DPhil student Mark Fransham talks at The Centre for East London Studies in February 2017

The London Boroughs of Newham, Hackney and Tower Hamlets have consistently ranked as having some of the highest levels of deprivation in the country, based on the Index of Multiple Deprivation (IMD).

In a seminar hosted by the Centre of East London Studies, University of East London, Mark Fransham, along with fellow speakers Alasdair Rae (University of Sheffield), Stephen Timms, MP for East Ham, Liz Fenton (Growth Boroughs) and Jamie Simpson (London Borough of Barking and Dagenham), explored how the nature of poverty has shifted in East London in recent years.

The IMD has revealed improvements in East London boroughs rankings since 2004, and Tower Hamlets, ranked as having the third highest level of deprivation in the country in 2004, dropped to 7th in the index in 2010 and 24th in 2015.

Mark began the seminar by looking how poverty has changed within the context of the UK, over the last two decades: In-work poverty has overtaken out-of-work poverty, the share of people living in poverty in private-rented accommodation has risen, and a decentralisation and suburbanisation of poverty is happening.

Amongst these changes was hiding a "good news story", Mark commented, with poverty in pensioners halving since 1997, thanks to historical government investment in tax transfers and welfare benefits.

Concluding, Mark proposed that this changing face of poverty in the UK "has affected the geography of poverty in East London" and that the decline in East London deprivation rankings "is caused largely by a declining proportion of the population in poverty...[due to] an increase in the total population in these areas."