Fri, 28 Sep 07
A new survey has revealed that towns and cities in the South of England are the worst places for raising families...
The Daily Mail reports that seven of the ten worst ranking areas were in the South, with
Nestled on the banks of two rivers and steeped in Victorian charm, it has always been a popular choice with generations of city dwellers seeking a better quality of life.
With a high crime rate, mediocre GCSE results in its state schools and significant flood risk,
The report, by Reader's Digest, asked parents across
It concluded the best areas in
Smaller is beautiful
The authors behind the report said: "Smaller is beautiful. The winning areas are predominantly rural, peppered with small country towns - only three include towns with populations greater than 40,000."
The survey found that good state schools and a low crime rate are the most important requirements for a family-friendly area, closely followed by good local hospitals and affordable family housing.
High employment and low risk of flooding were also regarded as significant factors. Topping the poll in
Strong community spirit and good school and hospitals helped Hambleton in
Other top-ten ranking areas included Lancashire's
Inner city grimness
In contrast with rural
Despite its dreaming spires attracting millions of visitors each year,
To rank each area, family-friendly factors were weighted, based on the importance that parents placed on them. They were than measured against statistics held on each local authority such as Home Office crime figures.
The report's authors then visited the winning areas to hear from speak to families first hand.
They added: "If a single thread runs through the fabric of all these places, large and small, it is the golden one called 'community' - the concerned neighbours, teachers and community groups that stand behind safe streets, strong schools and thriving towns."
Best places to bring up a family
The top 10 local authority areas
4. Vale of Glamorgan, Wales
10. Uttlesford, Essex
And the bottom 10
400. Lewisham, Inner
404. Haringey, Inner
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