Residents in the most affluent area of Wakefield district can expect to live eight-and-a-half-years longer than those in the most deprived areas, according to a new poverty report.
The gulf in life expectancy is highlighted in The Wakefield Poverty and Prosperity Commission report, which was launched at Wakefield Town Hall.
It reveals people living in areas including Altofts, Sandal, Notton and areas of Ossett, Horbury and Wrenthorpe, have an average life expectancy of 83.
Residents in the most deprived areas – including Airedale and Fryston in Castleford, Portobello, Eastmoor and Lupset in Wakefield and Moorthorpe and Kinsley near Pontefract – have an average life expectancy of 74.5.
The commission was established by the Wakefield Together partnership and Leeds Metropolitan University provided experts for the panel.
The report states: “The gulf between the most and the least prosperous areas in Wakefield and its surrounding district on a number of health, education and employment indicators is a significant and growing and threatens a sense of shared community.”
Rates of coronary heart disease in the district are at 4.5 per cent compared with 3.5 per cent nationally. Rates of deaths from smoking, early deaths from heart disease and stroke and from cancer are all worse than the national average. And 5.3 per cent of hospital admissions in Wakefield district in 2010/11 were attributable to smoking, costing the NHS in the district around £7.2m. The report recommends that tackling poverty and its impacts should be part of all partnership plans.
Coun Peter Box, Leader of Wakefield Council and chair of Wakefield Together’s Local Services Board, said: “We welcome this report and, where possible in these challenging economic times, will strive to make sure its recommendations are implemented.
“We know times are tough and getting tougher for local people - and we welcome the expert independent views of the commission to help us to support communities and families under strain.”