Swindon AdvertiserIf you live here, you'll die younger (From Swindon Advertiser)

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If you live here, you'll die younger

Swindon Advertiser: The Parks, where life expectancy levels are 17 years lower than nearby Grange Park The Parks, where life expectancy levels are 17 years lower than nearby Grange Park

RESIDENTS in some of the most deprived areas of Swindon can expect to die up to 17 years younger than their counterparts in the town’s wealthiest neighbourhoods, alarming new figures have revealed.

According to the statistics released by Public Health England, women in the Parks have the lowest life expectancy in town, with the average dying at 78 years old. This is compared to Grange Park where female residents live to more than 95 years old.

In Okus and Kingshill, they reach on average 79 years old.

Men did not fare well either in areas like the Parks and nearby Walcot.

In comparison to Grange Park, where most of the male population lives to more than 87, further east in Broadgreen and Queenstown the majority only reach 71 years of age.

The figure is slightly higher but remains among the lowest in Pinehurst, Rodbourne Cheney and Walcot East, with a life expectancy of between 73 and 74 years.

This state of affairs came as a shock to some councillors who demanded immediate action be taken and the issue be approached under a completely new light.

Coun Roderick Bluh, a member of Swindon Council’s health overview and scrutiny committee, said the problem was not a health matter, as was previously thought, but a deep-rooted social issue.

In order for things to change, he added, educating more deprived populations was key.

“The figures are quite stark,” he said.

“People on the lowest income are the ones who have the worst life expectancy and the worst chronic illnesses. And they smoke and drink more.

“It suggests that people on low income who are spending a lot of money on cigarettes and alcohol are not spending enough money on healthy food. They should be maximising their income.

“We are all responsible for maintaining our own wellbeing and they are making their lot worse. We need to help them and educate them about making better choices.

“At the moment it’s all health focused but it’s a social problem.

“It’s a very difficult subject to deal with but it should be tackled. The discrepancy is shocking in this day and age and the facts seem to suggest that personal responsibility and education are key to this.”

But the Rev Linda Fletcher, vicar at St John’s Church in Park North said blaming residents’ smoking and drinking habits was ‘unfair’ and evaded the real issues at stake.

“The problem is poverty and blaming it on smoking and drinking is not fair,” said the 41-year-old from Park North.

“If you’re living on a really tight budget it’s very difficult to feed your family healthily.

“In poor areas life expectancy is lower so I expected it to be lower here but it’s going to get worse with the cuts to benefits and increase the need for foodbanks. Families are struggling to feed themselves well with things like the rise in fuel bills and that has an impact on life expectancy.

“We know that people have to choose between heating and food on the table.

“It is outrageous that there is such a differential rate.”

Life expectancy in Grange Park does not only surpass that in every other area of Swindon but is the fourth highest in the entire country.

According to Public Health England’s figures, women in Oakhurst, Taw Hill, Redhouse, Haydon End, St Andrew’s Ridge, Ash Brake and Abbey Meads can also expect to live well into their 90s with life expectancies among the top 10 in the country.

Sam Burnley, project support worker at The Shop in Cavendish Square, Park North, added: “I’m really surprised by these figures. You’d think that within the locality of a town there would not be such a discrepancy.

“In Parks a large percentage of people are on benefits and don’t have the money to buy fresh fruit and veg and prepare healthy meals.

“It is true that people on low income do smoke and drink but there are no incentives here for them to be healthy.

“It is a vicious circle. They can’t get a job, they get low and then drink, smoke or take drugs.

“But at least the people of Parks are still trying to make it a better place. They want to make it better.”

Comments (23)

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6:53am Mon 3 Feb 14

swindondad says...

OK I am confused Sam Burnley how can you say both,

"a large percentage of people are on benefits and don’t have the money to buy fresh fruit and veg and prepare healthy meals."

And

"They can’t get a job, they get low and then drink, smoke or take drugs."

