The Current Living in Kirklees Survey 2021
- October 2022
Rochdale is ranked the 15th most deprived borough in England based on a rank of the average for LSOAs in the area (defined in the Indices of Deprivation). Many of the people in the borough were already significantly disadvantaged when the pandemic struck.
The pandemic revealed a number of inequalities but the rapid default to and reliance on, delivery of services online, highlighted the large number of people who were digitally excluded. Those without access to the internet and/or lacking digital skills were left further behind, missed out on support and access to services and provision.
Aside from a lack of IT equipment and IT skills, one of the biggest digital barriers that people in Rochdale face is access to internet provision that is affordable. This became especially apparent when venues that offered free Wi-Fi to residents were not able to open during the pandemic. Equally, many of the drop-in centres that currently offer free Wi-Fi have an internet service which is insufficient to accommodate multiple devices, resulting in access which is somewhat inadequate.