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Bury St Edmunds: Girls born on Moreton Hall estate could live to 119

PUBLISHED: 09:21 03 June 2011

Margery Oxborrow, 98, a  resident at Oxlip House in Moreton Hall

Margery Oxborrow, 98, a resident at Oxlip House in Moreton Hall

Archant

GIRLS born in a leafy estate on the edge of a Suffolk market town could reach the remarkable age of 119 - the highest life expectancy for a neighbourhood across the whole of England and Wales.

The information relating to Moreton Hall is revealed in experimental life expectancy figures for small areas produced by the Office for National Statistics (ONS).

The estimates also suggest the life expectancy for girls born there could be as high as 128.

The figure for both men and women is 93, while for just men it is 81.

Terry Buckle, borough councillor for the Moreton Hall ward, said he believed the high life expectancies for the estate were connected to quality of life.

Mr Buckle, who used to live in London, said: “You look out onto my back garden and you have got deer and a sparrow hawk. You don’t get that in London.”

He believed residents there were more relaxed which might contribute to high life expectancy.

He added how the estate was “absolutely perfect” as it was green and peaceful yet you also had everything on your doorstep.

Frank Warby, a fellow Moreton Hall borough councillor, said he was quite surprised by the figure of 128.

He said: “Moreton Hall has got its own unique quality. You have got everything you need up there.”

He said the estate - with homes dating from the 1970s and a population of more than 6,000 - had facilities including a community centre and doctors’ surgery.

He added how crime was “very low”.

Dr Sue Brown, senior partner at Mount Farm Surgery at Moreton Hall, said the biggest influence on mortality and longevity seemed to be socio-economic standards.

“Probably being an area with low unemployment has got something to do with it,” she said.

She said the level of crime, road traffic accidents and lifestyle choices could all impact on mortality and longevity.

“There’s no reason every child on Moreton Hall cannot go to good schools locally for the whole of their schooling.”

She added how there was the opportunity for residents to live healthy lives with the availability of activities such as football teams.

She said it would be interesting to know how the ONS had come up with the figures.

The figures, which came out in 2006, look at the period 1999 to 2003. They are based on deaths between 1999 and 2003, and on 2001 ward population estimates.

As they have the status of experimental statistics it means that they have not yet been shown to meet the quality criteria for National Statistics.

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