If people are unable to priorities healthy food over smoking / drinking / drugs then they should be given a proportion of their benefit in food stamps not money.
OK I am confused Sam Burnley how can you say both, "a large percentage of people are on benefits and don’t have the money to buy fresh fruit and veg and prepare healthy meals." And "They can’t get a job, they get low and then drink, smoke or take drugs." If people are unable to priorities healthy food over smoking / drinking / drugs then they should be given a proportion of their benefit in food stamps not money. swindondad
  • Score: 49

7:12am Mon 3 Feb 14

Mango man says...

There are very few areas of Swindon which are not deprived. Parks, Walcot, Pinehurst, Penhill, Toothill, Freshbrook, even the newer built areas such as Redhouse and Wichelstowe are full of wasters and benefits brigade. I'm sure it's the same in every town of an equivalent size and don't think for one second that Grangepark is much better than the rest, I mean have you seen The Holbeins, Marney Road etc
There are very few areas of Swindon which are not deprived. Parks, Walcot, Pinehurst, Penhill, Toothill, Freshbrook, even the newer built areas such as Redhouse and Wichelstowe are full of wasters and benefits brigade. I'm sure it's the same in every town of an equivalent size and don't think for one second that Grangepark is much better than the rest, I mean have you seen The Holbeins, Marney Road etc Mango man
  • Score: 11

8:16am Mon 3 Feb 14

Arrowfield says...

Stupid article. No one has lived in any of these areas for their entire lift. Priory Vale was only built about 10 years ago. A woman who has lived all her life in Park South moves to Redhouse in 2013? Screws the figures somewhat!
Stupid article. No one has lived in any of these areas for their entire lift. Priory Vale was only built about 10 years ago. A woman who has lived all her life in Park South moves to Redhouse in 2013? Screws the figures somewhat! Arrowfield
  • Score: 19

8:32am Mon 3 Feb 14

house on the hill says...

The reality is it is all down to attitude and not where you live. If you want to live healthy and prioritise your spending you can do that wherever you live and irrespective of where your income comes from. It is about changing attitudes not moving house, plenty of overweight smokers and drinkers in Broome Manor as there are everywhere. Stupid article agree.
The reality is it is all down to attitude and not where you live. If you want to live healthy and prioritise your spending you can do that wherever you live and irrespective of where your income comes from. It is about changing attitudes not moving house, plenty of overweight smokers and drinkers in Broome Manor as there are everywhere. Stupid article agree. house on the hill
  • Score: 13

8:38am Mon 3 Feb 14

Al Smith says...

Arrowfield wrote:
Stupid article. No one has lived in any of these areas for their entire lift. Priory Vale was only built about 10 years ago. A woman who has lived all her life in Park South moves to Redhouse in 2013? Screws the figures somewhat!
Exactly what I was going to say! The statistics for estates built in the 50/60's might well be correct(ish) because someone who got a new house there when they were built would be in their 70s or 80s at least. Whereas the places like Taw Hill most of the residents will be in their 30s or 40s.

From memory I think it was meant to be Old Town and Lawn that has the highest proportion of pensioners, yet it's not mentioned in this article?
[quote][p][bold]Arrowfield[/bold] wrote: Stupid article. No one has lived in any of these areas for their entire lift. Priory Vale was only built about 10 years ago. A woman who has lived all her life in Park South moves to Redhouse in 2013? Screws the figures somewhat![/p][/quote]Exactly what I was going to say! The statistics for estates built in the 50/60's might well be correct(ish) because someone who got a new house there when they were built would be in their 70s or 80s at least. Whereas the places like Taw Hill most of the residents will be in their 30s or 40s. From memory I think it was meant to be Old Town and Lawn that has the highest proportion of pensioners, yet it's not mentioned in this article? Al Smith
  • Score: 5

9:25am Mon 3 Feb 14

Moth says...

