteering of Sheffield residents within their communities, and the impressive progress made by Sheffield’s children at secondary level when compared to other cities.
The report identifies opportunities where Sheffield is already thriving or making progress that the city can build on in 2017, and sets out recommendations to help stakeholders across the city achieve this.
Chair of Sheffield City Partnership Board, Lord Blunkett of Brightside & Hillsborough, said: “Sheffield distinguishes itself as the only major UK city to conduct this kind of authentic and objective analysis of itself.
“There is a lot to celebrate here, as well as clear areas to work on. But the great thing about this city is that it is endeavouring to avoid the danger of burying its head in the sand. Where there are issues, the Sheffield way is to tackle these head on. This report will inform policy makers and agencies throughout the city, as well as helping people that live, work, study and play in Sheffield to understand their city better. The lesson both past and present is that despite the enormity of the problems we face, it is possible to make real improvement if we work together. Not just joined up thinking but practical action to achieve change.”
At a launch event today (Tuesday 14 February), Chair of Sheffield City Partnership Board (SCPB), Lord Blunkett of Brightside & Hillsborough, and Councillor Julie Dore, Leader of Sheffield City Council, offered some reflection on the opportunities and challenges for Sheffield in 2017.
The event also featured contributions from Professor Gordon Dabinett of the University of Sheffield, and Paul Houghton, Partner at Grant Thornton and member of Sheffield City Partnership Board and Sheffield City Region LEP. Attendees were given the opportunity to discuss the report findings and also to raise questions in a panel session designed to reflect on how Sheffield can overcome the challenges faced and work in partnership across the city to make the most of the opportunities available. The panel included Professor Heather Campbell, University of Sheffield and member of the SCPB, who is part of the team about to launch the Sheffield City Region Vision Prospectus.
The design of the report has been created by students at Sheffield Hallam University. Christopher Winter, Graphic Design Undergraduate at the Sheffield Institute of Arts, member of the State of Sheffield 2017 design team, said: “Working in such a major collaborative project is a great opportunity. It’s allowed us to work with a real world client and professionals including the fantastic team at Evolution Print who welcomed us so warmly. We’ve also made new relationships amongst ourselves as students from different parts of the UK, and are connected through the Sheffield Institute of Arts to the long creative traditions of this important city.
“As a team we realised legibility and longevity were key since the publication would be used throughout the coming year. We brought our own creative twist in the form of a double-sided gatefold cover which paired our typographic skills with an amazing image of Sheffield. We sourced a wide-range of Sheffield photographers to feature in the report, with the intention of reflecting the diverse communities that make up our city.”
The State of Sheffield 2017 Report is available to download at www.sheffieldfirst.com/key-documents/state-of-sheffield.html.
Summary of contents
At a glance each section tells us:
1. Vibrant Economy
• There are a number of growth sectors in Sheffield, including advanced manufacturing and creative and digital.
• While the city has a low growth rate of new business start-ups, Sheffield businesses show greater resilience and there is a low rate of business closures.
• There is still a strong culture of innovation in Sheffield: the second highest number of patents granted per capita of any UK core city.
• Sheffield’s gross value added (GVA) remains low, but has seen faster than average growth
• The city has a larger than average manufacturing sector, and continues to strengthen its sector specialism in advanced manufacturing
• The health and education sectors remain dominant employment sectors
• The most noticeable jobs growth in the last five years has been in the professional, scientific and technical sector
• The growth of the creative and digital industry sector is another success story
• Cities in the northern triangle of Sheffield, Manchester and Leeds are poorly connected at present
• The majority of people in Sheffield work in jobs with low skills requirements, impacting on salaries which are low. Some people take jobs they are overqualified for. While reflecting a lower number of jobs requiring a NVQ level 4 and above, this may also show the city’s attractiveness as a place to live.
• Self-employment has increased by 10.3% in the last year
• Although the city’s unemployment rate remains higher than the national average, the number of people claiming out-of-work benefits has returned to pre-recession levels.
• When ranked according to how prosperous each core city is as a whole, Sheffield comes second in the UK.
2. A Youthful City
• Sheffield has high rates of 16 and 17 year olds engaging in training, and successful apprenticeship programmes.
• The educational attainment of children in Sheffield has increased over the last few years.
• Crucially, the 2016 rankings see Sheffield’s performance rankings outperforming its deprivation rankings.
• Improved pupil outcomes are matched by improved school outcomes, with more than 80% of schools judged ‘good’ or ‘outstanding’ by Ofsted at the end of 2015.
• More than 92% of 16-17 year olds are in full time education or training, higher than both the national and Core Cities average.
• Sheffield has the lowest proportion of young people not in education, employment or training.
• There’s been strong growth in apprenticeships with more than one and half times the national average being taken up. More than 800 places were created in two years, plus a further 620 vulnerable teenagers placed in apprenticeships.
• Our universities were attended by almost 60,000 students.
• There is a strong contrast in the numbers of young people progressing to university, depending on the area of the city in which they live.
