https://coanalysis.blog.gov.uk/2015/03/25/well-being-is-everyones-responsibility-local-partnerships-can-help/

Well-being is everyone’s responsibility - local partnerships can help

The Office for National Statistics is measuring national well-being and the Government is exploring ways to improve it, most recently setting up a What Works Centre to build the evidence base on which decisions can be made. It is perhaps a statement of the obvious but government decisions only play a partial role in determining the nation’s well-being - the decisions of businesses, charities, councils, and of course the personal choices we all make, are influential, often more so.

Businesses particularly have an important role to play in promoting health and well-being through their employment policies; research shows, for example, that we derive much more from our work than the income we earn[1]. With councils now leading on public health, there is the potential for partnership working between businesses and local authorities on improving health and well-being. Local Enterprise Partnerships (LEPs) provide opportunities for such partnership working; they were established in 2010 and bring together businesses and councils across areas which properly reflect the natural economic geographies of England. Their primary focus is on growth but some of their levers and influences could well have a positive impact on the well-being of local people.

So how does well-being vary across LEP areas?

How does well-being vary across the Local Enterprise Partnership Areas?

We have analysed the personal well-being data from the National Statistics Annual Population Survey over three years from April 2011 to March 2014. The four personal well-being questions, which are now national statistics, are answered on a scale of nought to ten:

  • Overall, how satisfied are you with your life nowadays?
  • Overall, to what extent do you feel the things you do in your life are worthwhile?
  • Overall, how happy did you feel yesterday?
  • Overall, how anxious did you feel yesterday?

The tables (see end of blog) present mean personal well-being levels for residents in each LEP. "Increasing" indicates we can have at least 95% confidence that the mean has increased over the period while "decreasing" similarly indicate a reduction. For some measures an increase represents an improvement, while for anxiety reductions are more desirable.

So what do the results show? Well if all LEPs are grouped together it is clear that there have been significant improvements since 2011 across all four measures of personal well-being. The results by individual LEP area reveal a varied picture. Setting the anxiety results to one side for a moment – Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly and Cumbria have relatively high well-being while Greater Birmingham and Solihull and London have relatively low well-being. Interestingly those LEP areas with the lowest wellbeing have seen significant improvements since 2011 – with five of the lowest six experiencing improvements across all four measures. So it appears that over the period the gap has closed across areas and if we look at the distributions within low well-being areas we can see that improvements have been, in part, driven by reductions in people with very low well-being.

It is clear that anxiety varies differently to the other three measures – for example Black Country residents have the lowest levels of anxiety while also having among the lowest levels of wellbeing across the other measures.

Actively considering the impacts of policy on wellbeing

Of course LEP areas in some cases are large places and while looking at the differences between areas it is also worth noting that there will be differences within areas – for example Birmingham has markedly lower well-being than Solihull and Walsall – yet they are combined in the same LEP area. That said the data is interesting – particularly the recent trends. LEPs could build on the momentum of recent improvements in well-being in their areas by further considering the likely impact of their decisions on the well-being of those living and working in the area. The O’Donnell report Well-being and Policy – made a number of evidence based recommendations which are relevant to LEPs notably: promoting stable economic growth, creating a built environment that is sociable and green, reducing unemployment through active welfare, empowering citizens and improving well-being at work for employees.

An early snap shot of the data with more to come...

This is an early snapshot of the results from analysing a new 3-year dataset released by ONS. This dataset supports more robust analysis of well-being across local areas due to its enhanced sample size. In due course ONS will release well-being estimates for LEP areas and other geographies.

Please get in touch if you have any information on the analysis in this blog or want to find out more about getting access to the dataset.

