Well, you might be because according to newly released statistics the average person in the Westover ward of Bridgwater is a 41 year old white male who rents a property, works in a technical or manual job, has average qualifications and is in reasonably good health.
To be honest, this is pretty much the picture across most of Bridgwater – until you hit the Durleigh end of the town, now known as the ‘Wyndham Ward’ (named after the former Dr Morgans Grammar school ‘house’ that recruited it’s membership from that part of town and itself named after the Royalist Governor of Bridgwater Castle during the siege in 1645). Whilst the average age and ethnicity of that ward is consistent with Westover there are stark differences in Housing with a massive 83% owning or in the process of owning their homes in Wyndham compared with 48% and a mere 16% rented compared to 49% in Westover. The class divide continues with 16% of those in Westover in council houses and just 3% similarly housed in Wyndham.
If we look at Education Wyndham leads Bridgwater with 23% highly qualified to degree level or higher whilst Westover stands on 15% dropping to 11% in Hamp and Sydenham and 10% in Dunwear. 31% Westover residents have no qualifications compared to 23% in Wyndham and 37% in Dunwear.
In terms of Employment it won’t now be a surprise that the Wyndham end of town continues the long standing tradition of being home to the people who own and run the town with 36% of it’s residents in professional or higher management jobs whilst in Westover that drops to 20% which is about average for the rest of the town. Westover now can claim the highest unemployment rate in the town at 14%, outstripping Hamp on 12% and Eastover on 11% whilst Wyndham finds itself with a happy 4%.
Sadly, Westover also beats the rest of the town for bad Health with 2% of our population claiming this and only 38% boasting very good health (compared to Wyndhams 45%).
These are the first comparative statistics that have been made available based on the towns new ward boundaries and date back just to 2011. What it does show is their remains a social divide in Bridgwater and if you compare the towns statistics with a sample out of town area within Sedgemoor such as Burnham North you can see how similar that is to the Wyndham area of Bridgwater and generally across Sedgemoor.
As the Council prepares to celebrate 40 years of Sedgemoor District Council next week it’s acutely clear that social disparity remains entrenched in the system.
And that’s before we even get on to foodbanks……
To find the other wards and more detailed statistics go to the web site below.