A REPORT has revealed Colchester has fewer deprivation hotspots than in 2015 but council bosses say there is still more to be done.

The figures, which were released by the Department for Communities and Local Government, show Colchester is ranked the fifth most deprived area in Essex.

In 2015, when the last data was available, the borough was the fourth most deprived.

According to this year’s report, the most deprived area in the town is Magnolia, in Greenstead.

The area is in the 10 per cent most deprived places in the country.

In 2015, Colchester had four deprived hotspots including Magnolia, Barnhall, Salary Brook South and St Anne’s Estate.

The report focuses on seven forms of deprivation - income, employment, education, health, crime, barriers to housing and services and the living environment.

Mike Lilley, councillor responsible for communities and wellbeing at Colchester Council, said: “While these latest figures do appear encouraging, we recognise there is still more to be done.

“Our borough continues to be one of the fastest-growing places in the UK, which does make tackling deprivation an ongoing challenge due to an increasing demand for services.

“However, we remain fully committed to pursuing the kinds of systemic changes we know are necessary to support the most vulnerable members of our community, boost health and wellbeing, and which help to build thriving, cohesive communities.”

Colchester Council’s cabinet has agreed to continue to fund its Local Council Tax Support scheme, which this year has helped 9,000 residents reduce their council tax bill.

As part of the council’s commitment to reduce homelessness in the borough, more than 50 homeless households were put into temporary or permanent homes in the past year.

Other council-backed initiatives supporting vulnerable residents include the Monkwick Munch Club, which provides free lunches during school holidays to children who receive free school dinners or are on a low income.

It also supports the Cafe project which helps tackle loneliness and social isolation.