A shocking gap between the life expectancy of men and women in Stockton is being investigated by health chiefs.
It comes after a stark report last week revealed Stockton Borough now has the greatest inequality in male life expectancy in the country – and the gap has widened in recent years.
Though life expectancy is increasing as a whole, the gap between the most deprived and most affluent wards in the borough is increasing.
A man can now expect to live 16.4 years less in Stockton town centre – the most deprived ward in the borough – compared to a man in Eaglescliffe, among the most affluent areas.
But the gap for women is considerably less at 11 years.
Councillor Steve Nelson Stockton Council’s Cabinet member for housing and community safety, said:
“It’s not happening with women.
“Do we understand why men and women are so different?”
Peter Kelly, director of Public Health for Stockton and the author of the public health annual report for 2013/14, told a cabinet meeting that “it is very unusual there is such a gap”.
“With regard to women, we need to understand why the same hasn’t happened there – is it heart disease? Is it cancer?
“That’s a separate issue we are investigating.”
As reported, Mr Kelly’s health study revealed the life expectancy of men living in the poorest parts of Stockton has barely improved since the 1930s.
In stark contrast, life expectancy in areas like Eaglescliffe is as good as in the most affluent parts of the country.
Councillor Jim Beall, deputy leader of the council, said:
“We can dwell on that and say ‘shock, horror’, but on an average people are living longer in the borough.
“It is quite shocking information, it’s what we’re going to do about it that is the important question.
“We do something everywhere, but we do more where there’s more need.”
Council leader Councillor Bob Cook said:
“We have got a diverse borough – the worst wards are in the top 10% nationally, the affluent wards at the other end.
“It does show we have done quite a lot of work to bridge that gap, but quite a bit of work is needed to make sure deprived wards catch up.”
Source – Middlesbrough Evening Gazette, 16 Feb 2015
Concerns that controversial television show Benefits Street could be filmed in the Stockton area have resurfaced after reports that film crews have been spotted in the area.
Numerous sighting of filming being carried out in Norton have been reported – and rumours are rife in the village that it is for the Channel 4 show.
But Stockton North MP Alex Cunningham has urged people not to worry – and says the film crew seen may not even be from the programme.
“When the producers came to see me in Westminster a couple of months ago, they said they would not be going to Dixon Street (where they were previously researching),” said Mr Cunningham.
“They said if they were going to be in Stockton, they would keep me informed – and I have not been told me anything.
“However, I have heard there was some sort of filming going on in Norton so I have sent a note to Love Productions asking if they could tell me if they are up to anything.
“At the moment there is nothing to fear, but it is important to keep vigilant.
“If people are getting approached to be on the show, they need to get in touch with my office.”
Norton North councillor Steve Nelson claimed he saw someone filming by the duck pond in Norton on Wednesday.
But he added “it could have been for something else.”
“If it is them, I wouldn’t want them in Stockton and definitely not in Norton,” said Councillor Nelson.
“If people are approached by Love Productions to take part in the show I would urge them to say no.”
In May, it was claimed Benefits Street researchers were chased by residents and pelted with eggs.
TV crews were in Dixon Street, off Dovecot Street, Stockton, when residents allegedly chased, egged and threw a bucket of water over the research team from Love Productions, which makes the show for Channel 4.
One Norton High Street shop worker said: “I think it’s shocking. We don’t want Benefits Street here.”
Another said she saw two women being filmed walking down High Street and were also seen in Home Start Teesside charity shop.
“People are saying it is Benefits Street,” she said. “But I hope it’s not.”
There have also been reports that the show’s researchers have been in the Middlesbrough area as they look for a setting for a second series.
The first series of Benefits Street, filmed on James Turner Street in Birmingham , sparked a national controversy about its portrayal of people living on benefits.
Media regulator Ofcom received hundreds of complaints about what was dubbed ‘poverty porn‘.
But it was hugely popular and global broadcasting rights for the show were later sold .
Benefits Street gave Channel Four its highest viewing figures of any show since 2012.
Love Productions have been asked to comment, but had not responded by the time of publication.
Source – Middlesbrough Evening Gazette, 15 Aug 2014
A Stockton landlord must pay almost £1,000 after leaving his tenant without heating last winter.
Vivender Nath Blaggan left the house in Northcote Street, in Stockton, with a faulty boiler for three months during the coldest part of the year.
The 47-year-old, of Grange Road, in Stockton, pleaded guilty to failing to comply with an abatement notice issued under section 80 the Environmental Protection Act 1990 and was fined £350, ordered to pay costs of £609.17 and a victim surcharge of £35.
The tenant contacted Stockton Council in January 2014 after repeatedly asking Mr Blaggan to arrange for its repair, when the heating failed in November 2013.
The council’s private sector housing team carried out an inspection at the property which confirmed there was a problem with the gas boiler.
The council served a notice served under Section 80 of the Environmental Protection Act 1990 which gave Mr Blaggan a chance to carry out the necessary repairs.
However he failed to comply with the notice so the boiler was repaired by the council and legal action was taken, Teesside Magistrates’ Court heard.
In mitigation Mr Blaggan said that he had put temporary measures in place and provided the tenant with a fan heater and offered to pay for the extra electricity it would cost to run it.
He also said that he had arranged for repairs to be carried out but that they only lasted one week.
He had been advised he could obtain a free replacement boiler, but unfortunately the funding had been withdrawn before that could be arranged.
Stockton Council’s Cabinet Member for Housing and Community Safety, Councillor Steve Nelson said: “We are serious about tackling the problem of poor housing conditions in the private rented sector and we take the health and safety of private tenants very seriously, where conditions are not met then action will be taken.
“We hope that this case will send a clear message to private landlords that they have a responsibility to ensure their properties meet the necessary standards and failure to do so will not be tolerated.”
Stockton Council works with private sector landlords to help maintain and improve properties and operates a Landlord Accreditation Scheme which offers advice and assistance.
Source – Middlesbrough Evening Gazette, 29 July 2014