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Contrasts in service provision
  1. MRC Social and Public Health Sciences Unit, University of Glasgow, 4 Lilybank Gardens, Glasgow G12 8RZ, Scotland
  1. Anne Ellaway (anne{at}

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In our longitudinal study of two socially contrasting neighbourhoods in Glasgow1 we have collected a range of information on aspects of the local social and physical environment as well as surveying a sample of residents about their health and life circumstances. In presentations we have frequently used photographs as they can often convey features of the environment more evocatively than tables and graphs. Although we have a wide range of photographs depicting various aspects of the social and physical environment we have selected ones for publication here that we feel are least subject to bias—that is, an example of a publicly provided service (figs 1 and 2). The two buildings and their surrounding environs differ markedly in ways that not only might affect their use, but might also signal what levels of investment and maintenance are deemed appropriate by service providers for different types of areas.

Figure 1

Social Services office in more affluent locality.

Figure 2

Social Services office in more deprived locality.


We are grateful to David Boyd for taking the photographs and to Geoff Der for pointing out the issue of selection bias in photographing the social and physical environment.