Residents of neighbourhoods that are some of the most deprived Nottinghamshire and the country have revealed what it is like to live there and deal with drugs, crime and litter ‘putting a dark blanket over the areas.’
A recent report from the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government revealed part of the Ravensdale area – ranked the most deprived in Nottinghamshire – was the 36th most deprived out of 32,844 neighbourhoods nationally.
Part of the Oak Tree Lane estate was ranked 154th.
Many of those living in these areas were “not surprised” to find out how deprived their neighbourhoods are considered in the ‘English Indices of Deprivation 2019’, which takes into account factors such as employment, crime, health and education.
NottinghamshireLive spoke to residents of these areas in Mansfield to find out how their experiences reflected on the Government report.
Roy Hyatt, 58, has lived in Ravensdale his whole life and ‘does not think the area will change’ anytime soon.
Roy, who works as a carer, said: “It’s always been like this here. Violence and drug dealers are two big problems here.
“It’s not just young people either, there are people I grew up with who are now heroin addicts.
“The area really lacks any police officers walking the beat. You’re so unlikely to see any and it leads to things like the stabbing here last month. It’s all really tragic.”
Helen Johnson, a 46-year-old who works in retail, has also never moved away from Ravensdale and agrees the area’s ranking comes as no shock.
She said: “It’s not surprising to hear that because this part of Ravensdale is particularly bad if you ask me.
“A lot of people who live around here are on rehabilitation programmes and that makes the area lack a serious sense of community spirit. The drugs are part of a wider problem in Mansfield though.
“Here so many people are out of work and have nothing to do. That’s how trouble starts and ten years ago it was a lot different in that sense.
“It’s all a reflection of the society we are living in though and areas like Ravensdale are suffering the most.”
One resident of the area said he thought there are worse parts in Mansfield compared to Ravensdale.
Paul Roads, a 38-year-old taxi driver, who has lived in Ravensdale for 12 years said: “It surprises me to hear that it’s that bad to be honest, I thought there were areas in Mansfield that are worse.
“I live in a block of flats and we don’t get any problems.
“For me it’s only lacking a bit of character and a few shops for the locals that would bring jobs here, but it feels overall like there’s not much happening in Mansfield at the moment.”
Part of the Oak Tree estate in Mansfield was also in the top 10 percent of most deprived neighbourhoods nationally, despite it winning Nottinghamshire’s neighbourhood of the year in 2009.
Nick England, 42, who moved from the Oak Tree estate around seven years ago and now lives nearby on Broxtowe Road, said drugs are the main problem in the area.
He said: “To me this is obviously a very deprived area. It’s down to the fact there are so many drug users living here, even if a lot of residents are decent people.
“It puts a dark blanket over the place, but I don’t think it will ever change. I don’t think the people care enough to help themselves.
“I lived here for about 20 years before moving elsewhere and that was all part of the reason. The drugs and all they bring are the big problems.”
Freda Jackson, who is 75, retired, and has lived on the Oak Tree estate for 12 years, said: “I have lived here for 12 years and you can see how particularly the north end of the estate is suffering with the knock-on effects of poverty.
“The heath on the estate was set on fire last summer and almost burnt down. It highlighted the problems of the area in how there’s nothing for the youth to do.
“The Oak Tree conservation group organise litter picks because the littering is so bad here. In just nine months, 971 glass bottles were found in this area.”
Speaking about the deprivation figures, Executive Mayor of Mansfield Andy Abrahams said: “This is not news or a shock to us but a stark reminder that continued reductions in government funding has hit the communities in our district that are most in need.
“Although the council is the voice for those communities, we cannot tackle these issues on our own and rely on our partners working closely with us to make a real impact.”
Hayley Barsby, Chief Executive of Mansfield District Council, said: “The deprivation figures further support the need for our renewed approach to targeting resources and interventions in those areas that are most susceptible to inequalities.
“The council has prioritised growth, aspiration, wellbeing and place in the strategy for Mansfield, which sets out the council’s vision and plan over the next four years.
“Our work will be targeted and insight-led to bring positive outcomes for people to live and work here in Mansfield.”