Poor childcare options and low house prices contribute to Westfield having the lowest average income in York, according to a councillor for the area.

Data from the Office for National Statistics show that people in an area including Westfield and Chapelfields in York have an average income of £34,000.

The average for all areas of York is £45,900, with people in rural areas to the west of the city bringing in an average of £57,300.

Cllr Andrew Waller, who represents the Westfield ward, said: “The ward itself, and the city, is a patchwork of high and low-income areas so it’s quite different to other cities.”

He added: “The ward has roughly a quarter of all council houses in the city so there is a concentration [of low-income households] there.

“There’s a lot of self-employed people at the beginning of business careers, it’s got younger families and the house prices here are lower than in other parts of the city.

“Some people move out of the area as they progress in their careers.”

York Press: Cllr Andrew WallerCllr Andrew Waller

The University of York, with Westfield Primary Community School, York High School and City of York Council have opened a community space in Westfield to help tackle some of the issues the area faces.

Cllr Waller said the £34,000 a year figure is not something “that surprises me knowing the area and obviously I’m working with council partners to help to raise that".


He added: “It’s a mix of situations that people are in, whether they are pensioners on a basic state pension or if they’re a young family and obviously some of the changes in benefits have held back incomes.

“Universal Credit hasn’t necessarily been the liberating factor that it was billed to be in terms of maintaining flexible support.

“There’s national work that needs to be done there.”

Cllr Waller also said that childcare provision is a contributing factor to low average income.

“It can work out expensive for families to be able to access longer hours, more full-time employment,” he said.

“And I think that’s something that the local schools are looking at, wrap-around care supported and provided at a more affordable level.

“I think that’s something that would benefit the area because that opens up more employment opportunities for people.”

Cllr Emilie Knight represents the richest area of York, a large rural space towards the west of the city.

“There may be that higher income level across the rural west, but there are significant pockets of deprivation,” she said.

“I think people see the bigger houses and they overlook the fact that there are people struggling and people having difficulty.

“I think the fuel crisis has hit people just as it does anywhere else.”

Net income in that area is £35,000 a year after housing costs, but in the Westfield area, it is just £24,300.

And despite the two areas neighbouring each other, the difference between what residents in each of them earn is vastly different.