Tables of wellbeing results by Local Enterprise Partnership areas
Table 1: Average life satisfaction in Local Enterprise Partnerships
Local Enterprise Partnership
(sorted by average life satisfaction)
Average life satisfaction 2011 to 2014 Change from 2011-12 to
2013-14
Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly 7.79 No change
Cumbria 7.73 No change
York and North Yorkshire 7.64 No change
Enterprise M3 7.61 Increasing
Swindon and Wiltshire 7.60 No change
New Anglia 7.59 Increasing
The Marches 7.57 No change
Gloucestershire 7.57 No change
Dorset 7.56 No change
Coast to Capital 7.55 No change
Oxfordshire LEP 7.55 No change
Heart of the South West 7.54 Increasing
Solent 7.53 Increasing
Hertfordshire 7.53 No change
Greater Cambridge & Greater Peterborough 7.53 Increasing
Cheshire and Warrington 7.52 No change
Buckinghamshire Thames Valley 7.52 No change
Tees Valley 7.52 No change
Thames Valley Berkshire 7.51 Increasing
Leicester and Leicestershire 7.50 No change
Greater Lincolnshire 7.50 Increasing
Humber 7.49 No change
Lancashire 7.48 Increasing
Northamptonshire 7.48 No change
Derby, Derbyshire, Nottingham & Nott’shire 7.48 Increasing
Stoke-on-Trent and Staffordshire 7.48 No change
South East 7.47 Increasing
South East Midlands 7.46 No change
Worcestershire 7.46 No change
All LEPS Combined 7.45 Increasing
Leeds City Region 7.44 Increasing
Sheffield City Region 7.42 Increasing
North Eastern 7.41 No change
West of England 7.41 No change
Coventry and Warwickshire 7.39 Increasing
Black Country 7.35 Increasing
Liverpool City Region 7.33 No change
Greater Manchester 7.32 Increasing
London 7.30 Increasing
Greater Birmingham and Solihull 7.27 Increasing
Table 2: Average level of worthwhile activity in Local Enterprise Partnerships
Local Enterprise Partnership
(sorted by average level of worthwhile activity)
Average level of worthwhile activity 2011 to 2014 Change from 2011-12 to
2013-14
Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly 7.97 No change
Cumbria 7.86 Increasing
Swindon and Wiltshire 7.86 No change
Enterprise M3 7.83 Increasing
Coast to Capital 7.83 No change
York and North Yorkshire 7.82 No change
Dorset 7.82 Decreasing
Hertfordshire 7.81 No change
Buckinghamshire Thames Valley 7.81 No change
Gloucestershire 7.79 No change
Greater Lincolnshire 7.79 No change
New Anglia 7.78 Increasing
The Marches 7.78 No change
Cheshire and Warrington 7.78 No change
Heart of the South West 7.77 No change
Greater Cambridge & Greater Peterborough 7.77 No change
Humber 7.77 No change
Northamptonshire 7.76 No change
South East 7.76 Increasing
Lancashire 7.75 Increasing
Thames Valley Berkshire 7.73 Increasing
Oxfordshire LEP 7.72 Increasing
Solent 7.72 No change
Tees Valley 7.72 Increasing
Leicester and Leicestershire 7.72 No change
South East Midlands 7.71 No change
Derby, Derbyshire, Nottingham & Nott’shire 7.70 No change
Leeds City Region 7.70 No change
Sheffield City Region 7.70 Increasing
All LEPS Combined 7.70 Increasing
Worcestershire 7.69 No change
Stoke-on-Trent and Staffordshire 7.67 No change
Liverpool City Region 7.67 No change
North Eastern 7.65 No change
West of England 7.63 No change
Black Country 7.60 Increasing
Greater Manchester 7.59 Increasing
London 7.57 Increasing
Greater Birmingham and Solihull 7.53 Increasing
Coventry and Warwickshire 7.52 Increasing
Table 3: Average level of happiness yesterday in Local Enterprise Partnerships
Local Enterprise Partnership
(sorted by average level of happiness yesterday)
Average level of happiness yesterday 2011 to 2014 Change from 2011-12 to
2013-14
Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly 7.57 No change
