Monday, 26 January 2015

Mind the gap

Last week didn’t cheer me up about Grimsby’s robustness in the face of recession. 

Educational aspiration has been a theme in this blog before.  One newspaper now reports the ‘learning gap’ between local authority areas when scored for the percentage of state school pupils gaining places in ‘the top thirty universities’ (although there is an obvious judgement call here).  Reading (where I started ordained ministry thirty years ago) comes way out on top – the only place where more than half did so.  Buckinghamshire (where I was brought up) comes third with more than a third.  North East Lincolnshire comes in the bottom ten with a score of 6% (as does Hull).

Two days later, another newspaper reports ‘the growth gap’ (there is some common journalistic style here).  It lists ‘cities (sic) with the lowest and highest growth in jobs 2004-2013’.  Only Milton Keynes outstrips London with 18% and 17% increases each; that is over 750 000 new jobs in London.  Grimsby and Hull are there in the bottom ten again – with a decline of about 7.5% each, which is a loss of 5 000 jobs in Grimsby’s case.

Meanwhile, the nearest thing on which the picture looks down from the Cathedral in Florence is the hotel in which we stayed over the New Year.

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