Draft Core Strategy (incorporating Preferred Options) October 2010

Draft Core Strategy (incorporating Preferred Options)

Health and Well-Being

2.24 South Somerset is a relatively healthy District, with indicators used to measure health generally better than the England average. However there are general trends that bring health care challenges, such as increasing levels of obesity, declining physical activity levels and an ageing population.

2.25 The population of the area is growing steadily, due to the many attractions of the District as a place to live and work with Yeovil being the main focus for this growth. Although generally a healthy District, several wards in Yeovil and Chard are in the most deprived 20% in UK. 12% of the population of South Somerset live in the most deprived 25% Super Output Areas[1] in England and 11% of children under 16 live in low-income households. As a whole, the District is in the top 50% most income deprived Districts in England. The house price to income ratio across the whole District is shown in the Council's Strategic Housing Market Assessment published in February 2009 to be around 8:1, although in certain more rural areas it reaches 14:1, compared to 6:1 for England and Wales.

2.26 The most prevalent form of deprivation in South Somerset relates to barriers to housing and services, including access to a GP surgery, supermarket or convenience store, primary school and post office. This is largely an issue in the rural fringes of the District, with the South Somerset average broadly similar to England, and lower than Somerset as a whole.

2.27 South Somerset has historically recorded lower crime levels compared with the regional and national averages, with decreases over recent years. Perceived personal safety is in line with the County and region, but there is a much higher fear of crime in Yeovil and Chard. Overall perceptions of community spirit are similar to the Somerset average, but they are relatively negative in Chard.

1. Super Output Areas are units of area used by the Office of National Statistics to gather and compare data [back]