New statistics on life expectancy are a ‘wake-up call’ to the Hywel Dda Local Health Board and county councils in Pembrokeshire and Carmarthenshire, according to Assembly Member Angela Burns.

Constituency-based statistics recently released by The Older People’s Commission for Wales show that people in Carmarthen West and South Pembrokeshire live substantially longer than the Welsh average, but with a lower ‘healthy years life expectancy’.

They also reveal that over the next decade, the number of older people living in Carmarthenshire and Pembrokeshire is likely to increase to 30% of the population.

Mrs Burns said: “I can totally understand why so many older people choose to remain, or settle, in this lovely corner of west Wales.

“However these statistics are also a wake-up call to both the local councils and the health board.”

She said services must be planned to respond to these needs – such as transport to allow older people to reach vital services, and sufficient social care support to ensure residents would live at home independently.

Mrs Burns also called for the government and councils to adopt strategies to make sure that the population was balanced in terms of age.

“We need to plan to invest in jobs and the environment so our younger population remain in the constituency, providing a vibrant economy that supports older and younger people’s needs alike,” she commented.