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S I T TI BI
Registered at the Post Office as a Newspaper Est. 1893
INCORPORATED WITH THE CONGLETON AND MACCLESFIELD MERCURY
THURSDAY, 16th SEPTEMBER, 2010.
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Health inequality gap is no more than streets apart
By Chris Young A third of people on the eastern side of Congleton live in pockets of deprivation, despite being a few minutes walk away from some of the country’s most affluent areas.
Resident living in communities which include the Bromley Farm estate and Buglawton are also more likely to smoke, suffer from obesity and claim incapacity benefits.
Efforts by the trust to tackle the health inequalities were described as piecemeal this week.
The findings have just been released in the annual health report of Central and Eastern
Cheshire Primary Care Trust.
While quality of life is high in most of the borough, the report shows that 32% of people in Congleton East live in some of the most deprived conditions in the country, despite being a short distance from Congleton South, an area that includes Mossley and Hightown, which falls in the top 20% nationally for quality of life.
Glen Williams, chairman of the Bromley Farm Community Development Trust, recognised the problems, but said efforts by the trust to tackle them so far had only provided “piecemeal” solutions.
The report used a deprivation index to measure the problem areas,” each made up of about 1,500 people. The seven issues taken into account included income, employment, living environment, health and disability and crime.
According to the report, 31.8% of the population of
Congleton East live in an area that ranks among the 20% most deprived nationally. By comparison, 100% of people in Congleton South live in an area that makes up the top 20% well off.
Other problems highlighted included a higher percentage of people with long-term illnesses — 19.8% compared to a 16% average across the rest of the trust area — and higher obesity rates, with 27.7% of people having a BMI of over 30 compared to 23.1% elsewhere. The number of adults who smoked was 27.1% of the population compared to 17.9% for the former Congleton borough area.
Residents do not eat as healthily or exercise as much as those elsewhere in east and central Cheshire.
While people in Congleton South can expect to live to 67 before suffering from any disabling illness, people in
Congleton East on average only reach 61. Seven point six per cent of residents receive incapacity benefits compared to 2.2% in Congleton South, while 4.7% are on jobseekers allowance compared to 1.3%.
The report added: “Populations within certain areas of Congleton, such as Congleton East, have a marked difference in deprivation experience and therefore are more likely to experience a marked difference in health despite being in neighbouring communities often a small distance apart.
“It is recommended the area partnership proceeds with further analysis and investigation of available data, combined with the views of the identified populations, to identify and determine which of the aspects of deprivation have the greatest impact on the area in focus.”
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Landlords Andy and Caroline Wightman, of the Harrington Arms in Gawsworth, celebrated 300 years of the pub’s history at an anniversary event on Saturday. To find out what happened, turn to the back page. (“Chronicle” photo. 3715a/10).
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Congleton cabbies fear unlimited taxi numbers could harm their trade
The number of taxis in Congleton and fare prices could change in the new year, following a Cheshire East Council survey.
Currently the former Congleton borough has a limited number of 42 hackney carriages operating, while the other two boroughs of Macclesfield and Crewe and Nantwich have unlimited numbers.
Passengers in Crewe and Nantwich pay £2.20 for the first mile on day rate fares, while Congleton and Sandbach pay £2.60 and those in Macclesfield pay £3.
The council wants to end restrictions and standardise fares.
One taxi driver told the “Chronicle” that if the review led to there being more taxis in Congleton and a fare increases,
the town’s already fragile taxi trade would be further damaged.
At a Licensing Committee meeting on Monday, councillors voted in favour of a review of policies and procedures relating to hackney carriages, including the number of taxis, licence terms and conditions, the difference in fares and the state of taxi ranks. The aim is standardisation across the Cheshire East area.
Licensing manager Tony Potts told the committee: “Taxis are a key part of the transport system.
“They contribute less to traffic by having several people in one and they get people home after nights out, reducing the rate of alcohol related disturbances.
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