A Changing Perth and Kinross
We are at the heart of Scotland’s history and we have significant economic and social assets. But we also face major challenges. Dependency on tourism, agriculture and hospitality means low wages – our levels are 9% below the Scottish average. Our 2017 Fairness Commission uncovered significant in-work poverty and rural poverty across the area. Social isolation in rural areas means transport and digital connectivity are vital. Our population is ageing, but alongside this we have welcomed 6,000 migrants from Eastern Europe and further afield in the last decade. Our overall population is set to increase by 10% over the next 20 years, and we require to build 6,000 new households by 2027.
Perth and Kinross is home to 150,680 residents. Our population is projected to grow approximately 10% by 2039 which is greater than the predicted growth of Scotland overall (7%). This predicted growth is mainly due to migration and the increase in the number of older people living or settling in the area. Currently people aged 65 and over account for 23% of the total population. By 2039 this proportion is set to increase to 30%. Whilst growth provides opportunities, it brings new challenges in terms of providing high quality services that meet peoples` needs.
Perth and Kinross is located in the heart of Scotland and covers an area of 5,300 square kilometres. The majority of the area is rural, with Perth City being the administrative, economic and cultural heart and home to a growing and diverse population, currently of around 50,000. Our area encompasses 12 towns over a 100 smaller settlements of all sizes, and some of the UK’s wildest and most stunning landscapes. The diversity of our landscape and our urban/rural mix can bring challenges as well as opportunities to redesign services to meet the changing needs of our population, for example, ensuring the right support is provided in the right way to those living in our most rural and remote areas. There are a number of community led projects to reduce social isolation, which affects members of our rural and urban communities, however we need to continue to work with communities to do more to make life better for the people of Perth and Kinross.
We have 67,676 households in Perth and Kinross and it is predicted that there will be 73,101 households by 2027. Affordable housing continues to be a priority for this area. Since 2011/12 over 500 affordable houses have been built by Registered Social Landlords and the Council. The Council is planning to build at least 80 new Council houses across Perth and Kinross each year over the next five years.
Within Perth and Kinross, unemployment is generally low at 1.3%. Low wage sectors such as tourism, hospitality and agriculture are important locally. This contributes to the fact that earnings from jobs in the area have been around 9% less than Scottish averages over the last decade. Resident earnings have also grown more slowly than Scotland during the same time. Around one in every nine working-age households are reliant on some form of (non-universal) state benefit.
Work is underway to expand on the economic and physical regeneration through investment in Perth City and our main towns, focussing on economic growth, tackling inequalities and increasing employment opportunities to meet future demand. We continue to take a proactive approach in attracting people to the area; increasing local spend and promoting our local businesses to thrive.
Children and Young People
The Community Planning Partnership has sustained a clear and ambitions vision for the citizens of Perth and Kinross. This shared vision benefits from unanimous political support and aligns the strategic direction across the partnership. This has created a culture of high aspirations for all our children, young people and families.
Through the Children, Young People and Families Partnership, partners have collaborated successfully to realign resources towards prevention and early intervention to prevent poor outcomes occurring, recognising that most, however not all, children and young people exist as part of a family unit.
Eighty percent of children are reaching their expected developmental milestones at their 27-30 month review. Support to parents continues to be a priority with a 30% increase in those attending a range of parenting programmes and family learning opportunities over the last year.
Sixteen percent of our population are children, and local authority education is provided to around 18,000 school pupils. There are 10 secondary schools including 6 community campuses, 73 primary schools, and one additional support needs school. High quality early learning and childcare is available through a range of settings across Perth and Kinross. We have one pre-school centre and 47 nursery classes within primary schools, and 36 partner providers of publicly funded childcare.
Attainment at Perth and Kinross schools continues to build on already high levels of performance. At first, second and third levels of Curriculum for Excellence, there are long term improvements in pupils making very good progress across the key areas of reading, writing, mathematics and numeracy and listening/talking. Our young people achieve high standards in national examinations and achievement measures, with 93% of school leavers going on to a positive destination. These figures compare very favourably with other local authority areas. However we need to continue to collectively work to close the gaps in attainment and achievement where they exist.
Health and Wellbeing
Residents in Perth and Kinross continue to have a higher life expectancy compared to the national average. Since 2011 the number of people aged 65 and over has increased by 14%. Over the same time period, the population of those aged under 65 has remained stable. The population of over 65s is projected to continue to increase, and against this backdrop, we are successfully supporting people to remain in their own home for longer. In 2015/16, 98% of people aged 65 and over lived at home. Within the same time period 720 people aged 65 and over were using Technology Enabled Care (excluding community alarms). This is a 60% increase since 2013/14 and developments in this area will be a key focus in the future.
Perth and Kinross remains a safe place to live. Over the last five years the number of crimes committed has continued to decline, and crime is at its lowest ever level. Over the last year there has been a reduction of nearly 400 crimes, with 150 fewer common assaults. The number of fire-related injuries shows a decline. Supporting our most vulnerable people in our communities remains a priority and our move to targeted home safety visits supports our proactive approach to reducing unintentional harm in the home. As a result there is a decrease in the number of hospital admissions of over 65s from unintentional harm in the home. We are committed to making a positive difference to people’s wellbeing, and providing a sense of security. The Community Planning Partnership recognises the need to work with all communities to develop high levels of community resilience and confidence, especially in a time of reducing public sector finance.
The Community Planning Partnership is committed to making a positive difference to people’s wellbeing through creating and maintaining healthy public spaces that encourage community cohesion and connection. This approach is strengthened when communities are empowered to look after nature and landscapes and are involved in the decisions that affect them.
Across Perth and Kinross this performance is very strong with 52.9% of the area`s waste being recycled/ composted. There is potential to grow the area’s renewable energy sector in terms of wind, hydro and biomass and clean technology.
Tenants are being empowered to identify and prioritise environmental improvements that will benefit the wider community. Over 50 projects were identified and delivered including: additional parking areas, clearing pathways to improve pathways and installation of security lighting.
One in seven of our households are classified as being amongst the most socially and financially challenged in the UK. Perth and Kinross has 186 data zones, 11 of these are classed by the Scottish Index of Multiple Deprivation (SIMD) as being within the 20% most deprived in Scotland. These 11 data zones are home to approximately 8,200 people.
Households that are experiencing the consequences of poverty are found in both our rural and urban areas, which provides a significant challenge in terms of how to best meet everyone’s needs.
Within Perth and Kinross, 2% of the population live in households where there is no central heating and 7% the population live in households which are overcrowded. 8% of the population are classed as income deprived compared to 12.3% in Scotland. The most deprived areas are concentrated in Perth (City Centre and North Perth) and Rattray. Overall around 1 in 5 children are estimated to be living in relative poverty after housing costs are considered.
One of the key challenges for those living in rural areas is fuel poverty. In the 2015 Local House Condition Survey 22.3% of all households in Perth and Kinross are in fuel poverty and spend more than 10% of their income on household fuel.
The Community Planning Partnership is committed to tackling persistent inequalities across the area. In addition, there will be a new Socio Economic Duty for public authorities at the end of 2017 to make sure our strategic decisions are carefully thought through, so they are as effective as they can be in tackling socio economic disadvantage and reducing inequalities.
To find out more information on Perth and Kinross see Stories of Place .