Hadleigh rated as one of the worst areas for coronavirus deaths in England
Hadleigh has been rated as one of the worst areas for coronavirus-related deaths in the country, according to new data.
The figures, released by the Office for National Statistics, showed that a further 17 deaths in the town in December were related to Covid-19.
In total, between March and December 2020, there were 45 coronavirus-related deaths in Hadleigh.
This means that the town is the third highest in England when it comes to coronavirus deaths for 2020 as a whole in what are known as middle super output areas (MSOAs).
MSOAs are the size of a large housing estate or a cluster of small villages - there are 6,791 of them in England.
Only two other areas in England - the Crabtree and Fir Vale area of Sheffield and the Castleton and Trub area of Rochdale - recorded higher death rates than Hadleigh.
Hadleigh was badly hit in November when an outbreak of the virus took place in local care homes and at Hadleigh High School.
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Despite this, mayor of Hadleigh Frank Minns said he was surprised by the numbers.
"It's a shocking figure," said Mr Minns.
"These are awful figures for a town of 8,500 to 9,000 people."
Mr Minns said it was difficult to understand why Hadleigh had been so badly affected, given how different it was to places like Sheffield and Rochdale.
"I don't see why Hadleigh should be so high up the list," said Mr Minns.
"There's quite a large elderly population.
"And five care homes which is quite a high number for a town of this size.
"Whether that's connected I don't know."
Mr Minns said that the town was very quiet under the latest lockdown and that vaccinations had also begun to take place.
"I hope we will see figures come down shortly," said Mr Minns.
After Hadleigh, the next highest areas in Suffolk for December were Rushmere, which recorded eight deaths.
There were also a number of areas which all recorded five deaths, including Felixstowe East and Stowmarket West.
The Priory Heath area of Ipswich and Beccles recorded the next highest number of coronavirus deaths in Suffolk in 2020, with 19 and 18 deaths respectively.
The Howard Estate and Northgate area of Bury St Edmunds is the only Suffolk area to record no deaths at all.