THE north-south divide in Hillingdon is greater than that seen across the UK, according to the latest unemployment figures.
While politicians struggle to solve the national disparity between the poorer north and richer south of the country, Hillingdon's own geographical inequality - albeit flipped - is even worse.
In the north of the borough, 2.1 per cent of the working population is claiming unemployment benefit, while in the south, 3.7 per cent are regularly visiting their local Jobcentre to sign on.
This difference compares to a national picture of 3.2 per cent unemployed in the south of England and 4.7 per cent in north England, Scotland and Wales.
These are the latest figures available from the Office for National Statistics.
Mike Langan, chairman of Hillingdon Chamber of Commerce, said the greater density of social housing in the Hayes, West Drayton and Yeading areas was a big factor.
He told the Gazette: "The people in the north of the borough tend to have better qualifications and the more menial jobs go to those in the south, where more people have lost their jobs during the recession.
"There is greater social housing in the south so if you are unemployed you are more likely to find cheaper accommodation there.
"It has always been the same way and there are many other boroughs which have the same problem, with social housing tenants grouped together in one area."
The north-south divide is also reflected through many other available statistics.
Residents in Ruislip, Eastcote, Northwood, Harefield, Ickenham, Uxbridge and Hillingdon have higher incomes, longer life expectancies and are less likely to fall victim to crime, compared to their neighbours in Cowley, West Drayton, Hayes, Yeading and the Heathrow Villages.
You are also more likely to be a single parent if you live in the south of the borough, where a greater percentage claim any type of benefit.
In the north, nine per cent of residents receive welfare support of one type or another, while in the south the figure is 14.4 per cent.
Wally Kennedy, secretary of the campaign group Hillingdon Against Cuts, said that the geographical divide in the borough had worsened significantly over the last 30 years, when many of the major manufacturing industries around Hayes began to decline.
He explained: "The industries that were the basis of the economy in Hayes have now gone.
"They used to employ tens of thousands of people and have not been replaced.
"There needs to be huge investment in the Hayes area to provide employment, especially for young people who are in debt and are being made to work for nothing.
"The local authority should play a more proactive role in this. We should be bailing out communities and not the banks."
Asked how Hillingdon Council was attempting to bridge the economic chasm between the affluent north and struggling south, Councillor Jonathan Bianco (Con, Northwood Hills), cabinet member for finance, said he did not wish to comment.
A boost for Hayes could be the regeneration of The Old Vinyl Factory, where a £250m investment would provide 4,000 jobs. However, the Nestle factory in North Hyde Gardens will close in 2014 at a loss of 230 jobs.
It is, of course, impossible to say where those either taking or losing jobs live in the borough.
Crossrail is due to arrive in 2018, with a revamped station at Hayes and Harlington providing fast access to central London.
It would be a welcome logistical boost for the area that could attract more commuters, but again, fears exist as to whether it will bring prosperity – or simply bring workers who leave each night without spending money in the area.
LONDON: Average salary: £650 per week
Jobseekers' Allowance (JSA) claimants aged 16-64: 4.3%
People claiming any type of benefit: 15%
Average salary: £624
JSA claimants aged 16-64: 3%
People claiming any type of benefit: 11.7%
People claiming any benefit: 560, 7.6%
JSA claimants: 139, 1.9%
Benefits: 535, 7.4%
JSA: 108, 1.5%
Benefits: 595, 12.3%
JSA: 115, 2.4%
Benefits: 980, 11.8%
JSA: 265, 3.2%
Benefits: 395, 6.4%
JSA: 76, 1.2%
Benefits: 490, 6.8%
JSA: 121, 1.7%
Benefits: 540, 7.9%
JSA: 131, 1.9%
Benefits: 750, 10.2%
JSA: 139, 1.9%
Benefits: 795, 10.3%
JSA: 203, 2.6%
Benefits: 800, 10.1%
JSA: 199, 2.5%
Benefits: 575, 8.6%
JSA: 118, 1.8%
Benefits: 1,320, 14.3%
JSA: 356, 3.9%
Benefits: 1,740, 16.2%
JSA: 486, 4.5%
Benefits: 1,085, 13.3%
JSA: 236, 2.9%
Benefits: 930, 11.2%
JSA: 250, 3%
Benefits: 980, 12.6%
JSA: 260, 3.3%
Benefits: 1,375, 14.2%
JSA: 354, 3.7%
Benefits: 1,565, 16.3%
JSA: 432, 4.5%
Benefits: 1,105, 12.3%
JSA: 261, 2.9%
Benefits: 1,540, 18.1%
JSA: 351, 4.1%
Benefits: 1,345, 13.9%
JSA: 358, 3.7%
Benefits: 1,395, 16.4%
JSA: 341, 4%