A NEW report on Scarborough says life expectancy in the borough is less than the rest of England for both men and women.
As well as poor longevity rates Scarborough Council – in its corporate plan for the next five years – says alcohol-related deaths for men, and deaths from chronic liver disease are also higher than the national and regional averages.
But the figures do not break down into different areas. Previous figures showed a wide variation between the Old Town of Scarborough and other parts of the borough.
NHS York and North Yorkshire’s latest figures also reveal that more than 25 per cent of the adult population in Scarborough are smokers compared with just 13.1 per cent in Harrogate.
Cllr David Jeffels, cabinet member for tourism and culture, said he was shocked by the figures and would be urging colleagues in the council, North Yorkshire County Council and the local NHS Trust to get to grips with the situation.
He said: “People probably associate living by the seaside with a healthy lifestyle but this report has shown that this is not so with people living two to three years less than in the rest of the country.
“The reasons for it are – inevitably – quite complicated, but I shall be calling for a major educational programme to tackle the problems this report has highlighted,” he added.
“I would suggest we need to get into the schools early and talk to primary school pupils from eight years old upwards about why it is important to have a healthy lifestyle.”
The council now aims to reduce alcohol and drugs misuse by promoting responsible drinking and retailing of alcohol and to reduce the consequent hospital admissions, while encouraging more people to get involved in leisure, sport and cultural activities as part of healthy and active lifestyles.
The report, which goes before the full council for approval in July, has been drawn up following public consultation and highlights the need to improve employment opportunities.
Chief executive Jim Dillon said: “The aim is to attract more investment and to encourage the creation not just of more jobs and an improved infrastructure, but of better quality jobs.”
Currently the borough also has business start-up and survival rates below national and regional levels, says the report. However, the council still intends to develop stronger links with the University of Hull’s Scarborough campus and the business community.
Officials say the intention is to try to stimulate research and exploit innovative ways to maximise technology spin-off and to develop new enterprises in the area.