Teenage pregnancy rates in Hackney
The Tory "broken Britain" document published on Sunday with it's now infamous missing decimal place on teenage pregnancy was using the borough where I am a councillor, Hackney, to produce its dodgy stats.
It claimed "In the most deprived areas, 54% are likely to fall pregnant before the age of 18." The figures were based on statistics for the 10 most deprived areas in the UK - Birmingham, Easington, Hackney, Islington, Knowsley, Liverpool, Manchester, Middlesbrough, Newham, Tower Hamlets, but with the real rate multiplied by ten.
The real rate of teenage pregnancy in the City & Hackney PCT area is 5.7%, not 54%.
Still too high but down by 25.9% from a rate of 7.7% between 1998 and 2007.
If such a basic, check-able fact gets published in print by the Tories exaggerated by ten-fold, how much more of their "Broken Britain" narrative is just Daily Mail style hysteria?
What makes this worse is that they actually have a reasonable presence on the ground here (nine councillors, at least until the May elections) so ought to have some awareness of the reality of the situation. Just a glance around at the number of prams and buggies on the streets and the apparent age of the people pushing them would have told the 54% figure was nonsense.
Inner city areas have enough social problems for councils and governments of any political colour to tackle without spurious stats being made up to scare swing voters living a long way away in suburbia.