Ridiculous article. The insinuation is that no-one from the so-called "better" areas smoke or drink?

As for the poor not being able to feed themselves properly, that is nothing whatsoever to do with income as you can get excellent fresh fruit and veg, good quality meat at a reasonable price at Aldi's or Lidls. What it has everything to do with is that many people don't know how to cook.

Once, girls got cookery lessons at school. That was taken out of the school curriculum decades ago.

I learned to cook watching and helping my mother, also got cookery lessons at school.

I'm on a very tight budget but cook everything from scratch (works out a LOT cheaper too). Anyone want lessons - just ask.
Ridiculous article. The insinuation is that no-one from the so-called "better" areas smoke or drink? As for the poor not being able to feed themselves properly, that is nothing whatsoever to do with income as you can get excellent fresh fruit and veg, good quality meat at a reasonable price at Aldi's or Lidls. What it has everything to do with is that many people don't know how to cook. Once, girls got cookery lessons at school. That was taken out of the school curriculum decades ago. I learned to cook watching and helping my mother, also got cookery lessons at school. I'm on a very tight budget but cook everything from scratch (works out a LOT cheaper too). Anyone want lessons - just ask. Moth
  • Score: 14

10:22am Mon 3 Feb 14

CocoaClown says...

I agree that the survey is flawed and it is more about lifestyle than where someone lives. Just because you live in a 'deprived' area doesn't mean that you can't have a healthy lifestyle. Your life, your choice - some people just have different priorities.

“In Parks a large percentage of people are on benefits and don’t have the money to buy fresh fruit and veg and prepare healthy meals."

“It is true that people on low income do smoke and drink but there are no incentives here for them to be healthy."

So they don't have the money to buy fresh fruit and veg but do have money to buy cigarettes and alcohol.

Surely just being fit and healthy is an incentive?
I agree that the survey is flawed and it is more about lifestyle than where someone lives. Just because you live in a 'deprived' area doesn't mean that you can't have a healthy lifestyle. Your life, your choice - some people just have different priorities. “In Parks a large percentage of people are on benefits and don’t have the money to buy fresh fruit and veg and prepare healthy meals." “It is true that people on low income do smoke and drink but there are no incentives here for them to be healthy." So they don't have the money to buy fresh fruit and veg but do have money to buy cigarettes and alcohol. Surely just being fit and healthy is an incentive? CocoaClown
  • Score: 6

10:45am Mon 3 Feb 14

Davey Gravey says...

I think Rod Bluh is right. Those dying young mostly will be down to their lifestyle . Poor diet, fags and booze will contribute for sure.
I think Rod Bluh is right. Those dying young mostly will be down to their lifestyle . Poor diet, fags and booze will contribute for sure. Davey Gravey
  • Score: 2

10:45am Mon 3 Feb 14

benzss says...

CocoaClown wrote:
I agree that the survey is flawed and it is more about lifestyle than where someone lives. Just because you live in a 'deprived' area doesn't mean that you can't have a healthy lifestyle. Your life, your choice - some people just have different priorities.

“In Parks a large percentage of people are on benefits and don’t have the money to buy fresh fruit and veg and prepare healthy meals."

“It is true that people on low income do smoke and drink but there are no incentives here for them to be healthy."

So they don't have the money to buy fresh fruit and veg but do have money to buy cigarettes and alcohol.

Surely just being fit and healthy is an incentive?
Evidently it is not an incentive...
[quote][p][bold]CocoaClown[/bold] wrote: I agree that the survey is flawed and it is more about lifestyle than where someone lives. Just because you live in a 'deprived' area doesn't mean that you can't have a healthy lifestyle. Your life, your choice - some people just have different priorities. “In Parks a large percentage of people are on benefits and don’t have the money to buy fresh fruit and veg and prepare healthy meals." “It is true that people on low income do smoke and drink but there are no incentives here for them to be healthy." So they don't have the money to buy fresh fruit and veg but do have money to buy cigarettes and alcohol. Surely just being fit and healthy is an incentive?[/p][/quote]Evidently it is not an incentive... benzss
  • Score: -1

10:53am Mon 3 Feb 14

swindon_mini says...

