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After recording the registration of 25 cars in each of the four wards, I put my results into a table and made a simple bar graph out of it. I do not think this is reliable information to show inequalities between the wards because there is no pattern of car registrations throughout the wards. The cars could have a personalised number plate and some cars may not have even belonged to people living in the wards. I do not think the registration of cars in the wards is a good indicator of affluence.

The survey took place during the working day so therefore the majority of the cars are likely to be at their owner’s place of work. The data from the secondary source about number of cars per household is much more reliable. Cars per Household All wards have a similar number of households with one car. Abington and Headlands both have roughly the same amount of households with none, one or two or more cars.

The ward with the highest amount of households with no car and the least amount of households with two or more cars is Eastfield. The ward with the least number of households with no car and the highest number of households with two or more cars is Weston. This suggests there are inequalities between the wards, that the Eastfield ward is less wealthy than the Weston ward. This data came from the 2001 Census and is a reliable indicator of inequality of wealth between the wards. The wards with the majority of households with no car are likely to be less affluent than the wards with fewer households with no car and more households owing two or more cars.

Analysis of Tenure of Households From looking at the pie charts of the 2001 census data of tenure of households I can see that the wards vary in the amount of owner occupied houses, privately rented, rented from the council and rented from Asso/Regd Social Landlord. In Eastfield there are more houses rented from the council than any other ward, because physically, there are more council houses in the Eastfield ward than there is in the other three wards.

There are more owner occupied houses in Weston than any other ward and in Abington there are more houses that are privately rented. The high percentage of privately rented houses in the Abington area is probably due to the fact that this area is predominantly terraced houses. These are the most attractive option for people who are looking to ‘buy to let’.  The Weston ward includes the Weston Favell village from where the ward name originates. The small percentage of council owned properties within the ward are the original council properties within the village boundary as well as the small number of council properties within Abington Park. Every village within the county has a mix of council owned properties and private properties,

This is reliable information from the 2001 census that shows inequalities between the wards. Compared to the percentage figures for Northampton, every ward except Eastfield has less houses rented from the council. Inequalities exist both within wards in Northampton and between them. I have found this out by comparing four wards in Northampton, Abington, Eastfield, Headlands and Weston. I have carried out various surveys and questionnaires that help me with my conclusion. The quality of life questionnaire generally showed that Weston and Abington have a better quality of life compared to Eastfield and Headlands.

The environmental quality survey I filled in whilst walking around the wards. It shows that generally Weston and Abington are more desirable places to live compared with Eastfield and Headlands with regards to aspects of the wards including attractive buildings, amount of traffic, litter and graffiti. I also filled in an affluence survey on each of the wards which highlighted the quality of cars in the wards by the registration plate and also the description of a typical house and the size of a typical house in each of the wards. There was no pattern with the cars in the wards although house sizes tend to be bigger in Weston than any other ward.

Secondary data that helped me with my conclusion is information from the 2001 census. From here I graphed the data of cars per household; this showed that the ward with the highest percentage of households with no car and the lowest percentage of households with two or more cars was Eastfield. The ward with the lowest percentage of households with no cars and the highest percentage of households with two or more cars was Weston.

Also from the census data I looked at the tenure of households. This once again showed that there are definitely inequalities between the wards as for example Weston has the highest percentage of owner occupied houses, Abington has the highest percentage of privately rented houses and Eastfield has the highest percentage of houses rented form the council. Other data from the census I used was unemployment figures in each of the wards. From this I made a choropleth map which shows that there is a higher rate of unemployment in Eastfield and Abington and a lower rate of unemployment in Headlands and Weston.

The photos I took around the wards show various inequalities within and between them. Most wards had graffiti although some more than others, all wards had some parking difficulty. Eastfield and Abington had more cars parked on the street whereas Weston and Headlands has still some parked on the street but a lot of cars in driveways and garages. The terraced housing in Abington was purposely built for workers in the nearby factories prior to the modern day use of the car which explains the lack of parking facilities.

The newspaper cuttings of house prices, show examples of typical houses in the wards. Houses in Abington and Weston are generally more expensive than houses in Eastfield and Headlands. But there are exceptions as quality of houses drastically change within each ward. The final data to support the hypothesis is the index of multiple deprivations. These maps clearly show the inequalities between the wards, that Eastfield is the most deprived out of the four wards and Weston is the least deprived.

Evaluation

I think my investigation went well. Although there were some areas that I could have improved to get more accurate results, the quality of life questionnaires were carried out by ten people from each ward, with different age ranges and sexes. If I were to do that again I would use a larger number of people from each ward and also try to target people living in different parts of the ward not just located in one particular area which I found happened when whole families filled out the questionnaire.

Also, I would ask people living in a ward to comment on the reputation of other wards to get a wider view because people tend to be biased to the own area. The affluence survey which noted 25 car registration plates, I feel was not necessary and if I were to do it again, I would not use this as it showed no pattern between the wards. I went on the Northants Police website to find crime statistics, but was unable to retrieve any information comparing the wards. I followed this up by emailing CBO (Community Beat Officers) for each of the wards but have received no reply to date. I think I have proved there are various inequalities between the four wards of Abington, Eastfield, Headlands and Weston, but also inequalities within the wards themselves.

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