This chapter sets out in graphic detail the spiral of social, economic and health problems in communities which have seen the destruction of their industrial base. The effect of unemployment and poverty on families and schools in Barnsley is dramatic but the council has been forced to cut local public spending. Barnsley is top of the national league in terms of longterm illness but bottom of the league in terms of the government's Standard Spending Assessment (SSA). Julian Wroe argues that the present system is inequitable.