Essay compare and contrast your two chosen case study areas to discuss the impact of rural and urban areas on social welfare
Compare and contrast your two chosen case study areas to discuss the impact of rural and urban
areas on social welfare (15)
Social welfare can be defined as the well-being of an entire society and can be measured
geographically by considering factors such as the quality of the environment, the level of crime, the
availability of essential social services as well as religious and spiritual aspects of life. It can also refer
to the access people have to job opportunities, housing, health care and education.
Blackburn is a post-industrial town situated north of the West Pennine moors. It has a population of
approximately 110,000 and has experienced significant levels of South Asian migration. Audley is an
inner-city area in Blackburn with a population of 9,000, two thirds of which are of South Asian
ethnicity and are Muslim. Audley is a relatively impoverished area with only 21% of residents in full
time work, and 80% of this work being manual labour. The average household income is £280, and
the 2 thirds of adults receive benefits. Over 50% of the residents have no formal qualifications. The
housing is largely back to back terrace housing and only 46% is owner-occupied. The crime rates are
relatively high – actual crimes and incidents being recorded as around 600 each month.
However, Audley, and Blackburn town as a whole, benefits from significant Government funding to
improve social welfare. Over £25million has been invested into education in the ‘fostering school
improvement’ scheme. Other services such as the administration of community cohesion officer in
Audley to prevent ethnic tension in the ward have been put in place. Interestingly, the spiritual
welfare is heavily catered for in Audley particularly amongst the Muslim residents. The Lancashire
Council of Mosques is located in Audley and offers services for the communities such as organising
community events to celebrate religious festivals.
On the other hand, Whalley is a relatively well-off ward. Whalley is a rural-urban fringe settlement of
around 3,895 residents located in the Ribble Valley, which borders Blackburn. House prices are
vastly higher, with a three bedroom terrace costing around £350,000, 80% of which are owner
occupied. 34% of people are in full time work but the nature of work is different to Audley, with 12%
of those in work being managing directors. The average income of a Whalley household is £570 and
the residents are therefore less financially dependent on the state. In contrast to Audley, 30% of
Whalley residents have a level 4/5 qualification or higher. The crime rates are less than half with
around 140 actual crimes per month, although proportionally this is not much less. Government
funding is still required in Whalley with regards to doctor’s services for the elderly population, and
funding for Whalley’s 14th Century Cistercian Abbey – a popular tourist destination.
It is clear that the access to education, employment and social well-being is much higher in Whalley.
However, Audley benefits from significant Government funding to improve the social welfare, and
this will hopefully improve in the future.