A small area of the West Thornton ward is one of the three most deprived places in London, according to a new government study.

The area we’re talking about is on the border of West Thornton and Bensham Manor.

It encompasses the roads around Croydon University Hospital including a small stretch of Bensham Lane between Frant Road and Cameron Road.

Here there is a row of shops and businesses, so we headed down to see what it is like living there.

While those we spoke to said it was a friendly place, all agreed that they wanted to see the council pump more money into the area.

Overall it is the third most deprived place in the capital and out of 32,844 neighbourhoods in the country it is the 1,096 most deprived.

The ‘Indices of Deprivation 2019’ study, by the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government has measured the deprivation rates of every neighbourhood in the country.

It combines information from seven different areas to create a measure of deprivation.

Samuel Orunta lives nearby and works at Digital Technology Solutions which has been in Bensham Lane for the past five years.

The 33-year-old said that there are a lot of HMOs (House of multiple occupation) in the area which he thinks adds to the area being more deprived.

He said: “It is a good community round here everyone knows everyone and respects everyone.

“But that doesn’t change the fact that we see people begging for food and crack getting taken in the streets.

“They need to pump money into the area and support local businesses.”

But his colleague Barry Lucas, 44, thinks that the area has improved.

He said: “It is a lot better than it was but you still get a lot of people buying drugs on the corner.

“We are scared of inviting customers round here. I think there needs to be more money in this area, I think making the place look a bit nicer would make a big difference.”

And at Mayday Dry Cleaners Sheba Khairdin, 60, thinks more can be done to look after the streets in the area.

She said: “You can see around the streets it is very dirty. Because it is near the hospital the patients should feel happy, there are no trees and no greenery around.

“I think that the council neglects this area.”

A 27-year-old man who lives with his mum and sisters has lived in Bensham Lane his whole life.

“I personally don’t see crime around here but I am sure there is a lot going on,” he said.

He thinks that services in the area could be improved and said he has given up on trying to get doctors appointments at his local GP.

“The problems here are systematic it is the system as a whole.

“I couldn’t get a doctors appointment for such a long time, I don’t even bother calling anymore.

“It is very difficult to get housing round here but I think it is like that in Croydon anyway. I get the feeling people are being pushed out, I wouldn’t be able to afford to rent round here.”

Krishna Bhogadi, 42, runs KPG Properties which has been in Bensham Lane for more than five years.

He said that he keeps the front door of the shop locked for fear of crime and he agrees that more can be done with the upkeep of the area.

“There is rubbish on the streets and this is the first time it’s rained where it hasn’t flooded the pavements. It’s a mess.”

And his colleague 62-year-old James Fuller thinks that it is difficult for people in the area to get the money together for rent.

“It is very much hand to mouth, it is a cash economy.

“A studio round here is £850, people can’t get that sort of money together. Working two or three jobs with a little bit of help from the government.

“And many landlords will deal with people who are struggling.”

A 58-year-old who asked not to be named said he thinks that the council should not charge people to park on the roads around the area.

The man who has lived there since 2013 said: “I think they are messing up the area. Everywhere you park you have to pay, they are making money out of poor people.

“I think the council could put more money into it rather than make us pay.”

According to figures from 2016, across West Thornton 19 per cent of children in the ward are living in low income families while 16 per cent of housholds are experiencing fuel poverty.

Overall in Croydon two per cent of the borough is in the 10 per cent most deprived bracket in the country.

And this year’s government study ranked Croydon as  the 102nd most-deprived area in England, out of 317 Local Authorities.