THERE is a huge gap in life expectancy between the wealthiest and poorest areas of Worcester – with people in one ward dying 10 years younger than those in another.

Figures from Worcestershire County Council show that men in Nunnery ward have an average life expectancy of just 74.2 years, whereas in St Peter's it is 85.2 years.

Warndon had the second lowest average death age for men, at 74.6 years, while it was the worst for women, at 80.4 years.

St Peter's also had the longest average life expectancy age for women, at 87.6 years.

City councillor Tracey Biggs, who represents Nunnery, said: "Sad is the right word to describe it. People are getting a raw deal. It's just about where you are born.

"This is a wakeup call. We are seeing different areas of the city seeing different life expectancies. It's tragic.

"Nunnery is a very diverse ward. We have a large number of people that are struggling financially, people who are finding times very hard.

"There's a direct correlation between social inequalities and health inequalities. Since 2010 I think it's got a lot worse – this is what we have when we have policies of austerity."

Ceri Stalker, city councillor for Warndon, also blamed deprivation for the lower life expectancy rates in her ward.

She said: "There's a lot of people in the area on low incomes or benefits.

"If you're living hand to mouth - and can hardly feed yourself or your family – you don't have good health habits as you can't buy the right food."

Cllr Stalker added that some poorer residents also struggle to pay for exercise equipment and are nervous about taking part in classes.

The councillor fears the rollout of Universal Credit, an all-in-one benefits payment, will make things worse in the city.

Peter Pinfield, chairman of Healthwatch Worcestershire, said the average life expectancy in Worcestershire should be around 85-years-old.

He blamed deprivation for the disparity in life expectancies.

Mr Pinfield said the city has a problem with drinking too much alcohol and not exercising enough.

A Worcestershire County Council spokesman said: "There are many different reasons why life expectancy varies across different areas and the county council and the health and wellbeing board have oversight of a programme of work which aims to improve health and narrow health inequalities.

"Lower life expectancies are often linked to lifestyle choices and deprivation and we work hard with partners, particularly in our most deprived areas, to encourage healthy lifestyle choice and to make sure that services are targeted to those who need them most."