A COUNCILLOR has lamented the health inequalities in the Bradford District, pointing out how unfair it is that people like himself who live in Bradford Moor will live shorter lives than people in Ilkley.

Councillor Riaz Ahmed (Lib Dem, Bradford Moor) was responding to a recent report that laid bare the health inequalities across the district.

Members of Bradford Council’s Bradford East Area Committee were discussing the community partnerships that have been set up across the district by the NHS Bradford district and Craven Clinical Commissioning Groups.

The groups were set up to allow community groups to have more say over how community health services are provided locally, and carry out various schemes that improve the health of people living in those areas.

At the meeting members pointed out the huge health inequalities experienced across the district.

Recent figures into health inequalities in Bradford showed that life expectancy in the District’s wealthiest wards was 83.3, while the life expectancy in its poorest wards was 73.7.

People in more affluent areas of Bradford enjoy "21 more years of good health" than those in poorer areas

There was also a major difference in “healthy life expectancy” meaning people in more affluent areas like Ilkley were living a healthy life, without serious medical problems, for 21 years more than people in areas like Bradford Moor.

Some of the most deprived wards in the District are found in the Bradford East constituency.

Members were told that “lifestyle choices” like smoking and drinking were a major factor in life expectancy.

But Cllr Ahmed pointed out that in areas like Bradford Moor there were other issues that impacted people’s health, including poor air quality on major roads and cramped housing.

He said: “You mention lifestyle choices, but air quality is a massive issue for inner city areas.

“There are low cost houses here. It is not all about lifestyle, in some areas you can’t even get to see a GP for an appointment. There are not enough dentists or GPs. If people can’t get to see a GP how can they improve their health?

“Why should I live for nine and a half years less than someone who lives in Ilkley?

“The number of patients per GP in inner city areas is far, far higher in inner city areas for Ilkley.”

He said the community partnerships needed to focus more on the areas where more intervention was needed, adding: “Please go out and listen to what ordinary people have to say. People aren’t getting basic services.”

There are currently 11 community partnerships in the district, but Chair of the Committee Rachel Sunderland (Lib Dem, Bolton and Undercliffe) pointed out that different partnerships seemed to be at different stages, with some having carried out numerous events and schemes since they were set up two years ago while others seemed to have only just started works. She added: “Isn’t that creating a new kind of inequality?”

Clare Smart, Deputy Director of strategy, said: “It is variable, some partnerships had very good established community links to start with, others are still very much in the early days.”