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North-south divide - Does the north really have it so bad?

06 July 2004

Recent surveys have continued to highlight the growth in the north-south divide, and the supposed 'rough-ride' that people living in the north suffer compared to their southern counterparts. However, a new report, compiled by marketing and business intelligence company EuroDirect, shows that when it comes to Council Tax, northerners are much better off!

EuroDirect's CAMEO Property system helps rank areas in the UK by the average amount of Council Tax paid per year. The bottom 20 areas, all paying less than £914 per year are all located in the north.

Looking at those who pay least, Newport heads the table with the average yearly Council Tax bill standing at only £795.77. In second position is Swansea with an average bill of £816.62 per year, and Motherwell is placed third paying £818.75. Alongside Swansea and Motherwell, Wales, Scotland and the largest northern cities feature prominently in the top 20 with a total of twelve regions placed including Manchester, Leeds, Hull, Cardiff, Kirkwall and Wick, and Kilmarnock; all paying below £900 per year.

20 Lowest Council Tax Areas (Positions ranked from lowest to highest council tax):

Position

Region

Post Area

Average Council Tax Bill Per Year (£)

1

Newport

NP

795.77

2

Swansea

SA

816.62

3

Motherwell

ML

818.75

4

Llandudno

LL

824.94

5

Cardiff

CF

831.70

6

Wakefield

WF

847.15

7

Kirkwall and Wick

KW

855.54

8

Sunderland

SR

862.42

9

Tweed (Galashiels)

TD

862.88

10

Kilmarnock

KA

874.31

11

Dundee

DD

876.80

12

Hebrides

HS

881.40

13

Kirkcaldy

KY

883.61

14

Bradford

BD

886.30

15

Manchester

M

889.25

16

Falkirk

FK

889.86

17

Llandrindod Wells

LD

892.55

18

Leeds

LS

897.58

19

Hull

HU

912.61

20

Wigan

WN

913.61

At the other end of the scale southern regions pay the highest Council Tax rates. Kingston-Upon-Thames features at the end of the report, with households paying an average of £1,455.97 per year in Council Tax. Second to this is Twickenham with an average bill of £1,405.45, and Harrow is placed third from the bottom paying £1,390.12. Of these 20 regions only one, Harrogate, is in the north of the country with an average Council Tax payment of £1,234.16.

There is a staggering difference 55% different between the lowest and highest paying regions, which equates to a saving of up to £660 in the yearly Council Tax bills for every household in the lowest paying areas.

20 Highest Council Tax Areas (Positions ranked from lowest to highest council tax):

Position

Region

Post Area

Average Council Tax Bill Per Year (£)

101

Harrogate

HG

1234.16

102

Slough

SL

1235.13

103

Oxford

OX

1236.26

104

Reading

RG

1240.68

105

Croydon

CR

1244.50

106

London, North West

NW

1256.03

107

Sutton

SM

1257.93

108

Chelmsford

CM

1259.99

109

London, North

N

1261.51

110

Enfield

EN

1261.79

111

Tonbridge

TN

1262.84

112

London, West Central

WC

1265.73

113

Hemel Hempstead

HP

1286.57

114

Redhill

RH

1303.21

115

Watford

WD

1318.79

116

Guildford

GU

1334.49

117

St. Albans

AL

1346.47

118

Harrow

HA

1390.12

119

Twickenham

TW

1405.45

120

Kingston-Upon-Thames

KT

1455.97

The most recent north-south study from Sheffield University highlighted the growing divide and the raw deal northerners face:

  • Poverty is generally higher further away from the south-east
  • The south has a higher graduate population
  • There are higher rates of long-term illness in the north and Wales compared to the south-east

But as the EuroDirect's CAMEO Property system reveals, people in the north do have something to be happy about.

The report has been compiled from EuroDirect's CAMEO Property Classification system that is used for customer and market analysis in direct marketing and network planning

Further details from the full report are available on request.

John Dobson, Managing Director of EuroDirect, who happily resides in Leeds, one of the most exciting and fastest growing cities in the UK says:
"There are so many stories about it being 'grim' up north, but EuroDirect's CAMEO Property system proves that the real standard of living, taking more than earnings and property price into account is very good in many areas of the North. "

ENDS

Notes to Editors

About the Callcredit Information Group
Callcredit Information Group (www.callcreditgroup.com) brings together experts across the fields of credit referencing, marketing services, interactive solutions and consultative analytics to enable our client base of businesses and consumers to make informed decisions using our innovative products and services. The group is made up of two complementary divisions:

Marketing Solutions, providing specialist knowledge in customer analytics, consumer targeting, database building and hosting, marketing communications, business modelling and market analysis through three market leaders in their own fields: EuroDirect, Broadsystem and GMAP Consulting.

Credit Solutions, encompassing Callcredit, Legatio and DecisionMetrics - specialists in credit risk, ID verification services and tracing tools.

About EuroDirect
EuroDirect (www.eurodirect.com), the marketing services business within Callcredit information group and is one of the UK's leading marketing suppliersThe company is well established in the field of direct marketing. Clients include over 40% of the UK's top 1,000 companies, including three of the top five largest multi nationals Examples are Npower, Airmiles, Capital One, Scottish and Southern, Barclaycard and HBOS. EuroDirect is a prime supplier of consumer data, targeting and segmentation systems, credit marketing services and software and technologies to help marketers undertake consumer profiling, analysis, targeting, data management, market analysis and decision support. EuroDirect also works internationally and has developed a suite of international segmentation tools under the CAMEO brand.

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