From the Revd Francis Ballinger
Sir, - While many of us would applaud a "bias to the poor", I am
disturbed by the idea of "redistribution to deprived areas" without
a clear idea of how "deprived" is defined, and how redistributed
funds would be used.
Many of the "official" ways of defining a deprived area are
based on census analysis, with assumptions, about ethnicity, for
example, which do not necessarily reflect the reality of life in an
area. Most also fail to take account of any "pockets" smaller than
600 people. Many projects arise in "deprived" areas without
appropriate research, and not in others because local people do not
make appropriate applications.
Is it not time to revisit Faith in the City and
Faith in the Countryside to give a clearer picture of the
reality of for Britain's poor, and be much clearer about what
churches can do, starting "bottom-up" rather than "top-down"?
4 Broxburn Road,
Warminster BA12 8EX