This article is complete rubbish. You cannot compare Wards in Swindon to each other in life expectancy; the demographics are just too small. Also even the "Bad" areas are not bad. Swindon as a whole is a safe and healthy place to live compared to somewhere like Beijing.
Did the writers of this report consider genetics? That people who had underlying health issues and had to leave work at a young age and given council accommodation were all in the same area?
Did the writers also consider that those with a healthy body and mind had the ability to work towards a good career and chose to live an area with higher valued accommodation?
This article is complete rubbish. You cannot compare Wards in Swindon to each other in life expectancy; the demographics are just too small. Also even the "Bad" areas are not bad. Swindon as a whole is a safe and healthy place to live compared to somewhere like Beijing. Did the writers of this report consider genetics? That people who had underlying health issues and had to leave work at a young age and given council accommodation were all in the same area? Did the writers also consider that those with a healthy body and mind had the ability to work towards a good career and chose to live an area with higher valued accommodation? swindon_mini
  • Score: 1

11:38am Mon 3 Feb 14

Wildwestener says...

What a load of rubbish. Most statistically flawed thing I think I've ever seen. As for those saying that poor people can't afford to feed families well so buy booze, cigs and drugs well then they can afford to buy healthy food; they choose not to. Sorry it's there choice in that circumstance. It's also an insult to those on low incomes who live well despite that and there are plenty of those too.
What a load of rubbish. Most statistically flawed thing I think I've ever seen. As for those saying that poor people can't afford to feed families well so buy booze, cigs and drugs well then they can afford to buy healthy food; they choose not to. Sorry it's there choice in that circumstance. It's also an insult to those on low incomes who live well despite that and there are plenty of those too. Wildwestener
  • Score: 8

11:48am Mon 3 Feb 14

stfcdod says...

Stop the fags, booze and drugs. Eat more fruit and vegetables. Live longer. It's very simple really.
Stop the fags, booze and drugs. Eat more fruit and vegetables. Live longer. It's very simple really. stfcdod
  • Score: 10

12:10pm Mon 3 Feb 14

Antonio Lorusso says...

We live in an economy where the poorest live to sn average of 79, but that's no good because the richest live to an average of 95?

This is socialist thinking in a nutshell. It will never matter to them that capitalism has resulted in the poorest today living better quality lives than the richest used to enjoy before, they will always point to any gap and complain about how "unfair" it is whilst capitalism does the hard work of raising everbody's quality of life in absolute terms.
We live in an economy where the poorest live to sn average of 79, but that's no good because the richest live to an average of 95? This is socialist thinking in a nutshell. It will never matter to them that capitalism has resulted in the poorest today living better quality lives than the richest used to enjoy before, they will always point to any gap and complain about how "unfair" it is whilst capitalism does the hard work of raising everbody's quality of life in absolute terms. Antonio Lorusso
  • Score: 5

12:12pm Mon 3 Feb 14

beach1e says...

what do you expect, people on benefits have more disposable income than those that work for a living so they do have more to spend on cigarettes and booze.
what do you expect, people on benefits have more disposable income than those that work for a living so they do have more to spend on cigarettes and booze. beach1e
  • Score: 6

12:32pm Mon 3 Feb 14

skublue says...

