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Last Updated: Thursday, 8 November 2007, 03:22 GMT
Manchester people 'left behind'
Manchester at night.
Mr Duncan Smith says Manchester is one of the UK's greatest cities.
Social breakdown in Manchester is significantly worse than in any other big English city, a survey by ex-Tory leader Iain Duncan Smith suggests.

His Centre for Social Justice says Manchester's teenage pregnancy rate is almost double the England average.

The proportion of city men admitted to hospital because of alcohol is the second highest in the country, it says.

Mr Duncan Smith says Manchester is one of the UK's greatest cities, but many of its people are "being left behind".

The Centre for Social Justice says its report "paints a disturbing picture of educational failure, high levels of youth crime and unemployment, widespread family breakdown and severe alcohol abuse".

'Spiral' of decline

It is being unveiled in Manchester at the same time as Tory leader David Cameron launches a Conservative Co-operative movement to help people form groups to take control of some local public services.

On just about every measure of social breakdown, Manchester is scoring far worse than the national average and other big cities
Iain Duncan Smith

Mr Cameron and Mr Duncan Smith are joining forces with local voluntary workers at Manchester's Barnabus project - which helps the homeless, addicts, ex-offenders and prostitutes - to unveil a "Breakthrough Manchester" manifesto for social renewal.

Mr Duncan Smith will say: "Manchester is one of the greatest cities in the UK and its economic rebirth over the last 15 years is enriching the lives of many of its two million citizens.

"But many others are being left behind. On just about every measure of social breakdown, Manchester is scoring far worse than the national average and other big cities.

"We almost have two Manchesters - one that is forging ahead, creating jobs, wealth and regeneration of run-down areas - and another mired in a deepening spiral of social breakdown.

"We are forming policies to reverse the tide of social breakdown and ensure that everyone in Manchester and the rest of the UK will have a chance to play a full part in the life of the nation."


Mr Duncan Smith will say plans in the Tories' "Breakthrough Britain" manifesto for new pioneer schools, run by parents and local voluntary groups, "will transform educational chances for children from poor parts" of Manchester.

"And our proposals for tax breaks for marriage and benefit reform will help to strengthen families."

Some of the report's key findings for Manchester:

  • Only three of Manchester's 23 non-selective state secondary schools achieve exam results above the national average
  • Manchester is near the bottom of the league table for truancy, scoring second worst out of 150 councils and fourth worst for school exclusions for bad behaviour
  • Only one school leaver in four goes to university
  • Two in five families with children are headed by a lone parent, compared with just over one in five across England
  • Greater Manchester has the highest number of ASBOs issued to children aged between 10 and 17 in the UK, almost 75% higher than for Greater London
  • In Greater Manchester there are seven gun-related incidents every day - the number of firearms deaths is only higher in London
  • One in 14 girls aged between 15 and 17 becomes pregnant in Manchester - almost double the rate across England
  • In 2004/5 Greater Manchester had the highest number of children under 15 (238) admitted to hospital for alcohol-related problems
  • In 2005/6 809 per 100,000 of Manchester's male population were admitted to hospital because of alcohol-specific conditions - more than double the national rate of 340 per 100,000
  • In 2006, 22% of Manchester's working-age population were out of work and on benefits, higher than the national rate of 14.6%

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