Lower wellbeing in Welsh communities highlighted in new report
New research has identified a concerning wellbeing divide between different groups of people in Wales.
According to the study by Carnegie UK and Ipsos, disabled people in Wales, people living in the most deprived areas, those living in social housing or private rented accommodation, and younger people have lower levels of wellbeing.
Carnegie’s Life in the UK Index measures the wellbeing of the people of the UK by examining answers to questions across social, environmental, economic, and democratic themes. People in Wales living in the most deprived areas have lower wellbeing across each theme.
The report recognises the importance of legislation passed by the Welsh Government to deliver improvements in the wellbeing of current and future generations and has urged Welsh decision-makers to strengthen their approach, noting a likely impact of rising living costs on deprived communities.
Carnegie’s research also points out that a larger proportion of people in Wales (32%) are dissatisfied with job opportunities available locally when compared to the UK average (23%).
The foundation’s research is based on a survey of 6941 people from across the UK, including 531 from Wales, and comes a week after the launch of a new strategy for the Future Generations Commissioner for Wales.
Lack of trust
In a similar pattern to the rest of the UK, the research reveals a lack of trust in political systems and institutions. Three quarters (75%) of respondents in Wales feel that they do not have influence over decisions affecting the UK; two thirds (67%) feel the same about Wales-wide decisions; while over half (56%) feel they do not have influence over decisions affecting their local area.
Sarah Davidson, chief executive of Carnegie UK, said: “We’re urging the Welsh Government to use the tools at their disposal to drive down relative poverty, work to deliver high quality jobs, and tackle poorer rates of general health when compared to England.”
She added: “Our research shows that all spheres of government and the public sector need to work harder to engage local people in their decision-making. The extremely low levels of trust we see in our politics and our institutions drag down overall levels of wellbeing both in Wales and across the UK. This is alarming not only because trust is key to our democracy, but without engagement from the public our public policy is bound to be less effective.”
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