East Dunbartonshire residents ‘among the most empowered’

People in East Dunbartonshire exercise more power over their own lives than people in most of the rest of the country, new research suggests.

‘The Power Gap’, a report released this week by think tank Demos, ranks East Dunbartonshire 5th out of 628 Parliamentary constituencies listed according to how empowered people are to run their own lives. The list was compiled using figures on education, crime, health, income, voter turnout and political influence.

According to the report, these statistics reflect the power people have to shape their own lives, their resilience in the face of adversity and their power to shape the social world, all of which impact on people’s overall wellbeing.

Commenting, Jo said:

“This report gives a fascinating insight into the factors that allow people to take control of their lives. Power is often measured purely in terms of money, so it is interesting to see how a range of different factors, such as education and playing a role in the political process, are also vitally important.

“It is pleasing to know that people in East Dunbartonshire are empowered when it comes to shaping their own lives, but there is still more that needs to be done, and even within East Dunbartonshire there are large inequalities.

“I believe giving people a bigger role in politics would be a big step forward. Democracy should be more than just the power to vote every five years – citizens should also be able to make their voices heard between elections. Reforming our electoral system would also give people much greater control over how the country is run.”

According to ‘The Power Gap’, there are three key elements in human power: the power to shape one’s own life; the power to be resilient in the face of shocks and the arbitrary power of others; and the power to shape the social world. These three elements make up the core power capabilities that are measured throughout the power index.

The Power Map depicts the differences in levels of personal power by Parliamentary constituency in England, Wales and Scotland. The map provides an overview of the power held by individual citizens. This understanding of power takes in both the power that one has to decide how one’s own life will go, as well as power to have a voice in shaping the wider social world. The key concern is people’s power to be in control of their own lives.

The ten most powerful constituencies are:

1. Guildford

2. Cheadle

3. Richmond Park

4. South West Surrey

5. East Dunbartonshire

6. Wimbledon

7. South East Cambridgeshire

8. Monmouth

9. Maidenhead

10. Bristol West

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