The Office of National statistics have revealed that the North East has improved housing, cleaner rivers and lowest crime rates. However we still have the highest unemployment rates and shortest life expectancies in the country. It seems all is not lost on the health front though as our life expectancy is growing fastest. Jim has a few words to say on this in the Newcastle Journal:
"Newcastle Central MP Jim Cousins said last night: 'Some of the industries which had life-shortening consequences in the past are no more and the impact of them is slowly declining.And if that's not putting a positive spin on the rape of the North's industries in the 80s I don't know what is! It's good to see we are getting healthier and no doubt the decline of heavy industry has played a significant part in that. What will be the long term health impact of the call centres that have replaced them? I'm predicting a wave of cubicle induced mental illnesses to surface fairly soon. Give us our yards back. Pretty please. I know Swans is in Nick Brown's patch but keeping the yards open help Newcastle too with the knock on effect of all those men's wages being spent in the local economy. It may be that Jim is already doing something about the yards - I'll try and find out.
In addition there has been a policy of targeting resources at areas where health inequalities are greatest and there is no doubt the North-East has been a big beneficiary of that.'"
Read the "Why life's looking up in North-East" article at The Journal.
Read the Swan-Hunter article at the BBC.