Top of the Hill survey findings ‘stark’

Waterside Sinn Féin councillor Bridget Meehan has described the findings of a new report into life in the Top of the Hill area as “stark”.

The ‘Recession, Resilience and Rebalancing Social Economies in Northern Ireland’s Neighbourhoods’ report, funded by OFMDFM, looked at six areas across the North, including the Top of the Hill area and the nearby Irish Street area.

Colr. Meehan said; “The report is the first of many reports that will be published as part of the study. Much of the data was gathered through a survey and interviews with local residents.

“The report found that people in Top of the Hill experienced high levels of long-standing illnesses although there were lower levels of mental ill health and anxiety.

“Over half of those involved in the study had income levels of less than £200 per week, and over a quarter said they were behind on at least one household bill.

“Very few people said they had any savings and most people said their incomes had fallen in the last year and that they simply didn’t have any money they could save. Over half said they often ran out of money.”

Colr Meehan also said it also had positives.

“Very high percentages of people in TOTH said they felt they belonged to the community and were happy living there. “