this make me mad. i live in walcot and i know people who are in there 80s and 90s. who live here it is very hard for some people. education is a key to how to live on a low ecome. i know people across swindon who dont work and are on benefits. and i know the same amount that work.the report is rubbish to say that let me point out that a lot of the home in walcot and park people own. also yes smoke is bad for people but it so hard for people to give it up ( i do not smoke) and why on earth should people not have a drink . i think in all area of this town there are thing that are wrong some big some small. i have to say the street where i live all the men work.... adn they shut down family centre that use to help famlie alot .no one is to blame for what life give them well only one thing stop building on all he old alloments and grow your own .
this make me mad. i live in walcot and i know people who are in there 80s and 90s. who live here it is very hard for some people. education is a key to how to live on a low ecome. i know people across swindon who dont work and are on benefits. and i know the same amount that work.the report is rubbish to say that let me point out that a lot of the home in walcot and park people own. also yes smoke is bad for people but it so hard for people to give it up ( i do not smoke) and why on earth should people not have a drink . i think in all area of this town there are thing that are wrong some big some small. i have to say the street where i live all the men work.... adn they shut down family centre that use to help famlie alot .no one is to blame for what life give them well only one thing stop building on all he old alloments and grow your own . skublue
  • Score: -3

12:40pm Mon 3 Feb 14

Emroc says...

Silly article. Why don't you just say that poorer people don't live as long! I would say that pollution is a big factor but apart from that, as long as you live a healthy, fit and fulfilled life you should be okay.
Silly article. Why don't you just say that poorer people don't live as long! I would say that pollution is a big factor but apart from that, as long as you live a healthy, fit and fulfilled life you should be okay. Emroc
  • Score: 3

12:44pm Mon 3 Feb 14

chrisward2011 says...

Typical Race-to-the-bottom , let's blame 'The Rich' deluded socialist thinking. Would they be happier if everyone lived to the age of 79 just so that things are fair?
Typical Race-to-the-bottom , let's blame 'The Rich' deluded socialist thinking. Would they be happier if everyone lived to the age of 79 just so that things are fair? chrisward2011
  • Score: 1

2:12pm Mon 3 Feb 14

house on the hill says...

skublue wrote:
this make me mad. i live in walcot and i know people who are in there 80s and 90s. who live here it is very hard for some people. education is a key to how to live on a low ecome. i know people across swindon who dont work and are on benefits. and i know the same amount that work.the report is rubbish to say that let me point out that a lot of the home in walcot and park people own. also yes smoke is bad for people but it so hard for people to give it up ( i do not smoke) and why on earth should people not have a drink . i think in all area of this town there are thing that are wrong some big some small. i have to say the street where i live all the men work.... adn they shut down family centre that use to help famlie alot .no one is to blame for what life give them well only one thing stop building on all he old alloments and grow your own .
I think the "why on earth shouldn't people have a drink" argument is the problem. It isnt whether they should have a drink it is about should they be spending money they cant afford on drink rather than on healthy food for their families. Like everything in life its about priorities that so many don't seem to understand or want to understand.
[quote][p][bold]skublue[/bold] wrote: this make me mad. i live in walcot and i know people who are in there 80s and 90s. who live here it is very hard for some people. education is a key to how to live on a low ecome. i know people across swindon who dont work and are on benefits. and i know the same amount that work.the report is rubbish to say that let me point out that a lot of the home in walcot and park people own. also yes smoke is bad for people but it so hard for people to give it up ( i do not smoke) and why on earth should people not have a drink . i think in all area of this town there are thing that are wrong some big some small. i have to say the street where i live all the men work.... adn they shut down family centre that use to help famlie alot .no one is to blame for what life give them well only one thing stop building on all he old alloments and grow your own .[/p][/quote]I think the "why on earth shouldn't people have a drink" argument is the problem. It isnt whether they should have a drink it is about should they be spending money they cant afford on drink rather than on healthy food for their families. Like everything in life its about priorities that so many don't seem to understand or want to understand. house on the hill
  • Score: 10

7:33pm Mon 3 Feb 14

samburnley says...

swindondad wrote:
OK I am confused Sam Burnley how can you say both,

"a large percentage of people are on benefits and don’t have the money to buy fresh fruit and veg and prepare healthy meals."

And

"They can’t get a job, they get low and then drink, smoke or take drugs."