3. An Ageing Friendly City?
• Our older population comprises nearly a third of the city’s total population.
• 5% of the older population are of BME origin and over the coming decades this will become increasingly diverse.
• Many of the older population provide unpaid voluntary work looking after their grandchildren, which has a positive influence on their health.
• Sheffield does better than national average on some health indicators, and better than similar cities on life expectancy in men and disability-free living in men.
• There could be up to 25 years difference in life expectancy depending where people live in Sheffield. On average men have 18 years of poor health and women 22.
• Life expectancy, time spent in good health, disability-free life and quality of life in over 65s are all less than the national average for people living in Sheffield.
4. A Fair and Just City
• The number of children living in families who claim benefits or are on low incomes has increased.
• Across the city 24% of children are living in poverty, but this is as high as 42% in certain areas of the city.
• 900 households in Sheffield are now affected by the benefits cap, since it was lowered in the Government’s welfare reform, compared to 113 households before the cap was lowered. These households contain almost 3500 children.
• Benefit delays and changes, and low income are the most common reasons for using food banks.
• Three new food banks have been opened, with 18 banks in total in the city. Sheffield City Council have agreed a grant funding arrangement for three years, which will help to pay for advice and advocacy services offered by Citizen’s Advice Bureau in nine of Sheffield’s food banks. This is the best and most stable funding position that CAB has in any of the Core Cities.
• Food bank services would not be possible without the generosity of other Sheffield residents who provide donations.
• Although Sheffield has seen an increase in fuel poverty, it has the lowest percentage of fuel poverty across all the Core Cities. The council has undertaken five rounds of collective energy buying to help people save money, with the average household saving £300 per year.
• Life expectancy for men and women has improved, but the difference between communities remains substantial.
• 20% of deaths in Sheffield are considered preventable. High blood pressure, high cholesterol, smoking, alcohol consumption and lack of physical activity are the main causes of premature death.
• There has been significant improvement in attainment of those children who are eligible for free school meals, with 21% progressing to higher education.
• Over-indebtedness is growing in the city and some communities in Sheffield are facing greater levels of deprivation. Looking at closing the gap in deprivation levels across the city, the council is launching a new Financial Inclusion Strategy in 2017.
5. The City Ecosystem
• Sheffield is the leading city for those who want a lifestyle that combines city and countryside.
• The city’s urban parks, woodlands and countryside receive more than 25 million visits each year.
• Sheffielders have significantly better access to woodlands across the whole city than anywhere else in the country.
• Allotment provision has increased by 130 plots in the last five years.
• There are five free, weekly, Saturday morning, 5km running events across the city, attracting 1200 people each week.
• People are using cars and buses less for their journeys. Journeys by bike and on foot have increased by 96% and 45%. However, cycling rates remain low compared with national average.
• More than 88% of people in Sheffield are active by walking, the second highest of Core Cities.
• Transport and the pollution from diesel vehicles is the largest cause of air quality issues in Sheffield.
• Up to 500 premature deaths in Sheffield are attributed to air quality issues. This is similar to the England level and has been gradually reducing since 2010.
• Sheffield has the lowest proportion of municipal waste sent to landfill than any other authority in the SCR and second lowest of the Core Cities.
• More than 200,000 tonnes of non-recyclable waste produced per year in Sheffield, is managed through the city’s Energy Recovery Facility and transformed in to electricity and thermal energy.
• Recycling rates in Sheffield are 13% lower than the national average.
6. Democracy and Engagement
• Of Sheffield’s 570,000 residents, around 450,000 are over 18 and most of them are eligible to vote.
• People aged 18 to 25 in Sheffield are least likely to register to vote
• People in Sheffield came out in large numbers to have their say about Britain’s membership in the EU, 67% of those eligible voted, more so than they have in previous elections in recent years.
• The EU vote was split almost exactly three ways; 136,018 voted to leave, 130,735 voted to remain and 129,741 did not vote.
• In the last five years, turnout for elections has varied from as low as 15% in the South Yorkshire Police and Crime Commissioner 2012 by-election, to as high as 77% in the Sheffield Hallam constituency in the 2015 general election.
• Almost two thirds of Sheffield people do not take part in choosing their local councillors, however there are substantial differences between ward turnouts, from 20% in City Ward to 49% in Ecclesall.
• The highest ward voting turnouts in the 2016 election coincided with the wards that have the largest proportion of adults that are highly educated.
• In the past year the council has conducted more than 200 public consultations across various city wide matters.
• People in Sheffield feel that they are not listened to and that their views are not acted upon and that more should be done to engage and inform people about how to contribute.
• Sheffield’s Trade Unions have seen their membership numbers greatly reduced.
• Sheffield undoubtedly has s strong community and voluntary sector, with at least 3300 community and voluntary organisations, with 90,000 people active in these organisations.
• The combined turnover of Sheffield’s community and voluntary organisations is more than £370 million and it is estimated that they add over £800 million of ‘gross value added’ to the city.