New Anglia 7.47 Increasing
Cheshire and Warrington 7.47 No change
Swindon and Wiltshire 7.46 No change
Cumbria 7.45 No change
York and North Yorkshire 7.45 No change
The Marches 7.45 No change
Enterprise M3 7.44 Increasing
Coast to Capital 7.44 No change
Dorset 7.43 No change
Hertfordshire 7.42 No change
Buckinghamshire Thames Valley 7.42 No change
Greater Cambridge & Greater Peterborough 7.40 No change
Solent 7.40 Increasing
Greater Lincolnshire 7.39 Increasing
Northamptonshire 7.39 No change
Heart of the South West 7.38 No change
South East 7.38 No change
Leicester and Leicestershire 7.38 Increasing
Worcestershire 7.38 No change
Thames Valley Berkshire 7.37 No change
Stoke-on-Trent and Staffordshire 7.37 No change
South East Midlands 7.36 No change
Humber 7.35 No change
Derby, Derbyshire, Nottingham & Nott’shire 7.35 No change
Gloucestershire 7.34 No change
Lancashire 7.33 Increasing
All LEPS Combined 7.33 Increasing
Tees Valley 7.31 Increasing
Coventry and Warwickshire 7.31 Increasing
Sheffield City Region 7.30 Increasing
Leeds City Region 7.29 Increasing
West of England 7.26 No change
Oxfordshire LEP 7.25 No change
London 7.24 Increasing
Greater Manchester 7.23 Increasing
North Eastern 7.22 Increasing
Black Country 7.22 Increasing
Greater Birmingham and Solihull 7.20 Increasing
Liverpool City Region 7.12 No change
Table 4: Average level of anxiety yesterday in Local Enterprise Partnerships
Local Enterprise Partnership
(sorted by average level of anxiety yesterday)
Average level of anxiety yesterday 2011 to 2014 Change from 2011-12 to
2013-14
Black Country 2.64 Decreasing
Worcestershire 2.74 Decreasing
York and North Yorkshire 2.75 Decreasing
Solent 2.79 Decreasing
Coventry and Warwickshire 2.79 Decreasing
Cumbria 2.82 Decreasing
Dorset 2.82 Decreasing
Northamptonshire 2.85 Decreasing
Stoke-on-Trent and Staffordshire 2.89 Decreasing
Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly 2.90 No change
Cheshire and Warrington 2.90 Decreasing
Enterprise M3 2.90 Decreasing
Derby, Derbyshire, Nottingham & Nott’shire 2.90 Decreasing
Humber 2.91 Decreasing
Swindon and Wiltshire 2.94 No change
Greater Cambridge & Greater Peterborough 2.94 Decreasing
South East 2.95 Decreasing
Gloucestershire 2.95 No change
Heart of the South West 2.96 No change
Tees Valley 2.96 Decreasing
Greater Birmingham and Solihull 2.96 Decreasing
The Marches 2.97 Decreasing
Greater Lincolnshire 2.97 Decreasing
South East Midlands 2.97 Decreasing
Hertfordshire 2.98 No change
Lancashire 2.98 Decreasing
Buckinghamshire Thames Valley 2.99 No change
Leeds City Region 3.02 Decreasing
All LEPS Combined 3.03 Decreasing
Sheffield City Region 3.06 Decreasing
Greater Manchester 3.08 Decreasing
West of England 3.09 Decreasing
New Anglia 3.10 Decreasing
Coast to Capital 3.10 Decreasing
Thames Valley Berkshire 3.10 No change
North Eastern 3.10 Decreasing
Oxfordshire LEP 3.12 Decreasing
Liverpool City Region 3.17 No change
London 3.29 Decreasing
Leicester and Leicestershire 3.31 Decreasing

 
[1] See Jahoda et al 1971: Marienthal: the sociography of an unemployed community, which outlined the impacts of unemployment going beyond obvious financial hardships and concluding that work brings wider non-financial benefits such as sense of personal worth, connections with wider social objectives etc.

[2] Note that a 3 year Annual Population Survey dataset developed by ONS has been used for estimates of mean well-being and three individual annual datasets have been used to provide an indication of whether changes in well-being between years is significant to a 95% confidence.

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