If people are unable to priorities healthy food over smoking / drinking / drugs then they should be given a proportion of their benefit in food stamps not money.
I am Sam Burnley and this is not what I said to the reporter. As per the standards of the Swindon Advertiser it is a badly written article completely misquoting what I actually said.
[quote][p][bold]swindondad[/bold] wrote: OK I am confused Sam Burnley how can you say both, "a large percentage of people are on benefits and don’t have the money to buy fresh fruit and veg and prepare healthy meals." And "They can’t get a job, they get low and then drink, smoke or take drugs." If people are unable to priorities healthy food over smoking / drinking / drugs then they should be given a proportion of their benefit in food stamps not money.[/p][/quote]I am Sam Burnley and this is not what I said to the reporter. As per the standards of the Swindon Advertiser it is a badly written article completely misquoting what I actually said. samburnley
  • Score: 3

9:55pm Mon 3 Feb 14

dukeofM4 says...

You could argue the 79ers get cheated out of the additional State pension at the very least. The State couldn't afford everyone living to 95.
You could argue the 79ers get cheated out of the additional State pension at the very least. The State couldn't afford everyone living to 95. dukeofM4
  • Score: 3

10:30am Tue 4 Feb 14

6petals says...

I live on the Parks and I felt very offended by this article. Wherever people live, they have choices, how to spend their money, be it on healthy food, smoking, drink etc.It is not only the people around here who do not have a healthy lifestyle.
A lot of residents have gardens and if they chose to they could get the whole family involved in growing and cooking vegetables and fruit. Depending on their fitness levels, even some gardening is beneficial.
I am lucky to have a garden and on a sunny day, to sit outside is a pleasure, even on the Parks estate.
I live on the Parks and I felt very offended by this article. Wherever people live, they have choices, how to spend their money, be it on healthy food, smoking, drink etc.It is not only the people around here who do not have a healthy lifestyle. A lot of residents have gardens and if they chose to they could get the whole family involved in growing and cooking vegetables and fruit. Depending on their fitness levels, even some gardening is beneficial. I am lucky to have a garden and on a sunny day, to sit outside is a pleasure, even on the Parks estate. 6petals
  • Score: 1

5:24pm Tue 4 Feb 14

DLP OldTown says...

I wonder how much of rate/tax payers money was spend on this load of old tosh.
Just look in the adver under the Deaths, people die at all ages no matter where they live.
Just a thought..........if I moved from the Parks to Grange Park will I live longer..I don't think so.
I wonder how much of rate/tax payers money was spend on this load of old tosh. Just look in the adver under the Deaths, people die at all ages no matter where they live. Just a thought..........if I moved from the Parks to Grange Park will I live longer..I don't think so. DLP OldTown
  • Score: 0

7:42pm Tue 4 Feb 14

6petals says...

By the way, although not perfect, this deprived area has some good shops, hairdressers, library, Post Office, advice centres, good doctors, chemists, bookies,Take-aways, schools,Churches, buses to town, not quite so easy to get to GWH as it was but still nearer than Grange Park. A few areas that are not deprived do not have as much as we have.
We are not far from Shaftesbury Lake and a walk round Coate Water is always enjoyable. Just over Queen's Drive we can get to the Lawns, a very pleasant walk with lovely views.
.......and a shoe shop.......and problably more things that I have missed or do not know about.
By the way, although not perfect, this deprived area has some good shops, hairdressers, library, Post Office, advice centres, good doctors, chemists, bookies,Take-aways, schools,Churches, buses to town, not quite so easy to get to GWH as it was but still nearer than Grange Park. A few areas that are not deprived do not have as much as we have. We are not far from Shaftesbury Lake and a walk round Coate Water is always enjoyable. Just over Queen's Drive we can get to the Lawns, a very pleasant walk with lovely views. .......and a shoe shop.......and problably more things that I have missed or do not know about. 6petals
  • Score: 0

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