SUFFERING CORNWALL?

23 June 2007

The 2007 health profiles have just been published by the Association of public health observatories (APHO) and the department of health. Read the profiles for Cornwall and the separate profiles for its six districts (Caradon, Carrick, Kerrier, Penwith, North Cornwall, Restormel) here.

For Cornwall they throw up interesting figures which show we are not the most suffering place in the land.

For example (in all these figures the England average includes Cornwall):

The percentage of residents dependent on means-tested benefits in 2003 in Cornwall 11.8, in England 12.9

The percentage of children in low-income households in 2001 in Cornwall 19.4, in England 21.3

The percentage getting five GCSEs A*-C in 2005/06 in Cornwall 57.3, in England 57.5

The rate of violent crime for 1000 of population in 2005/06 in Cornwall 12.0, in England 19.8.

Life expectancy in Cornwall for males and females is higher than England as a whole; death rates for cancer, heart disease, and strokes are lower in Cornwall than the average for England.

However, Cornwall has higher rates than England for (a) people claiming benefits for mental health problems and (b) admission to hospital for alcohol specific conditions.

The figures vary across and within districts in Cornwall. For example in Penwith 15.2 percent of residents are dependent on means-tested benefits and 24.8 percent of children are in low-income households, both higher and worse than the England average; in Caradon 9.5 percent and 15.3 percent, both lower and better than the England average.

These profiles do not support the Victim Cornwall agenda. They show some parts of the county in health and social deprivation in some spheres and other parts of Cornwall far from it. The profiles undermine attempts to present Cornwall as a uniform place and as a place suffering uniquely at the hands of an uncaring national government and its agencies. It clearly is neither. Will we read anything of these profiles from nationalists or the county’s MPs?

Look again at the posts Is Cornwall poor? and Free school meals in Cornwall, and Victim Cornwall. The evidence shows places of deprivation but that we are definitely not suffering, victim Cornwall.

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