Yorkshire Evening Post launches special series highlighting social inequality in Leeds

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Today the Yorkshire Evening Post launches a special series highlighting the growing level of social inequality that exists in Leeds in 2019.

In a four-day series we take an in-depth look at the most affluent council ward in the borough, which is Harewood, and compare it to Gipton and Harehills, an area which is one of the most deprived in the city, if not the country.

Is the scale of social inequality in Leeds creating a tale of two cities?

Is the scale of social inequality in Leeds creating a tale of two cities?

-> Children born in these Leeds areas will live 10 years longer, shocking inequality figures show

It comes after social inequality charity, Gipton based Zest, recently carried out a sponsored ten mile walk from Harewood to another one of the city’s most challenged wards - Holbeck.

Charity bosses opted to do the walk because it was ten miles and high-lighted the ten year life expectancy difference which faces babies that are being born in Harehills compared to Harewood.

Operations manager Dom Charkin says: “The facts are stark. Someone born in the most affluent area is likely to live ten years longer than someone born in a poorer area.

“The number of people living in deprived areas, over the last few years it was 150,000. Now it is 164, 000.

“In the most deprived areas, the social inequality is very visible but in some of the more affluent areas, people might live in big houses struggling to heat them. Inequality and the issues from that can manifest in different ways.”

-> We must act now to stop the gulf of social inequality widening in Leeds - the YEP says

The statistics reveal a deeper picture - from gaping differences in crime figures, car and home ownership, English speakers and low income families as well as higher than average obesity and diabetes sufferers.

However, they only tell so much of the story.

It is the residents that make up the community of these places and they are places, in both the case of Harewood and Harehills, that have shaped their lives - and changed them for the better.

-> From Harewood to Holbeck - how a Leeds charity is tackling social inequality in the city

Work continues at local authority level to help bridge the gaps in opportunities and the barriers to them but with Leeds City Council’s budget having been slashed by £266m - that will only go so far.