On paper it should be a depressing place to live – but a residents in one of Lincoln’s most deprived areas say they are ‘living the dream’.
People living on the Ermine in the north of the city argue it doesn’t deserve its bad reputation.
That’s because large parts of the neighbourhood are in the 10% most deprived in the UK, according to government figures which take into account crime, health, income and housing.
But people living around Laughton Way told The Lincolnite that the East Ermine had put its troubled past behind it now.
Mr Palmer, who has lived in the area for 20 years, said: “It used to have a bad reputation and the West Ermine was the place to live – now that’s switched.
“We’re living the dream here. It’s quiet and friendly. Schoolkids are mostly well-behaved. What more do you want?”
A 29-year-old woman who has spent all of her life in the neighbourhood also said the area was much improved.
“My mum used to tell me horror stories about what happened in her day – people throwing fireworks at houses and breaking in,” she said.
“I’m not saying it doesn’t happen now, but if it does we don’t see it. You hear about the odd pieces of trouble involving young people.
“However, people are more reluctant to get involved now. When there was trouble in the street, you used to intervene – now you have the worry that they might be carrying a knife. You’ve got to be careful.
“Everyone says that young people have children real early and can’t cope.
“I wouldn’t say that people know their neighbours very well anymore, but that’s not unique to the Ermine – you see it all over Lincoln.”
However, some warn the community is still troubled by bad behaviour which is spoiling it.
A man who asked not to be named said: “The majority of people here are lovely – but a minority go around vandalising cars, drinking, smoking and using bad language.
“You wonder if they should be at work, but they never seem to be. Frankly, I’d give them a job cleaning the area up.
“The council men with bin bags do an excellent job picking up all the beer bottles and litter they’re constantly dropping – I’ve never seen anywhere as bad.
“The problem is kids having kids, and not knowing how to look after them.
“Sadly, you’ll get groups who don’t care about area wherever you go – that’s just a fact of life.”
The Ermine East neighbourhood is ranked around the 2,000th most deprived area in the UK, out of a total 32,000.
The St Giles and Monks Road areas in the city are also ranked in the lowest 10%.
See the full breakdown of deprivation data on the Consumer Data Research Centre’s website.